2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Another entertaining novel from Hiassen,
This review is from: Chomp (Hardcover)
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"Chomp" is the latest of Carl Hiaasen's novels for young adults, and if you (or your kids) enjoyed "Hoot," you'll happily devour "Chomp." The plot revolves around Wahoo, the teen son of Mickey Cray, professional animal wrangler residing in Florida. Wahoo's childhood is just about as unconventional as his name, considering that he devotes most of his time to helping his dad maintain the large collection of wild and half-wild animals in their back yard, a collection that includes a 12-foot long alligator named Alice who happened to have bitten off Wahoo's thumb during one unfortunate encounter. The plot of the novel surrounds Mickey's and Wahoo's efforts to provide the animal action for "Expedition Survival!", a reality TV show starring what has to be one of the most bungling and incompetent egocentric television stars ever encountered in literature. Many hilarious antics ensue, combined with a more serious subplot involving yet another improbably named protagonist ("Tuna"), a teenaged girl running away from her abusive father.
Although written primarily for the teen market and lacking some of the edginess and darkness of Hiaasen's adult novels (e.g., "Star Island," which I recommend--for grownups--highly), there is plenty here to keep both young adults and us older folks entertained. The highlights for me were his delightful skewering of the reality TV business and the Twilight books. Certain aspects of the plot seemed abrupt and somewhat cumbersome (e.g., it doesn't ring true that Tuna would be asked to, and agree to go on, a multiday camping trip with Wahoo and his father within minutes of meeting them, but it's certainly convenient to the plot that she did so), but the action is nonstop and the book eminently readable.