Chomp by Carl Hiaasen
Hardcover, 304 pages

Wahoo Cray’s father is an animal wrangler, which means that not only does he have an unusual name, he has an unusual life. When they have the opportunity to wrangle animals for a famous wildlife show (think Steve Irwin, Crocodile Hunter style) they can’t turn it down. But when Derek Badger, the host of the show, decides he wants to shoot with real wild animals, and not the “tame” ones the Crays house, things get interesting.

This started off a little slow for me. It’s probably because it’s a middle grade novel and I have a bias toward more edgy YA type titles. I think it didn’t help that some of the characters also felt a little flat. Particularly the assistant character who – it felt like – tried to have motivation, but the description didn’t do it for me.

I really started to key in about the time that Derek Badger wrestled Alice the aligator. Perhaps it was my interest in his stupidity (ha!). I suppose that’s what makes this humorous.

It does make me wonder, though, about the reality of reality wildlife shows. How do documentary filmmakers go into an environment and leave it as untouched as possible, and how much influence does a camera (or a guy with a camera and other people with other film equipment) have on the behavior of wildlife. I watched the Planet Earth series.
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