September 9, 2012

Chomp by Carl Hiaasen

We are all familiar with the reality shows where a survivalist is shown in the wild with nothing but their keen knowledge of the wilderness and what's on their back to survive... all the while knowing there is a camera and crew behind the scenes.  Hiaasen's Chomp looks at the genre with humor and adventure. Wahoo Crane's father Mickey is an animal wrangler in Florida. Short on cash, Wahoo's father takes a job with a T.V. show Expedition Survival!, whose star, Derek Badger, is an egotistical, fool hardy, phony. Derek Badger has never spent one night in the wild, and has a liking for luxury hotels and rich food.

Mickey and Wahoo are asked to travel with the show which will be shooting a show in the Everglades. While shopping for supplies, Wahoo runs into a friend from school named Tuna. Noticing her black eye, Wahoo learns that Tuna's father is beating her. Wahoo is in disbelief, and Mickey while wanting to beat Tuna's father to a pulp, decides to take Tuna with them on the Everglades expedition to get her out of the house. What happens is an adventure that Mickey and Wahoo will never forget, from Derek being bitten by a bat, then believing he will turn into a vampire to Tuna's dad coming after her. A good read for animal lovers and reality show junkies.

Reed Reads Score: 3.5

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