Monday, June 27, 2011

Wahoo Rhapsody: A Tale of La Cucaracha

Wahoo RhapsodyWahoo Rhapsody
Author Shaun Morey
Release Date:  July 5, 2011

Take one sea-loving captain, a drug-smuggling first mate, and a novice deckhand with a secret, and you have the motley crew of the Wahoo Rhapsody, a ramshackle fishing charter plying the Pacific’s waters off the coast of Cabo San Lucas. Captain Winston Weber makes an honest, if lean, living running fishing charters between Mexico and California, with no inkling of the fact that his first mate, Weevil Ott, is smuggling marijuana inside the yellowfin tuna stacked in the boat’s hold. But when Weevil decides to skim a small fortune for himself, goons under orders from the mysterious drug lord known only as “La Cucaracha” descend upon the Wahoo Rhapsody. What ensues is a madcap romp that will catapult readers from Cabo San Lucas to Tucson and San Diego, as Winston, Weevil, and an expat American lawyer by the name of Atticus Fish try to outrun La Cucaracha’s bloody reach. Fans of Carl Hiaasen and Elmore Leonard will relish this rollicking satirical adventure from award-winning writer Shaun Morey.

Gems: This is more than a fun beach read.  However, I do highly recommend taking it with you on vacation this summer.  Wahoo Rhapsody is a hilarious and intelligent absurdist adventure that is larger than any fish tale you've heard so far.  It's the kind of book that will give you pointers on how to sue God and win.  From the gut-splitting and brutally honest depiction of Cabo San Lucas (timeshare barkers included) to the chlorinated attraction in San Diego, Morey will have you chasing the characters while with each step connecting their six degrees of separation.  The ending is a surprise and although it is right in front of you, the reader won't likely get a undo spoiler (unless you cheat) and read the ending first.  Morey takes a pile of stereotypes and turns a tale so outrageous that it becomes insanely original.  When do characters stop being cliche?  When a writer knows just how to use them to their advantage, and Morey clear does!  

Flaws:  But wait...I just said Morey makes great use of stereotypes, and he does with one tiny exception.  It's not truly a flaw, in fact it plays into the absurdity littered throughout the story.  I'd call it a mild irritant.  The majority of females are stumbling, bumbling drunks who are looking for a good time and throw themselves at the first man whore they target.  It's the ultimate exaggeration of the perception that women on vacation are easy with low standards.  It's hard to argue with when this behavior can be viewed in mass at any southern vacation hot spot and resort.  I get it, but the female stereotype was pushed forward with little concern whereas the other (male) stereotypical characters are provided greater background and development.  I can't really say 'depth' because most are shallow.

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* ARC provided by Amazon Encore courtesy of Amazon Vine

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