Wahoo Cray lives in a zoo. His father is an animal wrangler, so he’s grown up with all manner of gators, snakes, parrots, rats, monkeys, snappers, and more in his backyard. The critters he can handle. His father is the unpredictable one.
When his dad takes a job with a reality TV show called “Expedition Survival!”, Wahoo figures he’ll have to do a bit of wrangling himself—to keep his dad from killing Derek Badger, the show’s boneheaded star, before the shoot is over. But the job keeps getting more complicated. Derek Badger seems to actually believe his PR and insists on using wild animals for his stunts. And Wahoo’s acquired a shadow named Tuna—a girl who’s sporting a shiner courtesy of her old man and needs a place to hide out.
They’ve only been on location in the Everglades for a day before Derek gets bitten by a bat and goes missing in a storm. Search parties head out and promptly get lost themselves. And then Tuna’s dad shows up with a gun . . .
It’s anyone’s guess who will actually survive “Expedition Survival”. . . .
Ok. I’ll start with saying I read only one book of Carl Hiaasen before reading Chomp, and I REALLY liked the book (Skinny Dip). It was a funny, quick read. When I saw Carl had a new release coming out, I thought I’d grab it.
Basically, Mickey Cray is an animal wrangler. He has snakes, alligators, monkeys, etc in his backyard and has worked with big names such as Disney before. Upon a freak cold spell in Florida, an iguana froze in a tree, and that frozen iguana fell out of the tree, landing on Mickey’s head and giving him a concussion. Since Mickey sees double & gets really severe headaches, his son Wahoo (yes, I said Wahoo), has to pick up a lot of slack. Since Mickey can’t take on new jobs right now, his wife goes to China for a job (they need the money, they’re behind THOUSANDS on their mortgage). While she’s away, Mickey is approached by a reality TV show called “Expedition Survival!”, which will take care of their financial worries.
On location in the Everglades, the star of “Expedition Survival!” (think Man vs. Wild w/Bear Grylls), Derek, takes off after being bit on the tongue by a bat. This is where the book lost me. Derek is NOT a survivalist, he just sets the show up to LOOK like he is. He also reads stupid books….about vampires. He thinks since he was bit by a “vampire bat” that he is, in fact, turning into a vampire. Add in that Wahoo’s tag-along friend, Tuna (yes, I said Tuna)’s dad is looking for her and shooting people in the process, and some crashed air boats and that’s pretty much the story.
I get that Carl’s books are meant to be quirky, but Chomp was a bit TOO quirky for me. Took me about 3 days to finish it (that is a LONG time for me). I already picked up Star Island before I got Chomp, so I will read it, and hopefully it’ll redeem Carl (to me, anyways. I know Chomp does indeed have a lot of fans!).
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