January 8, 2012

Hoot


This is part of the TBR Double Dare!  Hoot is a book I’ve been meaning to read for a while.  I went through a period in the 90s where I read all the Carl Hiaasen that was out there.  Light, funny, insightful and just pure pleasure.  Especially if you recognize the craziness from living in Florida.

I’m happy he’s writing books for kids now too.  I could totally picture them him subtracting the sex, toning down the violence and keeping the crazy bullies and wacko animals and knew the eco-friendly message would go over well with the kids.

This is pretty much what I imagined.  Completely irrational bully: check.  Minor eco-terrorism (more like eco-pranks, including a port-a-potty full of baby gators): check.  Wacko animal on a rampage: nope!  There are the aforementioned gators and some cottonmouths (with glitter paint on their tails--don’t ask; it’s Carl Hiaasen and that’s how he rolls.)

It’s about a middle school boy named Roy who has recently moved to some fictional town in Florida (why can’t I ever remember the names of fictional towns) and notices an intriguing barefoot boy running through people’s lawns on a day when the rest of the kids are on the bus headed to school.  He notices this because the previously mentioned bully is strangling Roy and shoving him into the glass window of the bus.  It turns out the mysterious running boy believes saving a family of endangered owls from a new pancake house construction site is more important than school.  He reluctantly lets Roy in on the scheme which builds to a satisfying, hilarious and relatively unrealistic conclusion.  Just like the Hiaasen books written for grown ups!

I understand this was made into a movie but it kind of came and went.  You really have to “get” Hiaasen’s sense of humor to make the right kind of film.  In the wrong hands this could be a generic happy-go-lucky, aw-shucks family feature, missing the requisite amount of satire, fear, and absurdity.

He’s got another one for the kids called Flush which I’ll definitely be adding to my ever-growing list.

12 comments:

pixelsandpoetry said...

I have a tbr challenge, but not a double dare - not strong enough. There are quite a few books due out soon that I will be all over as soon as they release.

I adore Carl Hiaasen. Someone gave me Sick Puppy as a gift (I have 2 labs) and I went on a Hiaasen binge. Too hysterical! Then, began to read children's and YA nearly exclusively, so I was thrilled when Hoot came out. The movie was cute. The public librarian and I had a book/ movie summer book club and that was one of our choices.

I've read Flush and Scat and can't wait for the March release of Chomp.

Happy reading and good luck on your challenge!

brenda

pixelsandpoetry said...

I have a tbr challenge, but not a double dare - not strong enough. There are quite a few books due out soon that I will be all over as soon as they release.

I adore Carl Hiaasen. Someone gave me Sick Puppy as a gift (I have 2 labs) and I went on a Hiaasen binge. Too hysterical! Then, began to read children's and YA nearly exclusively, so I was thrilled when Hoot came out. The movie was cute. The public librarian and I had a book/ movie summer book club and that was one of our choices.

I've read Flush and Scat and can't wait for the March release of Chomp.

Happy reading and good luck on your challenge!

brenda

pixelsandpoetry said...

oops, sorry about that double post. I tried to sign in as proseandkahn.livejournal, but ever since LJ upgraded (ha!) I have been unable to make comments on most blogs. So annoying! So when I used the google account, I thought I got another error.

scottspinks said...

Thanks for the comments on Hoot. I will finally be adding it to my "to read" list, thanks to your comments.

Take care

jenkleinbooks said...

I have not signed up for an official TBR challenge, but I have resolved to read 20 books in 2012... which shouldn't be too difficult, right? I've already crossed one of the list (THE STATISTICAL PROBABILITY OF LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT by Jennifer E. Smith -- it was AWESOME).

I read HOOT a while ago and thought it was a fun read -- even read it to my children for their before-bed story.

Dorine White said...

I've never read it, but I've seen it enough that I should.

Carol A.Bender said...

Thanks for bringing this one to my attention.

Doret said...

Hoot was enjoyable though I really enjoyed Scat by Hiaasen

mary kinser said...

Love Carl Hiaasen but for some reason I've never made the jump to his kidlit books. You've inspired me to correct the imbalance!

Ms. O said...

PS Add Chomp, too, when it comes out. I snagged an e-ARC through Netgalley and it is my new second favorite. Hoot will always be my first favorite of his books.

Storied Cities said...

I haven't read this one yet, but I bought it at a used book sale a year ago. I was hoping my son might be interested when he's older.

mareneli said...

Hoot is a pretty cute book. The audiobook is great too. The reader is Chad Lowe, brother of Rob Lowe. He does a nice job with accents and voices, adding just a touch of flavor to each character without overplaying anyone. Highly recommend the audiobook.