Book review ‘Chomp’ | Hamro Patro

ब्लग - साहित्य / बाल साहित्य

Book review ‘Chomp’

   Kriti Nepal - Sep 15 2022

The story is about Wahoo Cray; a teen whose father; Mickey Cray, is a professional animal wrangler who has been out of action after a dead Iguana had hit him in the head leaving him with blurry vision and headaches. Since the Cray’s weren’t well financially, Wahoo’s mother; Susan, had been working in China. Soon enough Mickey gets offered a job from the famous show ‘Expedition Survival’ starring Derek Badger. Despite not wanting to work with Derek, Mickey accepts the offer for money. Derek first shoots an episode on Mickey’s “fake” everglades set where Derek first tries opening a turtle’s mouth, fighting a python and fails miserably but then provokes Alice the alligator and almost ends up dead but saved by Mickey. After getting impressed by the footage of that very scene with Alice, Derek decides to shoot the rest of the episodes with untamed wild animals in the real Everglades. On the way when Mickey and Wahoo are getting supplies for their trip to Everglades, they meet Wahoo’s friend Tuna who is beaten by her drunk dad; Jared and lives at walmart. She then joins them on their trip. The shooting of the show begins with Derek trying to eat a snake but they end it after it bites him and they camp up there, however Derek stays in his hotel. The next day they continued another shoot when there was a storm and it got late at night. Derek tries to go back to the hotel but is forced to camp the night with others after the helicopter was unable to fly due to the storm. Of all the things, a bat is seen at the camp and Derek thinks of eating it when the bat bites his tongue. The next morning Derek runs away from the camp taking a speed boat and is delusional thinking that he is turning into a vampire after getting bitten by a bat since he was a big fan of such movies. On the other hand Jared pursues Tuna and sees her, who then runs away with Wahoo and Link who is then shot by Jared. Mickey is taken hostage by Jared but tries to keep him away from the kids by wasting time meanwhile Tuna and Wahoo’s airboat dies and they get on an island. On that island they see Derek lost, all beat up but still delirious. Wahoo then separated with Tuna for a bit when Jared meets up with her and demands Mickey to drive them away but he refuses and gets shot by Jared in the feet. After that Link comes in demanding his boat back but is pointed at by Jared but then Wahoo jumps him and makes him drop the gun and finally Derek(thinking he’s still a vampire) bites Jared in the neck. After that Jared is arrested by the police, Mickey and Link are rushed to the hospital and Wahoo and Tuna wave each other goodbye. An epilog chapter is also there showing aftermath where Jared is in jail, a new episode of expedition survival is aired that’ll be Derek’s final since his contract wasn’t renewed, Expedition survival got another new star who was managed by Raven, Susan returned from China, Mickey was able to continue his work after surgery, Tuna lived with her mother and Wahoo kept in touch with her.

The story has a lot of aspects that portrays a little but has a much deeper meaning behind it. Some of the things that stood out for me personally were:

Maturity does not come with age: It is shown in the story how Derek Badger; a fully grown young man who is also a star that is looked up to by many fans acts completely immature, throws unnecessary tantrums that causes others problems etc. Meanwhile on the other hand, Wahoo; a young teen that has barely seen the world, acts mature, thinks rationally and also helps his Dad in a lot of ways. This heavily shows how maturity does not come with age.

Value of money: It is shown how important money is in one’s life in the story. Susan had to go far away from her loving family only to earn some money, Mickey had to work with Derek and team despite not wanting to only to get a good amount of money, Derek doing whatever he wanted with the animals like injuring them but getting awaj easily by paying money and more.
Knowledge on animals: It might go unnoticed but reading this book gives a lot of knowledge regarding animals as well. Like it is shown how tarantulas( a hairy spider) looks deadly but its bite is no worse than bee sting and it is not deadly, how animals are usually calm unless provoked or hungry etc.

Child abuse: Another thing portrayed in the book is child abuse. Tuna, a very young child despite being smart and friendly, is abused by her drunk father but all she could do was stay with him. Child abuse is one of the major social problems portrayed in the book.
Reality of “Reality TV Shows”: This book heavily revolves around showing the reality of so-called ‘Reality Tv shows’. It is shown how every little detail is properly planned but shown in an exaggerating way making it all seem real. We can see how Derek does stupid things like provoking the animals and getting harmed but getting saved by Mickey but the scenes are cut and edited making it seem like Derek fought and got out of near death experience and more.

Animal violence: The book has shown in many ways how animals despite their good behavior are hunted, violated and used by mankind for their own needs, benefits and entertainment.

Humans’ selfish or bad nature: It is no surprise that the book has shown animals' nature and behavior however it also has not failed to show human nature. It is shown how Lee Bluepenny(Derek’s real name) was not so egoistic before but after he got a little fame being Derek Badger, he started getting egoistical, rude and didn’t care about others. It is also shown how Jared didn’t care for Tuna but when he found out she was out far, he went to pursue her only so she could be punished.

I really enjoyed reading this novel. The plot with unexpected twists and turns with the use of constant humor made it more enjoyable. The language structure was also not very complicated and was made with pure simplicity. I also liked the fact that despite being a book of complete fiction, it never failed to portray the reality of life through its themes. The characters, despite being for comedy purposes, were made with a very realistic nature which was a plus point for me. I would have recommended this book to everyone if not for some of its flaws. The story is filled with stuffs that not everyone might be comfortable reading or might triggering like it is described how Wahoo loses his thumb after an alligator chomps it off or Jared uses guns to shoot people, Mickey almost loses his leg after getting shot, Derek nearly dies many times due to carelessness from provoking animals and more. I also didn’t like the fact how Wahoo, despite being the main character, is lurking in the shadows whereas characters like Mickey and Derek are the main focus and the ones that keep the story entertaining. Despite some flaws in the story I personally liked the book and had a fun time reading it.

Kriti Nepal
XI ‘Khumbutse’
Deerwalk Sifal School

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