The Big Bamboo (Serge Storms Series #8)

The Big Bamboo (Serge Storms Series #8)

by Tim Dorsey

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His marriage plans fizzled, so Floridaphile serial killer Serge A. Storms is on a new mission: to convince the West Coast movie industry bigwigs to do their business in his beloved Sunshine State. So it's off to Tinseltown with his substance-sustained sidekick, Coleman—to schmooze with craven cokehead producers and visiting Yakuza, who are wrestling to salvage the most disastrous big-budget stinkeroo in the history of celluloid . . . and to radically reduce the rampaging population of true Hollywood slimeballs.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060585631
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/27/2007
Series: Serge Storms Series , #8
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 122,484
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 6.60(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Tim Dorsey was a reporter and editor for the Tampa Tribune from 1987 to 1999, and is the author of twenty-one novels: Pope of Palm Beach, Clownfish Blues, Coconut Cowboy, Shark Skin Suite, Tiger Shrimp Tango, The Riptide Ultra-Glide, When Elves Attack, Pineapple Grenade, Electric Barracuda, Gator A-Go-Go, Nuclear Jellyfish, Atomic Lobster, Hurricane Punch, The Big Bamboo, Torpedo Juice, Cadillac Beach, The Stingray Shuffle, Triggerfish Twist, Orange Crush, Hammerhead Ranch Motel, and Florida Roadkill. He lives in Tampa, FL.

Read an Excerpt

The Big Bamboo

A Novel
By Tim Dorsey

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Tim Dorsey
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060585625

Chapter One

Nine Months Earlier

Serge sat in a grimy motel room along Tampa's Nebraska Avenue, banging away on a manual Underwood typewriter.

Coleman chugged a Budweiser and stared out the window at prostitutes and a bearded man pushing a rusty shopping cart full of curled phone books. There was no middle ground -- the section of town where motels rent by the hour or the month. Disagreements and unidentifiable thumps through thin walls.

Coleman tossed his empty aluminum can in the wastebasket, but it bounced out because the basket was already full of crumpled pages with "Scene One" at the top.

Serge ripped another sheet from the typewriter's spool, wadded it up and threw it in the corner.

Coleman popped another beer. "How's your screenplay coming?"

Serge inserted a fresh page. "Great. Almost finished. Guaranteed to make my movie career. All I need is the opening hook." He began typing again.

Coleman stopped chugging and lowered his beer. "How do you write a movie, anyway?"

Serge sighed and stopped typing. "Well, you begin by just letting your mind float. After a while, if you don't have any distractions, you enter an astral-plane dream state, where the scene you're writing becomes asreal as this desk." He slapped the top of the table.

Coleman killed the rest of the beer and tossed it in the corner. "Can I come with you?"

"Sure." Serge resumed typing. "But first you'll have to loosen all the bolts on your imagination."

"No problem." Coleman snatched a fat spliff from over his ear and fired it up. He blew a large cloud toward the ceiling. "Okay, I'm ready." He leaned over Serge's shoulder for a peek at the typewriter. "Where are we going? . . ."

Scene One

Nine Months Earlier

Klieg lights sweep the night sky. A bustling city street in black-and-white. Vintage automobiles from the '40s drive past the exterior of a popular bar in Morocco. A neon sign: serge's. The perspective segues inside. People drinking, gambling, singing along with the piano player. The camera zooms. A tall, debonair man in an immaculate white tuxedo appears from a back room. He moves through the crowd with panache and approaches the source of the music.

Coleman glances up from his stool: "Hey, Serge, look at me, I can play the piano!"

Serge fits an unlit cigarette between his lips and lets it droop.

Coleman, noticing his hands on the keyboard: "And I'm black!"

Suddenly, a commotion toward the front of the club. SS uniforms fill the entrance. Serge turns toward them with a penetrating gaze.

Coleman: "What is it, boss?"

Serge: "I don't like Nazis."

"Why's that, boss?"

"Goose-stepping never preceded any big laughs."

"What are you going to do, boss?"

Serge faces the door and grabs his crotch. "Master race this!"

The platoon draws its sidearms and charges. Serge and Coleman begin running but are quickly pinned down in the back of the club.

German captain: "Shoot them."

Soldiers raise their Lugers.

Coleman: "What do we do now, boss?"

Serge: "Damn. I wrote us into a corner."

A crumpled ball of paper bounced off the top of the wastebasket. Serge inserted a new sheet.

"That was a rush," said Coleman, looking at the joint in his hand. "I thought we were dead for sure."

Serge ignored him. Internal dialogue chattering in his head. He tapped furiously on his trusty Underwood, the kind Mickey Spillane would have used. Warm memories of the Old Florida washed over him like something that is warm and also washes over you.

Coleman popped another beer. "You mentioned something about a movie career?"

Serge was on a roll, typing like a machine. "I'm following the Sly Stallone formula -- write myself into a killer script, star in the movie, then get overpaid for hack work the rest of my life . . . I'm almost done."

Coleman walked up and looked over Serge's shoulder again. "But you're back on page one."

"It's all about the opening hook. After that, the rest writes itself."

"You got an opening hook?"

Serge ripped out the page and crumpled it.

Coleman fit the end of his joint into a roach clip. "Maybe you're hung up on location."

"Maybe you're right." Serge inserted another sheet.

"Wait for me," said Coleman. He began hitting the roach . . .

Scene One

Nine Months Earlier, the Lunar Surface

A rocket ship lands. The horn section of a Stanley Kubrick soundtrack builds in the background as the spacecraft's hatch opens dramatically.

Serge steps out, hands on hips. Coleman stands next to him with a Budweiser in the new ZX9 micro-atmospheric delivery system.

Serge surveys the horizon with thermogoggles. The orchestral music swells; kettle drums signal an epiphany.

Coleman stops sucking on the beer tube extending through the self-sealing port in the side of his space helmet: "See an opening hook out there?"

"Just an old black monolith." A crumpled ball of paper falls slow-motion into a crater.

Coleman clutches the tube in his mouth again: "What about a different time frame?"

Scene One

A Hundred and Nineteen Years Earlier

Horses' hooves thunder across the Wild West. A large posse seals off all escape.

Two outlaws squirm along the edge of a cliff.

Serge: "Who are those guys?"

Coleman peeks over the cliff at the water hundreds of feet below: "I can't swim."

Serge: "I have to go to the bathroom." He steps off the cliff

and into a seedy motel room.

Coleman sat down at the foot of a bed. "Why are we staying at this crappy place, anyway?"

"Inspiration," Serge yelled from around the corner. A toilet flushed. He came back out. "I thought some stuff might happen that would give me ideas . . ." He wandered to the window and stared outside at Nebraska Avenue. A car crashed. Gunshots echoed from an alley. A streetwalker in a cheerleading uniform pulled a switchblade on a pimp. Serge went back to his typewriter and sat down in front of an empty page. "Why can't I think of anything?"


Excerpted from The Big Bamboo by Tim Dorsey Copyright © 2006 by Tim Dorsey. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Customer Reviews

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Big Bamboo (Serge Storms Series #8) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 49 reviews.
andsoitgoes on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of the very few books that made me laugh out loud. Probably because I listened to it and the reader was fantastic.
teckelvik on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I think this is the weakest of this series so far, largely because it strays from Florida. California, especially Hollywood, is understood to be full of crazy people, but part of the charm of these books is the way Dorsey pulls real Florida characters and scenes and spins their internal craziness out into the "real world." I also felt that the plot depended way too much on Serge moving toward a single goal for way, way too long. He has the general attention span of a gnat, and while he does show some of his usual ping-pong behavior here, it is all while participating in a complicated interaction with lots of characters. While there is no doubt that Serge is smart enough and creative enough to pull this off, he would also change his mind and start an equally complex scheme to take over the world sun screen market after about four hours. That said, and even that much of the plot isn't obvious until the last few pages of the novel, it's a wild, fun ride, and Serge is a homicidal hoot.
erikschreppel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was terrible. No two ways about it. The plot sounded interesting, and could have been very good. But the dialogue was atrocious with lines like "You just murdered the famous actress Alley Street" or "Look there's boy band heartthrob Jason Geddy" . And with "current" celebrity references to Cher and Cindy Crawford, along with swipes at tourists and their "instamatics", and you can see this is cutting edge stuff. I gave up before I got to the Bernie Getz and Ronald Regan jokes.
Hagelstein on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Serge and Coleman do Hollywood (California). Although Serge doesn't temper his high octane madness in this visit to the other, and Serge might say lesser, Hollywood, it is almost subsumed by the inherent local insanity. In Los Angeles Serge almost isn't the craziest one in town. He still finds inventive ways to murder the opposition, and manages to outwit those he doesn't kill. He temporarily transfers his obsession with Florida history to Hollywood and the film industry. But in the end, Serge just doesn't seem like Serge outside of his Florida.
Drewano More than 1 year ago
Another raucous tale with Serge and his sidekick Coleman. This time they take their show on the road to Hollywood and mayhem ensues. The way Tim Dorsey writes these stories so that all the various story lines come together is just amazing. If you’re looking for some well writing ridiculousness look no further.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A masterpiece
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Takes the leafeon fom ashely" tahnk you. She had stolen this from me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pika!!!!! Pika!!! Pika!!!!!!!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*watches the battle*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sits on a rock. Saoking wet. (Ask why, ask kedido!) Looking at the moon.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Go to the third result
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A small blue d white building stands here and in side you can get many things for your pokemon,theres always a clerk to help you find what you need
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