Forge, Sep 2001, 25.95, 464 pp.
Jungle Jim Bybee was driving his bus filled with 436 rattlesnakes through McAfee County, Kentucky, when he took a hairpin curve too fast. He dies in the subsequent crash, but his cargo escape.
At around the same time that Jungle Jim's serpents tasted freedom, Hawaiian archeologist Harmon “Digger” Fitz is in town for a family reunion with his cousin retired archeologist Edgar Fitz and his niece Nikki. However, instead of meeting up with Edgar, County Sheriff Cooney McCoy informs him his relative is dead. Not trusting law enforcement officials to seek the truth and justice as opposed to solving the case by blaming the “foreigner” namely himself, Digger accompanied by Nikki begin digging for clues. Soon Digger and Nikki find themselves in a tug of war between two rivals wanting to possess French and Indian War artifact. The duo also tries to avoid an assortment of lunatics claiming Armageddon has arrived marked by the serpents among them and a militia ready to destroy the world to stop the FBI-ET collusion from succeeding.
Though threads are left dangling and the who-done-it seems more like a subplot, fans who enjoy a farcical very amusing jaunt will take pleasure from TOO HIGH. The story line is a wild ride in the countryside as the likable and intelligent Digger bounces from one misadventure to another in comic often slapstick style. The cast provides perspective often in a fringe viewpoint, which in turn makes Corson Hirschfeld's novel a fun to read experience and send the audience seeking the author's first novel, ALOHA, MR. LUCKY.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner