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Chomp
 
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Chomp [Format Kindle]

Carl Hiaasen
3.5 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)

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Descriptions du produit

Extrait

ONE

Mickey Cray had been out of work ever since a dead iguana fell from a palm tree and hit him on the head.

The iguana, which had died during a hard freeze, was stiff as a board and weighed seven and a half pounds. Mickey's son had measured the lifeless lizard on a fishing scale, then packed it on ice with the turtle veggies, in the cooler behind the garage.

This was after the ambulance had hauled Mickey off to the hospital, where the doctors said he had a serious concussion and ordered him to take it easy.

And to everyone's surprise, Mickey did take it easy. That's because the injury left him with double vision and terrible headaches. He lost his appetite and dropped nineteen pounds and lay around on the couch all day, watching nature programs on television.

"I'll never be the same," he told his son.

"Knock it off, Pop," said Wahoo, Mickey's boy.

Mickey had named him after Wahoo McDaniel, a professional wrestler who'd once played linebacker for the Dolphins. Mickey's son often wished he'd been called Mickey Jr. or Joe or even Rupert--anything but Wahoo, which was also a species of saltwater fish.

It was a name that was hard to live up to. People naturally expected somebody called Wahoo to act loud and crazy, but that wasn't Wahoo's style. Apparently nothing could be done about the name until he was all grown up, at which point he intended to go to the Cutler Ridge courthouse and tell a judge he wanted to be called something normal.

"Pop, you're gonna be okay," Wahoo would tell his father every morning. "Just hang in there."

Looking up with hound-dog eyes from the couch, Mickey Cray would say, "Whatever happens, I'm glad we ate that bleeping lizard."

On the day his dad had come home from the hospital, Wahoo had defrosted the dead iguana and made a peppercorn stew, which his mom had wisely refused to touch. Mickey had insisted that eating the critter that had dented his skull would be a spiritual remedy. "Big medicine," he'd predicted.

But the iguana had tasted awful, and Mickey Cray's headaches only got worse. Wahoo's mother was so concerned that she wanted Mickey to see a brain specialist in Miami, but Mickey refused to go.

Meanwhile, people kept calling up with new jobs, and Wahoo was forced to send them to other wranglers. His father was in no condition to work.

After school, Wahoo would feed the animals and clean out the pens and cages. The backyard was literally a zoo--gators, snakes, parrots, mynah birds, rats, mice, monkeys, raccoons, tortoises and even a bald eagle, which Mickey had raised from a fledgling after its mother was killed.

"Treat 'em like royalty," Mickey would instruct Wahoo, because the animals were quite valuable. Without them, Mickey would be unemployed.

It disturbed Wahoo to see his father so ill because Mickey was the toughest guy he'd ever known.

One morning, with summer approaching, Wahoo's mother took him aside and told him that the family's savings account was almost drained. "I'm going to China," she said.

Wahoo nodded, like it was no big deal.

"For two months," she said.

"That's a long time," said Wahoo.

"Sorry, big guy, but we really need the money."

Wahoo's mother taught Mandarin Chinese, an extremely difficult language. Big American companies that had offices in China would hire Mrs. Cray to tutor their top executives, but usually these companies flew their employees to South Florida for Mrs. Cray's lessons.

"This time they want me to go to Shanghai," she explained to her son. "They have, like, fifty people over there who learned Mandarin from some cheap audiotape. The other day, one of the big shots was trying to say 'Nice shoes!' and he accidentally told a government minister that his face looked like a butt wart. Not good."

"Did you tell Pop you're going?"

"That's next."

Wahoo slipped outside to clean Alice's pond. Alice the alligator was one of Mickey Cray's stars. She was twelve feet long and as tame as a guppy, but she looked truly ferocious. Over the years Alice had appeared often in front of a camera. Her credits included nine feature films, two National Geographic documentaries, a three-part Disney special about the Everglades and a TV commercial for a fancy French skin lotion.

She lay sunning on the mudbank while Wahoo skimmed the dead leaves and sticks from the water. Her eyes were closed, but Wahoo knew she was listening.

"Hungry, girl?" he asked.

The gator's mouth opened wide, the inside as white as spun cotton. Some of her teeth were snaggled and chipped. The tips were green from pond algae.

"You forgot to floss," Wahoo said.

Alice hissed. He went to get her some food. When she heard the squeaking of the wheelbarrow, she cracked her eyelids and turned her huge armored head.

Wahoo tossed a whole plucked chicken into the alligator's gaping jaws. The sound of her crunching on the thawed bird obscured the voices coming from the house--Wahoo's mother and father "discussing" the China trip.

Wahoo fed Alice two more dead chickens, locked the gate to the pond and took a walk. When he returned, his father was upright on the sofa and his mother was in the kitchen fixing bologna sandwiches for lunch.

"You believe this?" Mickey said to Wahoo. "She's bugging out on us!"

"Pop, we're broke."

Mickey's shoulders slumped. "Not that broke."

"You want the animals to starve?" Wahoo asked.

They ate their sandwiches barely speaking a word. When they were done, Mrs. Cray stood up and said: "I'm going to miss you guys. I wish I didn't have to go."

Then she went into the bedroom and shut the door.

Mickey seemed dazed. "I used to like iguanas."

"We'll be okay."

"My head hurts."

"Take your medicine," said Wahoo.

"I threw it away."

"What?"

"Those yellow pills, they made me constipated."

Wahoo shook his head. "Unbelievable."

"Seriously. I haven't had a satisfactory bowel movement since Easter."

"Thanks for sharing," said Wahoo. He started loading the dishwasher, trying to keep his mind off the fact that his mom was about to fly away to the far side of the world.

Mickey got up and apologized to his son.

"I'm just being selfish. I don't want her to go."

"Me neither."

Revue de presse

Starred Review, School Library Journal, March 1, 2012:
“Mystery, action, humor, and exotic animals and settings, all tied together by a writer with an exceptional grasp of language, makes this a sure hit with any mystery-loving readers.”

Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, December 1, 2011:
“Hiaasen’s best for a young audience since Newbery Honor Hoot (2002) features a shy, deep-feeling protagonist who’s also a pragmatist and plenty of nature info and age-appropriate cultural commentary…. Humorous adventure tales just don’t get any more wacked…or fun to read than this.”




From the Hardcover edition.

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Commentaires client les plus utiles
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Très adapté aux garçons jeunes ados aventuriers. 24 août 2014
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Relation père-fils intéressante, évocation des problèmes financiers dans une famille unie, rapport avec les animaux et la nature, amitié garçon-fille et solidarité et bien-sûr l'envers du décor de la télé-réalité, tout ceci est enrichissant.
Le langage est simple mais le roman n'est pas simpliste, il est juste adapté à des jeunes je dirais à partir de 11 ans pour les lecteurs courants, 9 ans pour les bons lecteurs.
Il s'adresse aussi aux filles mais je pense que c'est un des rares qui soient écrits plus pour les garçons qui n'ont vraiment pas grand-chose à se mettre sous la dent en littérature jeunesse.
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3.0 étoiles sur 5 Another Hiassen 13 novembre 2012
Par jpc
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Just another classic Hiassen. Not the best, but very readable with a few really very funny scenes. This time its TV "reality" shows that are the target of his wit.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 étoiles sur 5  499 commentaires
43 internautes sur 45 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Hiaasen's "Chomp" is an entertaining romp through the Everglades 23 mars 2012
Par Gary K. McCormick - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
Novelist and Miami Herald columnist Carl Hiaasen is known for his love of his home state of Florida, and his relentless championing of environmental issues for the benefit of the wildlife and natural habitats of the state. Many of his novels for adults have plots revolving around environmental concerns, and the storylines of his juvenile novels, of which "Chomp" is the fourth, are all centered on issues relating to man's interaction with the environment.

In the tradition of his adult novels, "Chomp", like Hiaasen's three previous juvenile novels -- "Hoot", "Flush", and "Scat" -- is inhabited by a cast of characters who are well drawn for their roles. Hiaasen's characters are often pretty wacky, and though dialed back from the craziness found in his adult novels, there is an entertaining level of zaniness in "Chomp" which kids in the target audience will enjoy immensely while they learn about the environmental issues underlying the story. There are greedy, somewhat dim, bad (or at best, bad-ish) guys who exploit the environment for their own gain, and good guys who, sometimes reluctantly, find themselves going to bat for the environment.

The juvenile protagonists in the story, a (presumably middle-school age) boy with the unlikely name of Wahoo Cray and his school friend, a girl with the equally unlikely name of Tuna Gordon, are sharp, smart, resourceful kids with whom juvenile readers will identify. With his mom away in China teaching Mandarin to American businessmen, Wahoo is helping his father, animal wrangler Mickey Cray, with a job that will bring in enough money to get their home's mortgage out of hock -- hiring out their tame animals to a faked-up "survivalist" adventure TV show starring a greedy, pampered television star named Derek Badger (a one-time Irish tap dancer à la "Riverdance"; real name -- Lee Bluepenny) whose only real talent is the ability, and willingness, to eat just about anything that won't actively kill him.

When Derek's TV show, "Expedition Survival", comes to the Florida Everglades to fake yet another episode with the star supposedly surviving on his (slim) wits and (non-existent) nature skills in a howling wilderness, Mickey is hired to provide tame animals to stand in as the wild creatures Derek supposedly encounters in the 'Glades (actually the pond at the Cray's animal park). The trouble starts when the witless star decides to notch up the realism and film the episode in the middle of the actual Everglades, with real wild animals. Tuna invites herself along on the trip with Mickey & Wahoo sporting a black eye received at the hands of her drunken, maladjusted father, hoping to get away for a day or two while he cools down (and sobers up). Things start to get a little crazy a couple of days into the shoot when Derek disappears from their Everglades camp site, in the middle of a thunderstorm, after a couple of less-than-satisfactory encounters with actual wild animals wrangled for the show by Mickey -- and the trouble ramps up when Tuna's gun-toting father comes to the Everglades looking to bring her home.

As kids in Hiaasen's stories often do, Wahoo & Tuna use their wits, and courage, to handle both family problems and larger, outside issues having to do with threats to the natural environment in a manner that young readers will find entertaining, educational, and empowering. With critters galore, both tame and wild, thunderstorms, trackless swamps, airboat chases in the 'Glades, and a cast of likable and dis-likable (as they deserve) characters, "Chomp" is another hit from Carl Hiaasen that is sure to delight kids and adults alike.
31 internautes sur 37 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Funny and Entertaining- but also sort of strange 28 avril 2012
Par M. Fuller - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
Chomp is a funny book. It is also a little bit crazy and even zany at times. While I love reading books geared for younger audiences, I had trouble not rolling my eyes a few times with this one. It wasn't so much the crazy incidents that occurred, like Wahoo's father being hit of the head by a frozen iguana, or the naming his son "Wahoo", or the fake survivalist reality star that stumbles into trouble at every turn. I was happy to laugh at that stuff and chalk it up to good clean fun, and it was. What I had trouble with though, was some of the character interactions.

Wahoo and his father decide to help out with a TV series so that they can get caught up on financial troubles that started after a frozen iguana literally knocked the father out of work for a while. His Mother flew to Asia to earn some money tutoring, so Wahoo and his father work the TV show together. As they are packing up to leave for the wilderness, they run into a classmate named Tuna who is being abused by her drunken father. This was the part that bothered me. Wahoo doesn't know Tuna very well, but instead of getting her real help, they take her along with them on their trip. It felt so sudden and random. Naturally Wahoo and Tuna become good friends along the trip and are trying to figure out what to do with her father upon their return. Tuna's absolutely crazy father ends up chasing them into the wilderness all drunk and shooting at people. I also didn't like that after Wahoo's father is shot in the foot, he tells his son to lie to the mother and tell her one of their animals got to it. I know it sounds like I am being harsh, I just think we have to be careful with serious topics such as abuse and promote honesty. I loved the crazy reality star that gets lost and thinks he is turning into a vampire. He has absolutely NO business being in the wilderness alone and the story was funny enough and action-packed without Tuna's abusive gun-wielding father. Overall, the story was entertaining and I think that younger readers will laugh and enjoy themselves.
16 internautes sur 20 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Quirky characters in crazy situations 27 mars 2012
Par K. Eckert - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
This is the fourth of Hiaasen's middle grade/YA eco-themed books. I loved Hoot and Flush, haven't read Scat, yet. This was another fun read that tackles some interesting social and ecological issues. This book wasn't as much of a mystery as the previous books, it was more of a eco-thriller of sorts. I didn't like it quite as much as Hoot, but I liked it just as much as Flush.

Wahoo Cray lives with his father and mother and a ton of animals. His father is an animal wrangler and as such has numerous snakes, gators, etc living in his backyard. After being hit in the head by an iguana who fell off a tree Wahoo's dad has been having horrible headaches and trouble working. When Wahoo's mom takes a two month job in China to make ends meet, Wahoo is concerned about how he will manage his dad. Then his dad takes a job as an animal wrangler with a reality TC show called Expedition Survival! Now they have paying work, but when a girl named Tuna joins the team while fleeing her abusive father, things start to get a little crazy.

Like normal with this series of books there are some societal issues discussed: reality TV, cruelty to animals, alcoholism, and abuse. Also like normal all of these issues are meshed in with a story that is quirky and humorous at times.

The fake survivalist that Wahoo's dad is working for is an absolute hoot. He is so crazy and funny and quirky. Wahoo and Tuna are great characters as well; they are faced with some tough situations and do a bang up job of making it through everything fine.

With the crazy survivalist trying to do stranger and stranger survival stunts Wahoo's dad has his hands full keeping the guy alive. Add to this Tuna's drunk gun-slinging dad and you have a book that is more action and thriller than mystery. I did miss the mystery a little bit, but I also enjoyed all the action and zaniness throughout this book.

Overall I really enjoyed this book, it was an entertaining light read. If you have enjoyed Hiaasen's previous YA books (Hoot, Flush, and Scat) then I think you will also enjoy this latest story. It was just a lot of fun and full of crazy situations and quirky characters. A great read for any middle grade or older readers out there, a wonderful action-packed eco-thriller of sorts.
6 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Like Big Trouble for Teens - aka Hilarious 27 mars 2012
Par Christina (A Reader of Fictions) - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
I've read several of Carl Hiaasen's books for adults, but this is my first expedition into his fare for younger readers. He definitely brings his characteristic humor and absurdism to his works for younger readers, too. In fact, I think I liked this better than some of his books for adults that I've read.

The characters are a seriously wacky bunch. Wahoo lost his right thumb trying to show off to a girl; obviously, he really knows what girls like. Mickey has perpetual double vision because of getting hit on the head by that iguana. Derek is a chubby, klutzy survivalist star. Tuna, my personal favorite, dreams of being a taxonomist.

From the names, the plot, the first sentence, etc, you can probably tell that this is a silly book. There are a couple of serious themes, but, mostly, this is just a hilarious adventure. Make yourself some popcorn, sit back and prepare to laugh heartily!

If you like Dave Barry's Big Trouble, you'll undoubtedly enjoy Chomp.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Not Hiaasen's Best, But Still Worth a Read! 18 août 2012
Par YA Litwit - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
With grand plans of doing a joint guest review, my husband actually buddy-read this with our (then) ten year old daughter in late 2011. When he started animatedly telling me about it, gushing about the humor and wit, I told him that he didn't have to do the review... He got me excited for it, and being the selfish girl that I am, I wanted to review it myself. But, as it usually does, time slipped by and I got more and more backed up on my review reading. Well, imagine my excitement when I found Chomp in Audible's library (AND that it was read by Mr. Dawson's Creek himself, James Van Der Beek!)! I promptly downloaded it and gave it a listen.

I am a fan of Carl Hiaasen. Back in the day when I read books written for adults, I read quite a few of his adult novels (Skinny Dip, Sick Puppy, Nature Girl, Skin Tight, Star Island, etc.). I've also read all of his MG novels as well (Flush, Hoot, Scat). Between the facts I am already a fan, and that they show up on just about every summer reading list known to man, reading them was really a no-brainer. It just stands to reason that I would like Chomp, right? Right. I did like it. It was typical Carl Hiaasen; great characters, enticing plot and pacing, funny, adventurous, well-researched and informational, with smatterings of intelligent sarcasm throughout. Just like every other book I've read by him, it takes place in Florida, and is heavily laced with eco-speak. It is obvious that Mr. Hiaasen cares tremendously about our natural world, particularly the piece of it that we call Florida (and he calls home). As a avid bird-nerd and conservationist myself, I applaud him for lacing his books with thought-provoking dialogue related to the damage we do, as humans, to our environment. If his books open the eyes of even a small percentage of the people who read them to these facts, he has done a great service to our planet, and has entertained the masses at the same time! Bravo!

But enough about my general feelings toward Carl Hiaasen, and on to this particular book... I liked Chomp. It wasn't perfect, and it wasn't my favorite of his books, but I probably laughed most reading this one. I think the characters, or rather (for the most part), the caricatures, were the best part of the book. There were too many great ones to list here, but each one was done so well, even the most minor of them. The characterizations were spot-on; from the ratings-obsessed Hollywood producer, to the over-indulged TV star, to the bubba Everglades airboat tour guide, to the trailer-trash drunk, each added an element of entertainment and enjoyment to the story. I don't know if everyone will get the same vibe off the characters that I did because I'm a bit biased. I'm sure part of my enjoyment came from having lived in Florida for four years, and the fact that I encountered some of the latter type regularly. For me, they were what made this story great.

Told mostly from the POV of Wahoo Cray (How's that for a name? And yes, that's his REAL name!), Chomp takes us on a crazy adventure that takes us deep into the Florida Everglades, with a cast of characters that doesn't get any more bizarre. Wahoo is great, and probably the most level headed and "adult" of the entire bunch. He's the son of a renowned animal wrangler, and although his dad, Mickey, is great with the animals, he's rather flaky about the other facts of life. When Wahoo's dad is hired by the TV show, Expedition Survival, to do a show in the Everglades, the adventures kick off and just keep getting nuttier. The star of the show, Derek Badger, is a real piece of work. He is supposed to be a cross between Steve Irwin and Bear Grylls, but he is really anything but. The world sees him is this hard-core survivalist, but he is actually a pampered, spoiled, Hollywood creation (and former Irish Folk Dancer), who couldn't survive the county park without help. He is the source of a great number of the laughs, and for me, played a huge part in making this story as good as it was. Added to Derek and his drama, was Wahoo's friend, Tuna, who they accidentally rescued from her abusive father (and the trailer they lived in, in the local Walmart parking lot). While her whole situation added a bit of austerity to the story, it also provided a bunch of laughs as well, taking the story in a rather unexpected direction. Along with the laughs, I really enjoyed being a casual observer to both the way Wahoo matured throughout the book, and how his sweet, unexpected relationship with Tuna evolved. Carl Hiaasen wrote these parts so well, in in such a way that they didn't get lost beneath the laughs and adventure, and I think that takes a lot of talent.

As for the audio experience, I thought James Van Der Beek did a great job with it. I thought his voice added a nice touch, breathing life into Wahoo's character, in particular. I think I liked this book better this way, than I would have if I had just read the text version. If you are considering reading this book, and enjoy audiobooks, you should definitely give this one a shot.

Overall, I think this was a good story. Like I mentioned before, it wasn't my favorite by Carl Hiaasen, but it was well worth the listen/read. This would be a great addition to any upper elementary or middle school classroom/library. This book has appeal for not only the MG readers it was written for, but teens and adults as well. In fact, I think my husband loved it even more than my daughter did. It would be a great choice as a read-aloud for parents who still read to their older kids because both would enjoy it.

My Rating: 3.5 stars

Grade Level Recommendation: Carl Hiaasen's MG books are not squeaky clean. There are usually a few swears and almost always a bit of violence, although none of it graphic or gratuitous. This book was no different. Considering this, I think Chomp is appropriate for the average 4th grader and up. (Ages 8+)
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