FREEZE DRY by Corson Hirschfeld


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Body. And soul. Held together by laughter.

When huckster Shickie Doone isn’t charming the last penny out of his Children of Light congregants in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, he’s gambling away their tithes on a Vegas junket—until Thaddeus Trout, whom he’s into for more than fifty large, sends three goons to bring him back. The goons mistakenly put him into a freeze-dryer for safekeeping, then hide his deliquefied body (reduced from 160 pounds to 27) in a cave so no one will know their mistake. A troop of Boy Scouts discover the naked little cave mummy, touching off a slapstick romp that has everyone and his brother after those remains. Jimmy Feather thinks they’re ancestral bones and wants them reburied in sacred ground. Plato Scopes, uncredentialed custodian of the Buttonhook Museum (“the third largest buttonhook collection east of the Mississippi and south of Ohio”), wants them to earn him a feature as scientist of the year in National Geographic; the Children of Light want to enshrine them as a holy relic and proof of the rapture, the ascent of Shickie’s soul to heaven; Rita Rae Doone, grasping wife extraordinaire, needs those remains to claim his life insurance; and Trout, wanting Shickie any way he can get him, sends out The Hammer, a geriatric Jewish assassin, to bring back the body dead, alive, or slightly thawed.

Nonstop fun that tosses Damon Runyonesque characters into Three Stooges situations with the slapstick insanity that characterized Too High (2001).

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-765-30800-2
Page count: 464pp
Publisher: Forge
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2003