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American Tropic
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Published:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group 2013
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Description
Thomas Sanchez’s American Tropic is a heart-racing ecological thriller that showcases today’s headline issues. Sanchez’s first Key West novel, Mile Zero, was hailed by The Washington Post Book World as a “holy terror of a book of immense power and passion,” acclaimed by The New York Times Book Review as “dazzling,” and lauded by Vanity Fair as “mythmaking and magisterial.” Now, Sanchez returns again to America’s famous southernmost continental point, Key West.
This exotic island city in the Florida Keys is being terrorized by horrific murders committed by a mysterious voodoo assassin. With each new kill, it becomes clear that the skeleton-clad executioner has an ecological agenda. The novel propels us through a complex maze populated by rapacious developers, ruthless scammers, and common folk engaged in heroic acts to save their community.
The characters, from the defenders of America’s only continental reef to the destroyers of marine life, are all swept up in this torrent of horrors. Everyone dreads being the killer’s next victim as the clock counts down to the end of hurricane season and the final dramatic explosion of fear and rage. 
With canny perception and striking revelations, American Tropic illuminates a world of dark desires, hidden truths, and colliding destinies.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
01/15/2013
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780307961389
ASIN:
B008NW6LZ0
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Thomas Sanchez. (2013). American Tropic. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Thomas Sanchez. 2013. American Tropic. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Thomas Sanchez, American Tropic. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2013.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Thomas Sanchez. American Tropic. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2013. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 17:14:56
Date Updated:
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        Thomas Sanchez is a descendant of cattlemen dating back four generations in California to the nineteenth-century Gold Rush. He was born days after his father was killed at the age of twenty-one in the Battle of Tarawa during World War II. Sanchez's novels have received numerous honors, and he has been awarded a Guggenheim fellowship and is a Chevalier of France's Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. Sanchez is also the director of a documentary film, Into the Light, chronicling the life of Jack Garfein, legendary film director and Actors Studio icon, and survivor of eleven concentration camps. Sanchez divides his time between San Francisco, Key West, and Paris.



      • name: Thomas Sanchez
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title
American Tropic
fullDescription
Thomas Sanchez’s American Tropic is a heart-racing ecological thriller that showcases today’s headline issues. Sanchez’s first Key West novel, Mile Zero, was hailed by The Washington Post Book World as a “holy terror of a book of immense power and passion,” acclaimed by The New York Times Book Review as “dazzling,” and lauded by Vanity Fair as “mythmaking and magisterial.” Now, Sanchez returns again to America’s famous southernmost continental point, Key West.
This exotic island city in the Florida Keys is being terrorized by horrific murders committed by a mysterious voodoo assassin. With each new kill, it becomes clear that the skeleton-clad executioner has an ecological agenda. The novel propels us through a complex maze populated by rapacious developers, ruthless scammers, and common folk engaged in heroic acts to save their community.
The characters, from the defenders of America’s only continental reef to the destroyers of marine life, are all swept up in this torrent of horrors. Everyone dreads being the killer’s next victim as the clock counts down to the end of hurricane season and the final dramatic explosion of fear and rage. 
With canny perception and striking revelations, American Tropic illuminates a world of dark desires, hidden truths, and colliding destinies.
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Alan Cheuse, San Francisco Chronicle
      • content:

        "[This] power-packed thriller. . . . rises to the level of ferocious dramatic polemic against some of the worst crimes against nature--and, by extension, humanity."

      • premium: False
      • source: Dimitri Nasrallah, The Toronto Star
      • content: "American Tropic propels its cast into a murky world of murder and consequence, with rapid-fire vignettes, an expanding collage of personalities, and a thickening mystery to compel the reader toward a satisfying finale."
      • premium: False
      • source: Doug Childers, Richmond Times-Dispatch
      • content: "The print equivalent of a character-driven film by Robert Altman. . . . A swift-moving, entertaining book with a timely message."
      • premium: False
      • source: Colette Bancroft, Tampa Bay Times
      • content: "A creepy tale of Florida noir. . . . American Tropic has a fever-dream intensity and a pace as breathless as a steamy island night."
      • premium: False
      • source: BookReporter
      • content: "There are two elements that make American Tropic worth reading. The first is Sanchez's rare ability to peel back the flora and fauna of his real-world settings in order to get into the cracks and crevices of scenery and backgrounds that most people notice fleetingly--if at all--out of their side windows as they move from Point A to Point B. The second is the power of his prose, which, after four decades of writing, remains undiminished."
      • premium: False
      • source: Philip Caputo, author of Acts of Faith and A Rumor of War
      • content: "A bold eco-thriller of wild truth and poetry destined to take its place alongside The Monkey Wrench Gang."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        October 15, 2012
        In Sanchez’s new eco-thriller, a serial killer in a skeleton outfit is offing locals who’ve inflicted harm on the island paradise of Key West, Fla. Somewhere offshore, self-proclaimed “eco shock jock” Noah tries to get people outraged about environmental abuses; on land, he wants to win back his wife. Meanwhile, Luz, a Cuban-American lesbian detective, struggles to get ahead of the killer while caring for her leukemia-afflicted daughter. As a second-generation cop, Luz knows the stories about her father slaying a similar killer, Bizango, years before. Could this be another Bizango, or even the original Bizango, alive and back in action? The killer’s identity remains mysterious to the end, which involves a secret lair in a Civil War–era fort. In Sanchez’s hands, Key West is a familiar place, with open-air bars and tourist traps, and his characters are a typically colorful bunch, including a dogfight promoter, a tough-as-nails female shrimper, and a cocky real estate developer. Sanchez has affection for the community, the action proceeds with cinematic economy, and the plot is tight. The excitement is somewhat undermined by instances of clunky dialogue and the too-familiar setting and cast, especially when compared to T.C. Boyle’s When the Killing’s Done. Agent: Esther Newberg, ICM.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        November 1, 2012
        A Southern gothic with a pro-environment veneer. In the dead of night, in the waters off Key West, a pirate radio broadcaster rants, encouraging callers to "Show me your rage." Cut to a house in town, where an early-rising woman fondles her lesbian partner before strapping on a loaded Glock. Cut to a corpse in the ocean, tied to a buoy, ears cut off, lips sewn together. Cut to a floating raft, bearing dead men, women and children. No one can accuse Sanchez (King Bongo, 2003, etc.) of being slow out of the gate in his sixth novel. The broadcaster, Noah Sax, is the novel's flawed hero. The rum-sodden disbarred lawyer styles himself an "eco-shock jock," railing against the destruction of the environment. The woman is Luz Zamora, a fifth-generation Cuban-American and a Key West detective. The bodies on the raft are Haitian refugees. And the mutilated corpse was a partner in a huge new resort development which will harm the environment. There will be five more murder victims, all of them doing really bad things to Mother Nature. So there's a serial killer on the loose, and through a microdigital recorder left in the mouth of the second victim, he identifies himself as Bizango, the Haitian voodoo avenger who punishes wrongdoers. This latest incarnation wears a full-body rubber suit painted with skeleton bones; his weapon is a steel spear. The bumbling police department briefly (and ludicrously) eyes the lone Haitian survivor, a terrified teenager, as the killer, before charging Noah (another blooper). Bizango outdoes himself by killing the captain of a cruise ship in his cabin and then invading the town's Halloween parade, spearing the last of the resort partners on his float. The environmental theme is the junior partner in a bad marriage, overwhelmed by the blood and guts. When the killer's identity is finally revealed, it will be the most improbable detail of all. Even as a spoof, which is how it reads, this lurid work is less than entertaining.

        COPYRIGHT(2012) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        January 1, 2013

        Since Rabbit Boss (1973) Sanchez has written thought-provoking novels that toe the line between social commentary and old-fashioned storytelling. His newest continues the run. "Hey, dead-between-the-eyes fish zombies! Show me your rage." So speaks Truth Dog, "the only eco-shock jock broadcasting at sea," to his Key West audience as he floats beyond territorial waters to avoid arrest. Wake up and do something! Each year there are fewer leatherbacks; the key deer are dying off; the reefs are deteriorating; cancer is on the rise. What follows is an angry eco-novel presented as a roman policier of sorts. The shockjock misses his wife, a Cuban American cop chases after a killer while caring for a dying daughter, the killer dresses like a skeleton and leaves mutilated corpses behind: the dead men were all defilers of the environment. VERDICT The novel is a bit ragged, but in the end who cares? Sanchez's writing is vigorous, and he crafts gorgeous prose images of a landscape under assault. The occasionally overwritten passages are but a small flaw in an otherwise enjoyable book. Its topicality will add to Sanchez's already existing army of admirers.--David Keymer, Modesto, CA

        Copyright 2013 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        November 1, 2012
        People say what's on their minds in this fever-dream ecothriller, from a radio pirate who rants about the environmental destruction of the Florida Keys to a shrimp-boat captain who brags, I'll net turtles . . . kill turtles with my bare hands if I want. But while everyone else argues, someone is making their points with a speargun, executing men and women for crimes against nature and attributing the deeds to a voodoo avenger called Bizango. At the forefront of the hunt are Luz, a relentless Key West police detective whose daughter is slowly dying from cancer, and Noah, the radio pirate, also an alcoholic, disbarred environmental lawyer whose marriage is failing. Sanchez (King Bongo, 2003) has an arresting voice and his own anger at the depredations of greedy developers and ignorant tourists infuses every page with a sense of near-apocalyptic doom. His characters' on-the-nose dialogue may not work for everyone, and the identity of the killer, when revealed, doesn't feel quite right, but that almost doesn't matter. The author's incandescent ragethink Carl Hiaasen channeling Edward Abbeymakes for fiery reading.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2012, American Library Association.)

popularity
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shortDescription

Thomas Sanchez's American Tropic is a heart-racing ecological thriller that showcases today's headline issues. Sanchez's first Key West novel, Mile Zero, was hailed by The Washington Post Book World as a "holy terror of a book of immense power and passion," acclaimed by The New York Times Book Review as "dazzling," and lauded by Vanity Fair as "mythmaking and magisterial." Now, Sanchez returns again to America's famous southernmost continental point, Key West.

The exotic island city of the Florida Keys is being terrorized by horrific murders committed by a mysterious voodoo assassin. With each new kill, it becomes clear that the skeleton-clad executioner has an ecological agenda. The novel propels us through a complex maze populated by rapacious developers, ruthless scammers, and common folk engaged in heroic acts to save their community.
The characters, from the defenders of America's only continental reef to the...

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