Roy's family moves a lot, so he's used to the new-kid drill. Florida bullies are pretty much like bullies everywhere. But Roy finds himself oddly indebted to the hulking Dana Matherson. If Dana hadn't been sinking his thumbs into Roy's temples and mashing his face against the school-bus window, Roy might never have spotted the running boy. And the running boy is the first interesting thing Roy's seen in Florida.
The boy was about Roy's age, but he was running away from the school bus. He had no books, no backpack, and, here's the odd part, no shoes.
Sensing a mystery, Roy sets himself on the boy's trail. The chase will introduce him to some other intriguing Floridian creatures: potty-trained alligators, a beleaguered construction foreman, some burrowing owls, a fake-fart champion, a renegade eco-avenger, some slippery fish, a sinister pancake PR man, and several extremely poisonous snakes with unnaturally sparking tails.
Life in Florida is looking up.
Hoot is a 2003 Newbery Medal Honor Book.
©2002 Carl Hiaasen; (P)2002 Random House, Inc., Listening Library, An Imprint of Random House Audio Publishing Group
"Quite a hoot indeed." (Publishers Weekly)
"Hiaasen has crafted a delicious screwball comedy for all ages, and Chad Lowe's performance is a hoot." (AudioFile)
Here is the quintessential normal kid hero doing his thing in a world full of weirdos. This is a great book for kids and a pretty good book for adults. The outcome is telegraphed as soon as you know who the characters are, and what they do, but it was a fun listen. In a way, it's a kids book, but just like Harry Potter, only adults who have lost sight of what it was to be a kid will not enjoy it too.
Learned to love audiobooks when I was commuting two to three hour a day. I still love listening to a good book, even when I prefer a printed version.
While this could be enjoyed by young teens, I appreciated this book particularly as an adult. Apparently, junior high school hasn't changed, so the characters and plight of the young protagonist rang true. The plot is as quirky as I've come to expect from a Carl Hiaasen book, with all the bemused sense of absurdity that colors all his work. I listened to it in my car, and looked forward every night to getting back to the story during the next morning's drive to work(NOT a common situation!). Chad Lowe does an excellent job of reading -- speaking from the kid's point of view without condescension, particularly.
I am very disappointed in Audible (and maybe Hiassen) for not clearly labelling this a children's book. Probably great for 8 to 12 year olds but NOT for adults doing a 10 hour drive. As a kicker, my Otis did not record the final chapter. I'd like to say I don't know how it ended but I do and did for the last 4 hours I listened. Get this for a youngster but not for literate adults.
This book was very exciting and the adventures were really good but there wasn't much description. Overall I think this book was great.
In between John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee books, I am also reading Carl Hiassen's. Seems like I'm on a Florida kick. In any case, Hiassen's books are quirky and interesting reads. Definitely worthwhile. And they elevate Florida beyond the strip mall existence that is all to evident when you visit there.
I am a big fan of Carl Hiaasen books, particularly when delivered in audio form, but this one was just okay. I don't know if he intended the book to be kid-friendly when writing it, but the topic, writing style's complexity and humor were very 'young adult'. As he usually has a darker undertone to his humor and will write on rated R topics with humor, I was a bit surprised by how tame this one really was.
I would recommend reading Carl Hiaasen and would recommend this as a kid-friendly audiobook for the whole family to enjoy, but would not recommend it as one of Carl's typical dark comedies.
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