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Book Review: 'The Flamingo Rising'

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The Flamingo Rising

Current Status:
In Season
Larry Baker

We gave it an A-

This coming-of-age story set in Jacksonville, Fla., in the 1960s resonates with good humor, adolescent lust, complex love, and heartrending loss. Abraham Isaac Lee, the adopted Korean son of eccentric parents, tells the bittersweet tale of the Flamingo Drive-in Theatre (where the Lees live inside the gigantic movie screen) and its colorful crew. There is a midget named Pete, an insane dog named Frank, a daredevil pilot who can’t drive a car, Abe’s beautiful but jaded adopted sister, and two young women who conspire to relieve Abe of his virginity. Next door is an ambitious funeral-home director convinced that the Flamingo will drive him out of business with movies like Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Their rivalry seems funny but becomes frightening, as Baker unveils the tragic consequences that await Abe’s family and the Flamingo. A-