Swamp Story

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This would make a very good miniseries. On one of those streaming services that let you say the f-word a lot. I was mentally assigning actors as the book developed: Chris Evans as Slater! Paul Rudd as Brad! Any reasonably attractive Hollywood starlet as Jesse!

There are a lot of intertwining stories here. Jesse is more or less trapped into a downscale life in the Everglades with her infant Willa and Willa's dad (and Jesse's non-husband), Slater, a charming, handsome, egotist. Who managed to charm Jesse just enough to get her pregnant and steal her money. He has marijuana-fueled delusions of becoming a reality-TV star based on his muscles and life in the swamp.

Also: the Bortle brothers, Brad and Ken, owners of the failing "Bortle Brothers Bait & Beer" store on the Tamiami Trail. Alcoholic loser Phil, reduced to scraping up cash by wearing a giant "Dora the Explorer" head to a child's birthday party with partner Stu (who's dressed as Princess Elsa from Frozen. And many others. All characters' paths intertwine at the swamp, with plot elements involving a lost fortune in gold, the Python Challenge contest, an "emotional support boar" named Buddy, a crooked lawyer named Erik, a Channel 8 PeoplePower News reporter named Patsy, the Secretary of the Interior, two psychotic creeps named Duck and Billy…

Lots of bizarre stuff goes on, not everything is played for laughs. It's very similar to Carl Hiaasen's adult novels, and Hiaasen is is thanked for his input in the Acknowledgements.

The other thought I had while reading: the Raymond Chandler Estate commissions various authors to write Philip Marlowe novels. So far I haven't been too impressed with the results, but in case anyone from the Estate is reading, might I suggest that Dave Barry would be a pretty good pick for the next one? Marlowe in Florida? Yes! It's today's equivalent of 1940's southern California!

Last Modified 2024-01-12 6:02 AM EDT