Two books that changed my life —
I can’t include highbrow literature, not part of the equation. There will be, forever, a nod towards Joyce’s Ulysses, still, the goal, is to pick two books. Two game-changers in life, for me. Books that I still read.
Practical Demon Keeping
by Chris Moore
Someplace in the middle, perhaps towards an end, there’s a scene that’s ingrained, embedded, in my mind. The story itself, I can’t recall the plot line, just some of the settings. Then, too, the book was the first part of a loosely linked series set in a mythical place, just south of San Francisco, CA. Best I can recall. Surfers sprinkled with magical realism, and then, a true love of place, the Left Coast.
The author’s canon is strong, and deep, now, but this novel was my first introduction. Because I work in the field of metaphysics, the art and craft of the novel made perfect sense.
by Tim Dorsey
Maybe a dozen years ago, on one of his book tours, I met the author. Aquarius. He gives his lead character, Serge, a Libra birthday, where I make the same character out to be younger and more Gemini.
If I recall, the author claimed he got started writing Florida Roadkill, realized it wouldn’t sell as a commercial piece, and wrote for himself. Cult hit that spawned a series. Cult-like hit that launched the novelist’s career. I just finished reading the most recent one, and there’s a vibrancy mixed with sheer insanity and sharp prose that just works. The character’s encyclopedic knowledge of Florida history, with an insane command of colorful local trivia is only matched with the inherent instability of the (fictional) mental illness.
A serial killer who only kills bad guys. Thugs. You have to like him because he’s busy taking out the miscreants who really do need killing.
“In the first week of October 1962, Serge A. Storms was born at West Palm Beach Memorial Hospital, a Kennedy baby.”
The book that started it all. The picture painted is one where there really is place full of more loonies than Texas.
Fun fiction that has meaning. For me, at least.
“How do you eat tofu?”
“Scoop it with Doritos,” said Serge.”
Excerpt From: Dorsey, Tim. “Tiger Shrimp Tango.”