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Team Rodent : How Disney Devours the World Paperback – Unabridged, May 5, 1998

3.4 out of 5 stars 147 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Let's get one thing straight: Carl Hiaasen doesn't like the Walt Disney Company. Whenever the giant entertainment conglomerate stumbles, as it did with its proposed Civil War theme park in Virginia, Hiaasen cheers. When a rhinoceros mysteriously dies at Disney's new theme park, Animal Kingdom, Hiaasen secretly hopes for the worst, because, as he writes, "no scandal is so delectable as a Disney scandal."

A native of Florida, author of such thrillers as Lucky You and Strip Tease, and a journalist for the Miami Herald, Hiaasen comes by his dislike for Disney honestly. He has witnessed the relentless success of the Disney machine firsthand with the development of Disney World and other properties around Orlando. In Team Rodent: How Disney Devours the World, Hiaasen paints a witty and sarcastic portrait in this nonfiction account of a company who can control the press, manipulate local governments, and because it's Disney, get away with it. Team Rodent is a quick, entertaining read that even the most loyal Disney shareholder (except maybe Michael Eisner) will find enlightening and amusing. --Harry C. Edwards

Review

After opening with an overbilious screed against the company's signature blandness, the author settles down and rakes good muck. -- Entertainment Weekly, Troy Patterson
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Product Details

  • Series: Library of Contemporary Thought
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; 1 edition (May 5, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345422805
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345422804
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (147 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #279,317 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
First of all I must admit that if I heard that Carl Hiaasen had edited the Dubuque, Iowa telephone book, I would rush out and buy it. I enjoy him because I love his humor, and because I share his environmental concerns. As a retired senior executive of a large corporation, I also have no illusions about the goals of business. We need gadflies, and Carl's buzzing about can only bring issues to the surface to be thought about and discussed. Disagree with him you may, but I see nothing wrong in presenting facts about the power and plasticity of the Disney world. Many folks want their big brother provided sanitized entertainment, and will evidently brook no criticism of the source of their pleasure. For myself I am interested to find out how yet another big business manipulates local governments and the press. It's fascinating to read how devoted fans will pay 25 to 40% more for a home because its built by Mickey and his friends, while disregarding the fact that the same guys built substandard housing in Miami. The way people are mesmerized by the fantastic plastic world of Disney sometimes scares me. Its like some dystopic future world from a science fiction novel.
I will agree that $8.95 is a lot to pay for 83 pages, but it sure is good quality Hiaasen.
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Format: Paperback
Having grown up in Pinellas county Florida in the 60s it was easy to hate and be militant toward the obvious developers such as Hunt Corp., etc. In "Team Rodent", Carl Hiaasen provided me with the much-needed jolt to get over the quasi-hypnosis caused by a bunch of cuddly cartoon characters. Disney is nothing more than a corporate conglomerate that is wreaking far-reaching havoc on the environment under the guise of good family fun. Hiaasen's humor is not only welcome, it is necessary as it enabled me to get through the material that otherwise would have had me throwing up. I read this entire book on one flight and couldn't help but laugh out loud when reading about his scenario of the bull alligators in Bay Lake. People around me were giving me funny looks. It's not often a book causes me to lose control to that extent. There is a glimmer of hope offered when reading how the people in Virginia were able to thwart Disney's plans near Manassas. Unfortunately for Florida it's too little, too late. The only negative I could come up with in the book is the reference to orcas as "killer whales". A similar expose' needs to be done on Sea World. And by the way Carl: Let me know if you need any assistance with those bull alligators.
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By A Customer on December 26, 2001
Format: Paperback
Only Hiaasen could turn Disney into the vile and soulless entity presented in "Team Rodent" and still make you chuckle. I suspect that most lucid people have had the occasional flickering thought that perhaps the Disney Corporation seemed a bit too omnipresent and omnipotent to be so wonderful, and here Hiaasen explains exactly why that is the case. To be fair, this book isn't just a roasting of the mouse, it is also a roasting of the American culture that so embraces the overcleansed Disney ideal. Hiaasen's writing, as usual, is witty and clever, and sometimes snort-milk-out-your-nose funny. Humor aside, I found the book deeply troubling because I saw so many parallels between the way that Disney and Big Tobacco run their businesses and buy off their enemies. This book will certainly make you laugh, but hopefully it will also make you think.
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Format: Paperback
I adore Carl Hiassen. I share his concerns. I join in his delight at the comeuppances that from time to time sock Disney in the jaw. (As a resident of Northern Virginia, I was quietly pleased at our qualified victory in beating back Disney's America project.) So let me say first that I'd recommend Team Rodent as sheer, exuberant Hiassen, with its "Peep Land," "Insane Clown Michael," odious black buzzards and other hilarious locales and characters.
Still, this is a slender book that wants you to believe it's much longer, better developed, and more convincing. It's Hiassen stretching everything he's got for as much as he can get (he's very good at this). He has an an anecdote or two for each short chapter, which he inflates--via the high-pressure air hose of Hiassenian hyperbole and prose--to the bursting point. What we're left with is the story of a large, powerful corporation in Florida behaving like--surprise!--a large, powerful corporation in Florida. That has convinced the broad masses to shovel money into its coffers in alarmingly large quantities. Surely, however, as a muckraker and satirist, Hiassen has divined something sinister, some fundamental filaments of rot eating through the Disney empire.
For better or worse, intellectuals are the guilty consciences of their times, and Hiassen performs this necessary service. His are the useful ravings of the "anti-developmentals," who serve as salutary societal T-cells and, consequently, as needed brakes on hyperdevelopment. (It worked in Northern Virginia!) Hiassen behaves here, however, as though he had much more to work with and as though he didn't have to expend much effort to clinch his case--the "preaching to the choir syndrome"?
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