S.G. Browne

Fiction Friday: Favorite Reads of 2011

Okay, so I’m a month late. And I’m sure there’s a pregnancy joke in there somewhere but I just can’t find it. Which is probably a good thing.

In any case, below is my list of favorite reads of 2011, with a brief description about the book or why I enjoyed it. To be clear, this is a list of favorite books I read in 2011. Not books that were published in 2011. In no particular order, but all well worth my time:

The Book Thief, Markus Zusak
Okay, this one’s first for a reason. A beautifully written story about the power of words, told from the point of view of an empathetic Death. One of my favorite books of all time, not just of 2011. A must read for any fan of the written word.

Gator A-Go-Go, Tim Dorsey
They say you never forget your first time, and this was my introduction to Tim Dorsey. A wild, bizarre, slapstick ride through Florida’s spring break scene that includes federal agents, Girls Gone Haywire, and vigilante serial killing. Fun for the whole family!

The History of Love, Nicole Krauss
A literary novel filled with wonderful characters. It’s a story about love and relationships and what people mean to one another. It’s about finding what you need, even if it’s not what you set out to find. A poignant, touching, heart-breaking, funny work of art.

Bite Me: A Love Story, Christopher Moore
The continuing darkly comic love story about a pair of San Francisco vampires that includes an Emperor, turkey bowling, and a giant shaved vampire cat named Chet. The third in the Bloodsucking Fiends series, this is classic laugh-out-loud Christopher Moore.

Little Bee, Chris Cleave
Rich characters, a brutal history, death, humor, politics, and social commentary are all interwoven into an unforgettable story about what happens when people make mistakes and what happens when they try to fix them.


Fiction Friday: Gator A-Go-Go

Gator A-Go-Go is the twelfth novel by Tim Dorsey who, like Dave Barry and Carl Hiaasen, lives in Florida and has made his living satirizing the Sunshine State.  Dorsey’s novels are what you would probably consider crime capers, with lots of shady characters, drugs, violence, and a sociopathic anti-hero by the name of Serge Storms.

But really, that description doesn’t do Serge justice.  Most of the people he kills in the book deserve what they get, so he’s actually just dispensing his own sense of moral justice.  He’s also highly intelligent, obsessive, an expert on Florida’s history, and he comes up with highly creative ways of dispatching the villains – such as turning a garage door into a light activated guillotine.

In Gator A-Go-Go, Serge is off on spring back to make a documentary film with his trusty sidekick Coleman, a drug addict who knows how to keep beer cold on the beach without a cooler and how to make some awesome pot brownies.  Together, they attract a crowd of college kids who end up following them from one spring break location to another.

Along the way, Serge and Coleman get caught up in the middle of a manhunt that has the feds and a gang of vengeful drug dealers searching for the son of an outed Witness Protection Program informant, who just happens to be in Florida on spring break.

Part crime novel, part social satire, part history lesson, Gator A-Go-Go is a unique and fun read.  I’ll definitely be picking up one of Dorsey’s earlier novels to get acquainted with Serge and Coleman again.

Filed under: Fiction Fridays,Movies and Books — Tags: , — S.G. Browne @ 10:54 am