Doc Ford

Created by Randy Wayne White
Pseudonyms include Randy Stryker and Carl Ramm

MARION “DOC” FORD is the protagonist of several novels by Fort Meyers fishing guide, Outside magazine columnist and former cheezoid potboiler author (under the names Randy Stryker and Carl Ramm) Randy Wayne White. Ford is a former government agent/triggerman who currently runs a marine biology supply business from a stilt house in Dinkins Bay, Sanibel, Florida. Though he yearns for the quiet, contemplative life of the scientist, his past, and the talents it armed him with, keeps popping up.

Of current Florida crime fiction authors, White is probably second only to James Hall (see Thorn) in terms of literary quality. The Man Who Invented Florida (1993), the third Ford book, is a fucking lyrical masterpiece. The fourth, Captiva, is one of the most hellishly violent South Florda novels ever written.

By the way, I am at a loss to explain the value of White’s books on the collector’s market. Doc’s first appearance, Sanibel Flats, which now commands prices well over $1000, was published in 1990. The first printing was small, which goes part of the way toward explaining its current value, but still, over a grand for an eight-year-old book? I dunno.

EDITOR’S NOTE: I dunno, either. But since Paul wrote this overview, the Good Doctor has continued to fight the good fight, clocking in annually for over two decades, and even branching out in 2020 with his first ever YA novel: Fins, focusing on the dwindling shark population crisis, a particular concern of the author. According to the publisher,it’s “an environmental call-to-action wrapped up in an adventure novel, with tons of factual information about sharks… spreading awareness to kids in an accessible and action-packed way.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Randy Wayne White lives on Sanibel Island, Florida, where he was a light-tackle fishing guide for many years, and spends much of his free time windsurfing, playing baseball, and hanging out at Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille. Beside being the author of over twenty Doc Ford novels (and counting), and four collections of nonfiction, he sometimes writes about Hannah Smith, a tough-as-nails fishing guide, who has a thing for Doc ford.

UNDER OATH

  • “(Randy Wayne White is) the rightful heir to John D. MacDonald.”
    — The Tampa Tribune-Times
  • “Hats off to White for combining suspense and madcap adventure with such dexterity…Being an under-the-radar kind of guy, Doc Ford is likely not too happy at the way his adventures keep turning up on best-seller lists, but he’d better deal with it; the trend isn’t about to change.”
    — Booklist on Caribbean Rim

NOVELS

ALSO OF INTEREST

  • Randy Wayne White’s Ultimate Tarpon Book: The Birth of Big Game Fishing | Buy this book
    (2010; by White and Carlene Fredericka Brennen)
  • Randy Wayne White’s Gulf Coast Cookbook
    (2013; by White and Carlene Fredericka Brennen) | Buy this book
    Includes more than 125 recipes with photos of the real Tarpon Bay and the most appetizing food-related passages from this acclaimed writer’s essays and novels.

RELATED LINKS

  • Greetings From Sanibel Island
    Randy Wayne White’s own official website has an author biography, descriptions of the Doc Ford books along with White’s comments (did you know that “The Man Who Invented Florida” was his favorite?), and reviews. Does the community of Dinkin’s Bay really exist? White urges you to “Read the books and decide for yourselves…”
  • Writer Randy Wayne White is a Florida Icon
    Art Levy encourages White to spill a few beans (September 2019, Florida Trends)
Respectfully submitted by Paul Bergin, with some comments from the peanut gallery provided by Kevin Burton Smith. Also, thanks to Bluefox808 for the heads-up.

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