Synopses & Reviews
The Gulf Coast of the Florida Panhandle--a marshy shore of strip malls, miniature golf, giant slides, and motels--has long been a vacation magnet for the working poor of the rural South. Every year, Dennis Covington's father, Sam, brought his family to the "Redneck Riviera" and it seemed there was no place he was happier. Florida, the idea of Florida, was an intoxicant to him. In 1965 he made the only investment of his life--two and a half acres of an inland Florida development called River Ranch Acres. Years after his death, the development went bankrupt, setting the stage for a classic, often violent, confrontation over land use and property rights. Deed in hand, Dennis Covington journeys into the Wild West of the Redneck Riviera to claim his only inheritance. Filled with characters drawn from a Florida more like Flannery O'Connor's Georgia, Covington's quest charts a dangerous course-his life is threatened, his truck torched, and his small plot shot up and vandalized--as his father's passion to possess the land becomes his own. At once a personal journey as well as a brilliant look at the clash of values that is tearing much of rural America apart, Redneck Riviera is also a lament for the consequences of our age-old passion to possess and transform the land. Covington's plunge into this Wild West shootout is a riveting story of one American trying to claim his legacy in a place beyond the law.