Friday, April 6, 2012

Chomp



Chomp
by Carl Hiaasen
Knopf, 2012. 290 pgs. Fiction.

When Wahoo Cray's father Mickey gets beaned by a frozen iguana falling out of a tree, Wahoo has to take over a lot of the duties around the "farm" where Mickey wrangles wild animals for a living. Mortgage payments are in arrears so Wahoo's mom heads for China for a tutoring job, and Mickey and Wahoo are happy to be offered big bucks by Expedition: Survival, a "reality" wild animals survival show with a phony doofus of a star named Derek Badger. Mickey and Derek butt heads from the beginning over Derek's treatment of the animals, but things get rapidly more complex when a young girl named Tuna shows up, running from her abusive father, Derek is bitten on the tongue while trying to chow down on a Florida mastiff bat, and everyone lights out into the Everglades during a serious thunder and lightning storm. As usual, Hiaasen's latest book is laugh-out-loud funny with lots of action and zero political correctness. Tuna's beer-drinking, gun-toting, kid- and wife-beating father is more frightening than Hiaasen's other juvenile-book villains, but all's well that ends well in this deft satire/adventure about an unreal reality show gone terribly wrong.

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