Review by guest contributor, Joyce Sparrow
The Man Who Invented Florida is the third book in a series of 19 Doc Ford novels, written by Pine Island resident Randy Wayne White. The book jacket describes the book as a “romp” which, by definition is a lively or frolicsome play that encompasses lovemaking. Add a few of the usual Florida story lines such as land acquisition, old age, the fountain of youth, and environmental issues to make The Man Who Invented Florida a distinctive Sunshine State novel.
Doc Ford is a marine biologist who resides in a stilt house on Sanibel Island and runs a small marine-specimen supply company. Ford’s friend Tomlinson is a hippy mystic who lives nearby on a sailboat. Tucker, Ford’s elderly uncle who is a Florida cowboy and fisherman, lives at a fish camp near the Everglades. Tucker’s gelded old horse is a stallion again because it drinks natural water from a little circular spring on top of an Indian mound. When Joseph Egret, a Calusa Indian, drinks the spring water delivered to the Everglades Township Rest Home by his pal Tucker, Joseph finds the strength to finally escape from this institution where he is regularly fed too many pills. The plot plays out as Tucker attempts to sell the spring water to anyone who wants to pay $10 a bottle. What can go wrong? Read and find out.
The Man Who Invented Florida is written by the man who invented himself as a writer. White was born and raised in Ohio. He moved to Florida and became a fishing captain until the government closed the Gulf coast Tarpon Bay to power boat traffic. In the 1980s White published action and adventure novels using the pen names Randy Striker and Carl Ramm. In the 1990s White began the Doc Ford series. In September 2012, White published Gone, the first installment of a new Sanibel series. White is also an owner in the Doc Ford’s Rim Bar and Grille with locations in Sanibel and Fort Myers Beach. His web site is http://www.randywaynewhite.com/Site2/Welcome%21.html
Joyce Sparrow writes “Florida Reads” the book review column for the Florida Library Association’s publication, Florida Libraries. She also publishes book reviews in Library Journal. Contact Joyce at ReadFlorida@gmail.com.
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