Augie Silver is a good man, but when he disappears off the Florida Keys on a fishing trip, the vultures begin to circle. It seems that Augie was a painter of some worth and there is serious money to be made from his tragic demise, so when he turns up, some decide he would be better off dead.Augie Silver is a good man, but when he disappears off the Florida Keys on a fishing trip, the vultures begin to circle. It seems that Augie was a painter of some worth and there is serious money to be made from his tragic demise, so when he turns up, some decide he would be better off dead.Read Less
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Laurence Shames is really growing on me. At first blush his novels are funny, fast and easily digestible. Along with the happy hour prose, however, there's some keen insights, funny observations and great character tics. Consider this passage from Scavenger Reef: 'To be sure, the Key West Artsy set had gravitated to him: the writers who didn't write, the sculptors who didn't sculpt, the trust-funders kept just shy of suicidial self-loathing by the mercifully untested belief that they were in some sense creative... ' Having lived in a self-proclaimed artist town, I had to laugh aloud.
As with other Shames novels, the plot is a litle thin, but there's plenty of great writing and lots of laughs. If you looking for a fun, quick read over vacation, you can't go wrong.
Publishers Weekly, 1995-03-13 The value of a supposedly deceased Key West artist's work skyrockets, though some suspect him of being alive. (Apr.)
Publishers Weekly, 1993-11-29 Following up his hilarious Florida Straits , Shames delivers another dose of criminal high jinks in relentlessly bohemian Key West, although this tale falls a little short of the first's full measure of fun. The questionable artistic merit of iconoclastic painter Augie Silver doesn't matter much while he's still alive--not to him, his lovely wife and local smalltime gallery owner Nina, nor to their gay houseboy Reuben. But when Augie's ship fails to return to harbor after a January sail, things quickly change. Those with Augie Silver art in their possession contemplate their sudden wealth. One considers the purchase of charter boats, another support of his floundering poetic career, a third a new wardrobe of black clothing. Further up the economic scale, a New York gallery owner and her bankrupt husband anticipate high profits as they make a quick grab for all the available Silver pieces. Then Augie returns from his watery grave. Surely prices will drop. Oh, if only Augie were really and truly dead. Such authors as Carl Hiassen and Elmore Leonard also mine the venal weirdness of the Sunshine State, but Shames offers sharp-edged parody without a trace of meanness, portraying his craven cast with a bold, new affection. Perhaps it was only the newness that made the earlier story seem fresher than this. Readers will look forward to the next tale to find out. (Feb.)
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