Florida Man: A Novel
Heidi Karavas and Reed Crowe should have had a lifelong love for the ages. They fell for each other hard in high school, had a daughter, and began to work through growing up together. But the loss of their child split them apart and left Reed alone, mostly, on Emerald Island to manage a seedy motel and sideshow amusement park with little to look forward to. An aging hippie with a streak of sadness that borders on destructive, Reed Crowe is the Florida Man of Tom Cooper’s latest novel.
Reed’s story could be one-note, but Cooper’s deft mix of detail and description, and flair for creating some of the most outlandishly bizarre characters ever written saves the story. One character, Catface, a crack added refugee looking for revenge, sews several stories together—Reed’s own, and the one of Seminole Indian Henry Yahchilane, dope dealer and all-around scumbag Wayne Wade, and the poor unfortunate soul running Big Gorilla Fireworks. Catface, and Reed, are all woven together in the weird and wild Florida landscape to tell a story of losing and finding or resignation and redemption that is more complex and beautiful than it should be.
If you are looking to lose yourself in a world that feels nothing like your own, shepherding by characters for feel infinitely familiar, Florida Manis the book for you.
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