Review of Chomp, by Carl Hiaasen


by Carl Hiaasen
read by James Van Der Beek

Listening Library, 2012. 6 hours on 5 CDs.

This audiobook is a wonderful choice for family listening. Wahoo Cray (He was named after a wrestler) has always lived with animals. His dad’s an animal wrangler, dealing with exotic animals for TV shows or movies. Unfortunately, his dad recently had a head injury when a frozen iguana fell out of a tree and landed on his head. He gets headaches and double vision and hasn’t gotten many jobs lately.

So when the biggest reality survival show on TV wants to hire Mickey Cray, Wahoo has to make sure it works. Even though the star of the show, Derek Badger, is all too likely to get himself killed — either by their alligator or by Mickey himself.

When Derek Badger decides to take the show into the “real” wild Everglades, he insists that Mickey and Wahoo go with him. But then Wahoo runs into Tuna, a girl from school who needs to hide from her drunk dad, so they bring her along. And things rapidly get out of control.

Even though this book does skirt some heavy issues with Tuna and her Dad, the mood stays very funny and has eye-opening facts about animals and the environment and supposed “reality” shows. As it goes on, Derek Badger’s ineptitude went beyond funny to me into the range of downright unrealistic, but it’s all in good fun.

Highly entertaining and family friendly listening, with plenty of laughs and plenty of excitement. The narrator does a great job of distinguishing between the characters, including Derek Badger’s fake Australian accent. He had me avidly listening all the way. In fact, the characters were in a pouring rainstorm right while I was driving in a torrential downpour, and I think the line between fantasy and reality began to blur for me! I listened to this while driving back from dropping my youngest son off his first time in the college dorm, and it was fantastic to have something to completely take my mind off his empty seat! But I do think if the seats in your car are full, this is one the whole family will enjoy.

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Source: This review is based on a library audiobook from Fairfax County Public Library.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I maintain my website and blogs on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

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