Cadillac Orpheus: A Novel

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Simon and Schuster, Feb 5, 2008 - Fiction - 288 pages
1 Review
Inspired by Carl Hiaasen and Victor D. LaValle in equal measure, Solon Timothy Woodward mines the nether regions of Florida in search of high drama and raucous comedy. Full of sex, death, and humor, this bawdy, brilliant debut introduces us to three generations of a family in the boisterous, unholy, uncompromising landscape that is the South of today.

Nowhere are the careless vagaries of fate more evident than in a town called Johnsonville on the northern Florida coast, where a family called the Toaks have pushed every possible social boundary to its logical extreme for three generations. Feddy Toak, in his forties, is a medical school dropout, recovering alcohol and cocaine addict, and former handyman. He lives marginally in cheap rental properties owned by his father, Teo, one of Johnsonville's most prosperous bail bondsmen, slumlord, and idol to a diminishing old guard of hustlers and con men who frequent such dives as the He Ain't Here Lounge. Jesmond Toak, Feddy's son, haunted by his father's violent past and current failures, is turning toward the low road.

The entire city seethes with schemes and intrigue and the plot builds as monies are reaped from a black youth falsely arrested for the murder of a white cop, insurance scams involving poor residents stricken with cancer and AIDS, and nefarious land deals involving cemeteries and real-estate scam artists. Suicides and murders, infidelities and violence mount and converge with shattering precision on the eve of a hurricane, forcing the entire community to struggle with its demons -- and search for some chance at redemption.

Chronicling a slice of American landscape and culture with rare levels of depth and originality, Cadillac Orpheus defies categorization: it is by turns exuberant, terrifying, hilarious, brave, brazen, and, above all, wondrous.
 

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CADILLAC ORPHEUS

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Woodward, a Pushcart Prize nominee and Florida-based physician, tries much too hard to marry bawdy comedy to Southern melodrama in his overstuffed, restless and fundamentally confounding debut novel ... Read full review

Cadillac Orpheus: A Novel

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Woodward's darkly comic first novel is situated in the fictional town of Johnsonville, FL, and centers on three generations of Toak men-Jesmond, who repossesses rental property for a living; Jesmond's ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
9
Section 2
27
Section 3
37
Section 4
54
Section 5
62
Section 6
70
Section 7
87
Section 8
97
Section 18
189
Section 19
194
Section 20
199
Section 21
202
Section 22
209
Section 23
213
Section 24
221
Section 25
227

Section 9
109
Section 10
120
Section 11
133
Section 12
137
Section 13
148
Section 14
167
Section 15
173
Section 16
179
Section 17
181
Section 26
234
Section 27
238
Section 28
241
Section 29
244
Section 30
248
Section 31
252
Section 32
255
Section 33
257
Copyright

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Page 16 - Carolina and didn't have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of.

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