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Publisher's Summary

Snakes, grizzlies, a missing dad, a menacing drone... 

Carl Hiaasen delivers a wickledly funny, slightly subversive tale in his latest New York Times best seller.

Some facts about Billy Dickens:

  • He once saw a biker swerve across the road in order to run over a snake.
  • Later, that motorcycle somehow ended up at the bottom of a canal.
  • Billy isn't the type to let things go.

Some facts about Billy's family:

  • They've lived in six different Florida towns because Billy's mom insists on getting a house near a bald eagle nest.
  • Billy's dad left when he was four and is a total mystery.
  • Billy has just found his dad's address - in Montana.

This summer, Billy will fly across the country, hike a mountain, float a river, dodge a grizzly bear, shoot down a spy drone, save a neighbor's cat, save an endangered panther, and then try to save his own father.

©2018 Carl Hiaasen (P)2018 Listening Library

Critic Reviews

"Humorous, self-deprecating narration and convoluted exploits will keep pages turning till the satisfying close." (Kirkus Reviews)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Great kids book

This was a great book for kids 8+. Was a disappointment for those who like Carl Hiassens books about The exgovernor. This book is definitely geared for a much younger audience. We hope he will write more of the hilarious exgovernor and his exploits

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Clearly for younger readers

Readers hoping for another adult novel like Strip Tease, Stormy Weather, Lucky You, or Sick Puppy will be disappointed by Squirm This book is clearly intended for tweeners and young adolescent readers, as evidenced by thirteen/fourteen-year-old Billy Dickens sayiing expletive instead using the curse words that might offend some parents and school personnel. Billy will appeal to many young readers who have experienced school bullying and divorced parents. He stands up for himself and others; of course, some of his bravado is pretty implausible. Younger readers will also admire the way he uses his wiles to outwit a number of adults.

Billy's mother exhibits some of Hiaasen's prototypical wackiness, basing here choice of homes on where she can see eagles. Some of the other characters Billy encounters are similarly eccentric .Hiaasen includes some historical background about both Florida and Montana. He also provides some insights into the effects of poaching endangered species. His pro-environmentalist feelings are fairly obvious.

As a retired middle school reading teacher, I was familiar with some of Hiaasen's other books for young readers such as the award winning Hoot. Thus, I knew what to expect. Perhaps the publisher's summary or Audible's promotional material should have made clear the intended audience, so as not to disappoint those expecting more mature fare.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Mac
  • Clinton, Montserrat
  • 10-04-18

Did I miss that this was a children's book?

This is not your typical Hiaasen read. Nothing edgy or intriguing about it. In fact, it appears to be targeting middle school readers. Nothing wrong with that, just not at all what I was expecting.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

We thought Hiaasen would deliver, but...

This book was so corny and boring that we sped up the reading just to get through it. My whole family loves Hiaasen, but we did not enjoy this book. The actor reading it lacked an edge.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Not a book I recommend

Why is funny to have a boy following his fathers example of lying to family members, use bullying tactics against bullies, using parents credit cards behind their back their backs and completely hide a large estate of millions of dollars. Oh yes and the two women blissfully forgive all as does the older intelligent daughter-after all the dad lost his parents when he was younger. No. This a really poor book.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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meh

more like a kids book narrated by a kid. not the zany Carl hiaasen writing about the Florida crazy man like no else can. struggled to fimish

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not Hiaasen's Best

Predictable and not very clever. I'm a big fan and disappointed in this effort. Long live the swamp.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Boring

Returned this audiobook without finishing. It wasn’t one of Mr. Hiaasen’s best. It dragged along and wasn’t funny. Bummer!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A Different Hiaasen but Brilliant

Brilliantly read, charming, engrossing. Not the typical Hiaasen whacko Floridians but great characters and riveting story.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Mailed it in

Hiaasen’s books are usually so entertaining and full of humor and intrigue . This one is formulaic and simply not very interesting. Sorry, really wanted to love it. I kept waiting for something interesting to happen but never found it:(

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-10-18

The master does it again!

Great story, wonderful characterisation and of course Hiasson's special brand of karma!
Loved the reader's soft melodic tones, the only small detraction was annoying 'explitif' overdubbing. (Audible - can you please put language warning on cover instead, leaving the book as written?)

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Benjamin
  • 10-03-18

For young adults only

I'm a massive Carl Hiaasen fan, and if you are too, you can skip this one. For any 10-14 year olds wanting some adventure, it's spot on! But if you are after his usual fare, this is not it at all.