Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Great Hamster Massacre

The Great Hamster Massacre
by Katie Davies
Simon & Schuster, 2011. 177 pgs. Fiction

If you think that in the best of all possible worlds nothing bad ever happens to fluffy little animals, and if your own pets survived to a respectable age after which they died contentedly in their respective sleeps, don't read this book. But if, like me, you lost your turtle to the lawnmower and innumerable cats to cars and whatnot, you will find much to laugh your head off about in these pages. Anna and her brother Tom beg and beg and beg and beg their mother for a hamster but she refuses, they find out later from their grandmother, because she has a Very Dark History with hamsters. But when the grandmother passes away, her mother buys a pair of female hamsters (ha) for her children, one of whom has eight babies who do not survive the night. Also, Hamster One gets a leg bitten off, and Hamster Two takes it on the lam. Although the vet explains what these gentle rodents sometimes do to their young, the kids decide to undertake an Official Investigation into the deaths, complete with a suspects list including Miss Matheson, who is known to have run over the Old Cat; Suzanne's dad, who hates pets; and Mom, because of her Dark Past with hamsters. Filled with the best of British slang, with funny bits that kids (luckily) won't get, and with The Hysterics in varying degrees and volumes, The Great Hamster Massacre will make you snort milk if you're drinking any, or laugh way out loud if you're not. Great for adults. Definitely not for tender-hearted little ones.

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