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Publisher's Summary

The mystical green planet of Rendaz is home to devout goddess worshiper and university professor, middle-aged Beautimus Potamus - who also happens to be a hippo plagued by hot flashes and poor self-esteem. Beautimus forms an alliance with Samuel S. Goodwings, a younger womanizing, atheist praying mantis. When these two are together, life morphs from the mundane into the fantastic. Our unlikely duo solve mysteries, bring a murderer to justice, and even help end a war, while experiencing their own trials, triumphs, and tragedies. Often with humor, their situations and adventures parody Earth culture.

During their exploits, the two interact with a host of characters, including a pair of New Age flamingos, an ADHD afflicted trout, an orangutan detective, and a 310-year-old blue crane High Priestess. All of these creatures are more "human" in surprising ways than the citizens of the blue planet, Earth, we discover was once a Rendazian Colony.

Beautimus Potamus' tongue-in-cheek story is a magical fable-stew made with the ingredients of satire, drama, social commentary, and comedy, with jests, puns and wordplay sprinkled throughout. For good measure, a generous pinch of romantic flavoring is thrown into the pot.

©2017 Peggy A. Wheeler (P)2017 Peggy A. Wheeler

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
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A BOOK FOR THE FUTURE

What a remarkable book. A story that is freshing and imaginative. A fantasy that is truly something unique and tongue-in-cheek and literary. A cast of character-animal-citizens that are imbued with attributes that are truly 'human' - flaws and funnies and all. Heroes and villains. An hilarious, self-aware, menopausal woman/hippo is the star. Her world, Rendaz, the superior planet and race of animals that 'discovered' Earth and its inhabitants. This story encourages us all to take a look at our world and our choices in a gentle and fairy-tale way. Fantasy, creativity, humor, pathos, great performances.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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ABR Reviewer's Choice Award Winner

Petty Wheeler identifies herself as an author of fantastical fiction and she most definitely is!  I listened to The Splendid and Extraordinary Life of Beautimus Potamus and was captivated right away.  It is a story about a 300-year-old hippo who lives on the planet Rendaz and moves through life teaching earth history and interacting with others such as her good friend Sam, the praying mantis, her mentor and high priestess who is a blue crane, a gorilla named Rufus who tells bad fart jokes and a host of other fantastical creatures who live and interact as humans.  In one history class, she shares how the Egyptians and other cultures came to worship animal gods – yes, coincidentally, animals who visited earth from Rendaz!

Beautimus is lacking in the self-confidence area but when she finds love – watch out!  In her gaining confidence, she manages to unintentionally set off a revenge-fueled hatred that will leave the listener on the edge of their chair.

Wheeler creates a world, much like earth where her characters mirror humans in actions and beliefs.  I found the audiobook interesting and couldn’t stop listening.  Between the wordplay, satire, social situations that are political and religious peppered with puns and other jests and the excellently developed plot and characters, this book is awesome.  When I began listening to the book I thought, “OMG really?  A hippo as the main character???” But then Wheeler sucked me in and I fell in love with Beautimus, Sam, Lucas and all the other delightful characters.

Kelley Hazen deserves an A+++ for her narration.  She did a fantastic job of keeping up with the voices and tempo of the book.  She was just amazing!  I would love to hear more of her.  I cannot imagine anyone else doing as magnificent a job as she did.

There were no issues with the audio or production of this book.

Audiobook was provided for review by the narrator.

Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.

[If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • norman
  • burlington, nc, United States
  • 12-21-17

Intriguing, often funny, fantasy

This is a very imaginative, often funny, but sometimes sad, fantasy.The characters are very intriguing. The story is full of humor and irony, with many clever puns and word play. At times it reads like a child’s story, but then there is sex , violence,and death.This is a very entertaining novel. The narrator did an excellent job performing diverse characters.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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We need this book right now and always!

Amazing performance of a very special story full of wisdom and hope. Please read or listen and share it with those you love.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Pegois
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • 11-19-17

Extraordinary world

It was a fantastical experience listening to this book. Ms. Hazen created a completely different, rich and colorful world. All the different voices were beautiful - hilarious at times, dark and poignant at others. So beautifully done. A wonderful piece taken to another level with the narrator's voice. Thank you.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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An Awesome Listen

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the narrator and found it very enjoyable. The main character is a middle aged underachiever, at least in her own opinion, who struggles through her life to change the lives of those around her. Sometimes you laugh, and other times you cry, as you listen to this suspenseful tale. The author's use of animals for the characters and the narrator's interpretation of each character creates a wonderful listening experience.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Fun Quirky Tale

You’re never to old for a great fairy tale and this was one heck of a ride.

Peggy A Wheeler has created a fun and entertaining world that was the perfect break from reality.

Kelley Hazen did an amazing performance bringing Beautimus and her quirky sidekicks to life.

“AUDIBLE 20 REVIEW SWEEPSTAKES ENTRY”

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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BRAVO! WHAT A TREAT!!!

This book is so different. Some might think its childish as you first start to listen but then you get into the meat of the story and the humor and the political references and this is a really tight, right on, today's issues kind of story. The spirituality is deeply touching. I love the real world consideration of magic. The relationships among these civilized animal characters are exactly like what we might face in the world. We are asked to examine how we are handling our own aging parents and our own jealousies, etc. in comparison to these 'civilized' animals. There is so much here that makes us take a look at how we Human Beings, are living our lives, where we are allowing our society to go - and yet it is presented in this charming fairy tale. It's Harry Potter with a brain. The worst thing I can say is that it's long. And I think the author at times may have gotten caught up in their own sense of poking fun. This is book I will listen to again, its dense and I'm sure I missed stuff the first time around. It is also one I will share with others. This is perfect for a book club! Great listen. SOmething new. Thanks you!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Listening to this book is the only way to do it !!

What a wonderful tale....full of characters with tails!

The animals of Rendaz live peacefully yet there are a few malcontents or troublemakers among them. Many have been banished to the wild and they start to parallel the humans. Rendazian civilization is threatened.

We see all this through Beautimus the hippopotamus, a teacher of earth studies and believer of the goddess. We follow her and her companions through times wrought with complications and danger, heart-warming moments and moments of self awareness.

Kelley Haven brings to life, the rich personality of each animal. The banter is witty, the parallels to humans funny and at times scary. Anyone who only reads this book is missing out! Each character's voice is unique and appropriate. She has such an amazing range. My favorites were the squirrel and trout. Kelley's narrative gift is right up there with Katherine Kellgren, Roy Dotrice, Rob Inglis and Jim Dale.

I would love to listen to another book by this author. I would listen to this book again and again. I'm sure I missed stuff.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and voluntarily left this unbiased review.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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"Well done!" A quote from the book, I think...

I loved Kelley Hazen's reading and was really awed by the "voices" of the characters. She captured their personalities with total consistency and emotion (the actress in her comes through beautifully--she becomes the characters!) The narration was clear and easy to understand.
I thought it would have been a more effective story if the author had edited it, or if it was a series. For my taste, it was too long. However, if you're one of those that just never wants a fun book to end, then this is for you!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful