Midnight in the Garden of Good and Tampa
February 23, 2011 4:34 PM   Subscribe

What are some great novels that are set in Tampa?

I'm going on vacation to Tampa, Florida and I'd like to read a great book that has Tampa in it while I'm there. Tampa doesn't have to be a major part of the book, but I'd like it to mention Tampa or Florida, at least.

Something like The Orchid Thief (which is set in Florida, but I've already read it) would be good; something closer to Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (set in Savannah, GA) is better; a recent and well-received novel like Freedom or Room would be best.

Thanks for your suggestions!
posted by k8lin to Media & Arts (9 answers total)

Best answer: You might be interested this question I asked in 2009.
posted by The Toad at 5:30 PM on February 23, 2011

Best answer: Everything by Carl Hiassen is set in Florida. I recommend Tourist Season, Double Whammy and Native Tongue. Pay no attention to Striptease, made into a bad movie.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:30 PM on February 23, 2011 [2 favorites]

Here is a "brute force" way to find books that at a minimum mention Tampa, from someone with no literary sensibilities whatsoever so I can't make recommendations: Google Books search for tampa subject:"fiction".

I'm really only answering this question to tack onto the end the recommendation to check out the Salvador Dali museum while you're on your vacation.
posted by XMLicious at 5:31 PM on February 23, 2011

(just noticed that those results include a book entitled The Book lover's guide to Florida by Kevin M. McCarthy)
posted by XMLicious at 5:35 PM on February 23, 2011

That's in St. Pete, you blasphemer!
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:39 PM on February 23, 2011 [3 favorites]

(But yeah, it's awesome.)
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:39 PM on February 23, 2011

Best answer: A novel that's set in Florida (Orlando, to be exact), but not exactly recent (published in the 1980s): The Propheteers by Max Apple. From the back of the book: "A mock-epic treatment of entrepreneurial capitalism and popular culture, it pits Howard Johnson, the god of repose, against the Disney brothers, the gods of animation, and both against Mrs. Margery Post Merriweather, the richest and most determined woman in America."

Speaking as a former Floridian, this is a book that made me say, "Whoa. This is Florida." (I'm also looking forward to Swamplandia!, as mentioned above.)
posted by 2or3things at 6:50 PM on February 23, 2011 [2 favorites]

The Honor series of books by Robert Macomber is about the United States Navy in the Civil War and is set mostly in Florida. They are excellent!
posted by jshort at 1:28 AM on February 24, 2011

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