I Heart Indies

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Orlando Home and Leisure

Nancy Pate, who is as wise as she is no doubt lovely and good, did a very nice write-up of Paradise Dogs for Orlando Home and Leisure.

Okra Picks, Nostalgia and
Summer’s Bookish Bounty
am loving summer’s
bounty: blueberries, melons,
peaches, corn, tomatoes –
and okra. Not just to eat but
to read. Let me explain.
Every season, the Southeast
Independent Booksellers Alliance
announces its dozen “Okra
Picks: Good Southern Books
Fresh Off the Vine.’’ Two recent
selections, both with a local flavor, drew me in.
Man Martin’s
Press) shouts “retro’’ with its cover, a neon title
riding in the sky above an aqua car, a roadside
diner and a pink(!) alligator. We’re boarding the
Wayback Machine to Central Florida in the
1960s, B.D. (Before Disney).
“Interstate 4 had come through,’’ Martin
writes early in the book, “but the region still
fairly trembled in anticipation of the next big
thing, the thing that would lift it from being a
largely rural cracker town into something like
modern glory as had happened in Palm Springs
and Miami.’’
His protagonist, Adam Newman, is a homely
real estate agent/dreamer with lots of charm,
great expectations and a talent for reinventing
himself at any given moment. As he gases up
his car at the “Sinclair on Eola,” he ponders
his plan to win back his ex-wife, Evelyn, with
whom he once ran a restaurant that served only
hot dogs. But what of his clingy
young fiancée, Lily?
Complications ensue as Adam
tries to return to the Floridian
Eden of yesteryear. Martin’s allegorically
named characters get
up to all sorts of mischief, and
the resulting comedy of errors
borders on high farce and tomfoolery.
Martin – who grew up
in Florida and now lives in Georgia – has a deft
hand with local color and shows true affection
for his goofy hero. A major plot point, which
includes mysterious land purchases, will come
as no surprise to Central Floridians familiar
with a certain omnipresent mouse.
Paradise Dogs (St. Martin’s
Paradise Dogs
call an “E-ticket,’’ yet it’s still an agreeable ride
back to an orange-blossom-scented past not yet
paved with theme parks.
may not be what old-timers

1 comment:

  1. Congrats! Can't wait to read it. It was good to see you last week.

    Deborah Thompson
    Contributing Writer for Crosswalk.com and "The Fish"