Book Review: 'When Elves Attack' by Tim Dorsey


Florida's most morally conscious serial killer is donning an elf suit with his drug-abusing sidekick to bring about Christmas cheer in author Tim Dorsey's "When Elves Attack."

The novella-size book has anti-hero Serge A. Storms in the hilarious role of creating a perfect family holiday with a couple of on-the-lam tramps and a contingent of runaway 90-something-year-old women who call themselves the "G-Unit."

Storms, who is off his psychosis medications, keeps a positive attitude while beating down and killing criminals who offend Christmas.

Storms has a child-like yuletide spirit in his quest to "take Christmas big." But he's not happy with the media-proclaimed "War on Christmas." In explaining the war's origins to Coleman, his addict buddy said:

"Ironically, the very people who coined the term and claim others started the war. They're upset that people of different faiths, along with the coexistence crowd who respect those faiths, are saying 'Season's Greetings' and 'Happy Holidays.' But nobody's stopping anyone from saying 'Merry Christmas.' "

"And they're still mad?"

"It's the new holiness: Tolerance can't be tolerated. So they hijack the birth of Jesus as a weapon to start quarrels and order people around. Christmas should be about the innocence of children -- and adults reverting to children to rediscover their innocence. That's why we're in elf suits. We're taking Christmas back!"

In red-and-green suits, the two are a lot of bad Santa shot up with fear and loathing but with the optimism of "Christmas Vacation."

The duo literally skip around malls and suburbia putting their spin on Christmas customs while fending off criminals, well, worse criminals than themselves.

Dorsey brings back some favorites in City and Country -- the fugitive friends with benefits -- and the Davenports, a traditional family.

Jumping into "When Elves Attack" without reading the previous Storms novels is like going to someone else's family gathering for the first time. You can keep up and enjoy the conversation, but there are history and connections you may not fully appreciate.

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