A Thousand Bridges / Michael McKinney
Synopsis – Florida Man, not having learned his lesson, gets in over his head again in the Floridian labyrinth of corrupt politics. But it’s not his fault (this time). Florida Woman and Florida Girl are to blame with their tales of shootout and rape survival at the tentacles of a burgeoning band of power-hungry politicos. Can Florida Man bury the memory of his dead girlfriend long enough to (temporarily) save Florida and the USA from the latest batch of rich and rogue Florida Rebels? Will any of this knock http://bit.ly/1vzjEoP off the front page of Florida News?
Reaction – I’m a big fan of Florida Man, and all things Florida (from a safe distance), so this tale of wild and wacky Floridian crime and corruption easily held my interest. The characters – though larger-than-life (I expect as much from Florida) – were palpable, and I ended up caring about the fate of every one of them, even the sick and sleazy slimeballs. I also appreciated the vivid descriptions of the varied Florida landscape as a counterbalance to the alternating rage, wrath and carefree cluelessness of the Florida People. Read this Florida Book if you’re a Florida Man fan, or simply if you’re Florida-curious.
Recommendation – This book renewed my will to live.
Lost Girl of the Lake / Joe McKinney and Michael McCarty
Synopsis – A rich and privileged teen goes on a country club summer vacation with his family. After enduring the glorified boredom of idle childhood wealth, he finally cuts loose and meets a mysterious girl skinny dipping at night in the lake. His joins her, but you know how teen boys are. She has to put him in his place. After the requisite period of teen angst and brooding, she finally shows up again to give him another chance. Only this time she has a posse of snakes. Or maybe she’s a snake and she wants him to meet her snake family. Or maybe the boy has a snake fetish, and he’s imagining all this. In any case, this is the summer he comes of age via the serpent… somehow.
Reaction – A charming tale of coming of age told in a personable, friendly voice. The main character was likeable in a “sympathetic underdog” kind of way. The story was clear and solid for most of the book, but at the conclusion it got a bit tangled up the arcane and esoteric. Did the boy lose his virginity? Did he have a bad acid trip? Was he psychologically disabled? I have no idea. Read this if you like the mystery of the serpent and you don’t mind an open-ended… ending.
Recommendation – You’re taking your chances with this hit and miss book.