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Scavenger Reef (Audiobook) (UNABRIDGED)

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When Augie Silver disappeared at sea during a sudden storm, it was a loss felt initially by his young wife and by his crew of drinking cronies. When word of his apparent drowning extended beyond the Key West world Augie had made his home, however, his loss was felt by a greater number of people. For Augie Silver was a painter, or more precisely an artist, waiting for recog When Augie Silver disappeared at sea during a sudden storm, it was a loss felt initially by his young wife and by his crew of drinking cronies. When word of his apparent drowning extended beyond the Key West world Augie had made his home, however, his loss was felt by a greater number of people. For Augie Silver was a painter, or more precisely an artist, waiting for recognition. And his death proved to be the event necessary to turn a lifetime of eccentricity into a career of genius. Suddenly Augie was hot. While his wife, Nina, continued to mourn, his friends began to awaken to the realization that all those paintings Augie had given them over the years might have been worth holding on to. In fact, according to the New York art dealer who was also Augie's agent, they might be worth a whole lot. So when Augie returns from the "dead," having been shipwrecked on an island off Cuba, it is with somewhat mixed emotions that he is welcomed home. His wife is jubilant, but all those who had read dollar signs in Augie's obituary aren't too sure how happy they are to have him back, especially since each of them seems to need an influx of cash in the worst way. And when mysterious things start happening to Augie, little "accidents" that seem less than accidental, he's not too sure how happy he is to be back either. With the help, however, of his wife and their fiercely loyal houseboy, Reuben the Cuban, Augie fights for his life a second time around while seeking out the would-be killer. From the author of Florida Straits, a critically acclaimed story of suspense also set in Key West, Scavenger Reef is a funny, dark, and vastly entertaining novel all about life, death, and the stages in between, written with wit and charm, and filled with unforgettable characters.


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When Augie Silver disappeared at sea during a sudden storm, it was a loss felt initially by his young wife and by his crew of drinking cronies. When word of his apparent drowning extended beyond the Key West world Augie had made his home, however, his loss was felt by a greater number of people. For Augie Silver was a painter, or more precisely an artist, waiting for recog When Augie Silver disappeared at sea during a sudden storm, it was a loss felt initially by his young wife and by his crew of drinking cronies. When word of his apparent drowning extended beyond the Key West world Augie had made his home, however, his loss was felt by a greater number of people. For Augie Silver was a painter, or more precisely an artist, waiting for recognition. And his death proved to be the event necessary to turn a lifetime of eccentricity into a career of genius. Suddenly Augie was hot. While his wife, Nina, continued to mourn, his friends began to awaken to the realization that all those paintings Augie had given them over the years might have been worth holding on to. In fact, according to the New York art dealer who was also Augie's agent, they might be worth a whole lot. So when Augie returns from the "dead," having been shipwrecked on an island off Cuba, it is with somewhat mixed emotions that he is welcomed home. His wife is jubilant, but all those who had read dollar signs in Augie's obituary aren't too sure how happy they are to have him back, especially since each of them seems to need an influx of cash in the worst way. And when mysterious things start happening to Augie, little "accidents" that seem less than accidental, he's not too sure how happy he is to be back either. With the help, however, of his wife and their fiercely loyal houseboy, Reuben the Cuban, Augie fights for his life a second time around while seeking out the would-be killer. From the author of Florida Straits, a critically acclaimed story of suspense also set in Key West, Scavenger Reef is a funny, dark, and vastly entertaining novel all about life, death, and the stages in between, written with wit and charm, and filled with unforgettable characters.

30 review for Scavenger Reef (Audiobook) (UNABRIDGED)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Tony

    I rarely read the blurb on the back of books and prefer either to go by recommendations in here, or (as in this case) I will read the second in a series in which the first impressed me. How different could book two be from book one? I really didn't enjoy this at all. I mistakenly believed this would be a continuation of book one, or at least have some or all of the same characters in it. Wrong. Two stars for cood craftwork and character development but nothing else at all. So it went. I rarely read the blurb on the back of books and prefer either to go by recommendations in here, or (as in this case) I will read the second in a series in which the first impressed me. How different could book two be from book one? I really didn't enjoy this at all. I mistakenly believed this would be a continuation of book one, or at least have some or all of the same characters in it. Wrong. Two stars for cood craftwork and character development but nothing else at all. So it went.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Berit☀️✨

    This is tough, I wasn't crazy about this book at all, but I am also definitely not the target audience for this book.... I pick this book up for a challenge, otherwise I would have never picked it up, and I probably will never read another book in the series.... not that it was bad, it just was not for me.... there was a lot of character development, and generally I like that in a book but these were very unrelatable characters for me.... The only character I could kind of relate to was the wife, This is tough, I wasn't crazy about this book at all, but I am also definitely not the target audience for this book.... I pick this book up for a challenge, otherwise I would have never picked it up, and I probably will never read another book in the series.... not that it was bad, it just was not for me.... there was a lot of character development, and generally I like that in a book but these were very unrelatable characters for me.... The only character I could kind of relate to was the wife, but other than that, not so much.... I did find it kind of interesting that Augies work as an artist was worth more if he was dead rather than alive, doesn't say much for becoming an artist.... The book also made me realize how far audiobooks have come, this was recorded in 1998, the sound quality today is just so much better and the performance expectation as well....

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Yoak

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The basic story of Scavenger Reef is that a painter is lost at sea and is presumed dead. Friends and associates who have some of his paintings start to realize they have a windfall in the value of paintings he's given them. When the painter turns up alive, it turns out that someone is trying to kill him to protect and realize the windfall. This is all written by an expert in South Florida-style comedy and the action is replete with all that should make you expect such as mafia goons holding chara The basic story of Scavenger Reef is that a painter is lost at sea and is presumed dead. Friends and associates who have some of his paintings start to realize they have a windfall in the value of paintings he's given them. When the painter turns up alive, it turns out that someone is trying to kill him to protect and realize the windfall. This is all written by an expert in South Florida-style comedy and the action is replete with all that should make you expect such as mafia goons holding characters over aquarium tanks containing hammerhead sharks because they haven't paid their loan sharks. All-in-all, I should love this story. I remember loving it when I read it. The thing is, I almost abandoned it during the re-read. The pacing is terrible. Almost a half of the book fritters away thinking the painter is dead. That's by far the less interesting part of the story. A good argument can be made that you should start with the return of the painter and fill in the backstory. Instead, it felt like it dragged on forever. It picked up and I'm glad that I finished it, especially since I plan to continue with the series, but it is weaker from initial slowness.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Nutting

    I started this the day before I was leaving for a week in Key West - the trip was WAY better than the book! A bunch of screwball characters with a mediocre plot - nothing to write home about!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Iris

    While I expected a kitschy, light read similar to "Sunburn," what I got was a jumbled cast of characters that I could barely keep straight and a mystery that I didn't care all that much about solving. Nina and Augie's story was somewhat engaging, but the supporting cast and the rest of the details were mostly cliched and silly. Everything wrapped up very quickly at the end, and the "twist" if you could even call it that really fell flat. I will probably try another book by this author at some po While I expected a kitschy, light read similar to "Sunburn," what I got was a jumbled cast of characters that I could barely keep straight and a mystery that I didn't care all that much about solving. Nina and Augie's story was somewhat engaging, but the supporting cast and the rest of the details were mostly cliched and silly. Everything wrapped up very quickly at the end, and the "twist" if you could even call it that really fell flat. I will probably try another book by this author at some point, with the hope that this was just a weak installment.

  6. 5 out of 5

    bob mitchell

    A bit too much filler Although I enjoyed the read it seems to have a great deal of added "bulk" finally I started skipping over pages of somewhat droll fill. Overall, I enjoyed the story, just a bit to filled out. A bit too much filler Although I enjoyed the read it seems to have a great deal of added "bulk" finally I started skipping over pages of somewhat droll fill. Overall, I enjoyed the story, just a bit to filled out.

  7. 4 out of 5

    John

    okay, not great. Hope #3 in series is better.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Phinney

    Just OK

  9. 4 out of 5

    Junell

    Tedious, boring and dull I read the first book in this series and liked it. This one was beyond boring. It took everything in me to push through and finish what was the most boring book I've read in years. The storyline plodded along at the pace of a sedated sloth. Do yourself a favor and skip on to the next book. I'm not giving up on the series so I'll update this review after book 3. Tedious, boring and dull I read the first book in this series and liked it. This one was beyond boring. It took everything in me to push through and finish what was the most boring book I've read in years. The storyline plodded along at the pace of a sedated sloth. Do yourself a favor and skip on to the next book. I'm not giving up on the series so I'll update this review after book 3.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Roberta

    Florida humor in the group with Dave Barry. Not environmental like Carl Hiaasen and lighter than Tim Dorsey. Florida humor in the group with Dave Barry. Not environmental like Carl Hiaasen and lighter than Tim Dorsey.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Manvacamp2000

    There are books you can't put down and books you can't finish.. this is the latter. I had high hopes for an entertaining read after the first book in the series, but this one went nowhere and stayed there.. done with this author. There are books you can't put down and books you can't finish.. this is the latter. I had high hopes for an entertaining read after the first book in the series, but this one went nowhere and stayed there.. done with this author.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn Rose

    Enjoyed the setting and characterization

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lenny

    Well written, but not as exciting as the first book ion the series, I will read Book 3 though because I enjoy the authors style.

  14. 4 out of 5

    David Lotz

    Good, light, fun read

  15. 4 out of 5

    Elly Wendy

    4* Entirely different from the funnier ones, this was more serious but still, totally enjoyable. Love these stories. Good one!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Monica

    Cleaning out an old book case, came across this and reread it. It's fast paced, funny, Florida comic crime fiction - the Key West scene is brought to life, Augie, Nina and Reuben are good characters. Cleaning out an old book case, came across this and reread it. It's fast paced, funny, Florida comic crime fiction - the Key West scene is brought to life, Augie, Nina and Reuben are good characters.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Though listed as #2 in the author's Key West series, the novel has no obvious overlap, except for the setting. And as rich in description as these Florida novels seem to be, that setting emerges as a character in its own right, just as active and vital as some of the people in the story. Those people, the artists of Key West and their hangers-on, are a nice switch from the gangsters I'd been expecting from the first book in the series. They are pompous and self-important, most of them, but the f Though listed as #2 in the author's Key West series, the novel has no obvious overlap, except for the setting. And as rich in description as these Florida novels seem to be, that setting emerges as a character in its own right, just as active and vital as some of the people in the story. Those people, the artists of Key West and their hangers-on, are a nice switch from the gangsters I'd been expecting from the first book in the series. They are pompous and self-important, most of them, but the few who aren't are worth cheering for in the swirl of misfortune that surrounds them and makes the story go. It's light and a quick read, but a fun diversion.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Megargee

    The tale turned dark when the parrot died. Until then, the narrative had been a mildly amusing riff on how an artist's works may suddenly appreciate after they die. When Key West artist Augie Silver was apparently lost at sea, the New York prices for his works increased dramatically, providing an apparent windfall for his agent and the various impecunious drinking buddies whom Augie had gifted with his paintings over the years. The castaway's apparent return from the dead on the eve of the big The tale turned dark when the parrot died. Until then, the narrative had been a mildly amusing riff on how an artist's works may suddenly appreciate after they die. When Key West artist Augie Silver was apparently lost at sea, the New York prices for his works increased dramatically, providing an apparent windfall for his agent and the various impecunious drinking buddies whom Augie had gifted with his paintings over the years. The castaway's apparent return from the dead on the eve of the big auction of his works causes consternation. When Fred, Augie's faithful parrot, keels over after eating a poisoned Key lime tart intended for his owner, it becomes apparent that one or more of his oddball pals is seeking to return Augie to the ranks of the deceased. At that point the novel becomes less humorous. Author Shamus communicates the heat and ambiance of Key West. However, his over the top descriptive passages sometimes get in the way of the story. In the middle of a police interrogation of Augie on page 253, we are suddenly treated to this passage: Fat summer clouds towered here and there. Their bottoms were lavender, they were voluptuous with swelling curves, and they roamed the sky like sniffing dogs, deliberating as to where they'd drop their rain. Mulvaney sipped his beer...

  19. 5 out of 5

    Dobby0390

    Where Florida Straits was fast and fun, Scavenger Reef is a leisurely character study. Augie Silver is a famous artist, known past Mile Marker 20 for his paintings and known in Key West for his generosity and easy friendship. The book begins at Augie's memorial service. He was lost at sea, presumed dead, and the people in his life deal with the void his absence leaves. His wife, his agent, his friends — each feels his loss in different ways. It quickly becomes apparent that, as laid-back and una Where Florida Straits was fast and fun, Scavenger Reef is a leisurely character study. Augie Silver is a famous artist, known past Mile Marker 20 for his paintings and known in Key West for his generosity and easy friendship. The book begins at Augie's memorial service. He was lost at sea, presumed dead, and the people in his life deal with the void his absence leaves. His wife, his agent, his friends — each feels his loss in different ways. It quickly becomes apparent that, as laid-back and unassuming as Augie was, he was the linchpin that held everything together. There is humor here, dark humor for sure, and the pace picks up as some of the characters start getting desperate. Then the Mob gets involved ... The pacing is slower in this book, especially at the beginning. There are a number of characters, and their flaws and strengths slowly weave an intriguing story. It's hard for me to categorize this book; it's not humor, although it has some great dark-humor moments. It's not a thriller, though there's definitely a whodunit element. We run into some familiar characters that we met in Florida Straits, but this book isn't tied to that one. Overall, a satisfying read, more for savoring than rushing through.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Richard Thompson

    Augie Silver is a successful painter living in Key West. When he disappears in a freak summer storm while sailing it looks like the price of his painting will be taking a major bump, and there are a lot of people including his agent and her bankrupt husband and lot of friends to who Augie has given paintings over the year who could make a lot of money. When Augie shows up alive the picture changes, and it looks like someone wants to make him dead again. The one review I read on amazon.ca said that Augie Silver is a successful painter living in Key West. When he disappears in a freak summer storm while sailing it looks like the price of his painting will be taking a major bump, and there are a lot of people including his agent and her bankrupt husband and lot of friends to who Augie has given paintings over the year who could make a lot of money. When Augie shows up alive the picture changes, and it looks like someone wants to make him dead again. The one review I read on amazon.ca said that there were no likeable characters in the book; I disagree — Augie, his wife Nina, Reuben, the Cuban "houseboy" and the police detective, Mulvane are all sympathetic and well-drawn characters. The plot works. The Key West locale is appealing. I almost skipped over this book in series because of the two negative reviews; I'm glad I didn't. This is book #2 on our 2017 Read-alouds List.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Lombardo

    Loveable characters, lovely poetic style. This is the second in Laurence Shames' Key West fiction series. (I began with the first one, reading them in order.) While this book didn't have the same humor as Florida Straits, it had a lovely, lyrical style almost reminiscent of poetry, which was a terrific surprise. This novel also had some of the nicest characters I've ever come upon in fiction. Augie, Reuben, & even Nina are the kind of long-lost relatives you always WISH you had. Loveable characters, lovely poetic style. This is the second in Laurence Shames' Key West fiction series. (I began with the first one, reading them in order.) While this book didn't have the same humor as Florida Straits, it had a lovely, lyrical style almost reminiscent of poetry, which was a terrific surprise. This novel also had some of the nicest characters I've ever come upon in fiction. Augie, Reuben, & even Nina are the kind of long-lost relatives you always WISH you had.

  22. 5 out of 5

    LJ

    SCAVENGER REEF – G+ Shames, Laurence – 4th book A painter dies, his paintings escalate in value but, just before the major auction, the artist returns—and not everyone is happy about it. Set in Key West, I found this to be an entertaining read with an interesting cast of characters. And there’s a bit of a moral lesson as well.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sandi

    I really enjoyed the two previous books that I have listened to by this author but this one was a bit of a chore to get through. The premise of a lost at sea artist from Key West whose work soars in value sounded good but quite a lot of the book was rather depressing. The narration was done by Richard Ferrone who did his usual excellent job.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Libby

    (P-Lib) I kind of had a hard time getting into this book. I think it was partially because I didn't really care about any of the characters, except for maybe Nina Silver. I stuck with it because we were leaving for Miami in a few weeks, and I was trying to get into a Southern Florida mode. Turned out to be pretty good -- glad I finished it. (P-Lib) I kind of had a hard time getting into this book. I think it was partially because I didn't really care about any of the characters, except for maybe Nina Silver. I stuck with it because we were leaving for Miami in a few weeks, and I was trying to get into a Southern Florida mode. Turned out to be pretty good -- glad I finished it.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jon Koebrick

    Shames develops quirky, interesting characters in a Key West laid back lifestyle. I was surprised the characters in the first book in the series only make cameo appearances so that this book stands almost entirely on its own. Scavenger Reef depicts struggles between truly good-natured individuals and friends who are not so genuine.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Cathy DuPont

    Oh my, forgot to list this book which I really, really enjoyed. Love books set in Florida and especially descriptive Florida scenes. And Shames' characters are very colorful characters. Shames has a sense of humor which is a little off kilter...kind of like mine, so I love his writing. Oh my, forgot to list this book which I really, really enjoyed. Love books set in Florida and especially descriptive Florida scenes. And Shames' characters are very colorful characters. Shames has a sense of humor which is a little off kilter...kind of like mine, so I love his writing.

  27. 4 out of 5

    J

    Started slow, I had trouble getting into it at one point thought of going to something else. But then it picked up started interesting me, felt it started to pick up speed, thought it an enjoyable book, by the end I learned to like the characters and enjoyed the story.

  28. 5 out of 5

    David

    Nice twist to the artist-returns-from-dead story

  29. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    This was a great mystery/crime book that I was not expecting to like. I really enjoyed the characters and the story was exciting enough to keep me reading at lunch for a couple of weeks.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Kennedy

    Loved the characters and locale of this comic suspense novel. Since I spent a little time in the Florida Keys, the locations he mentions are a bit familiar which made it a really fun read for me.

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