Chamblee54

Scat

Posted in Book Reports, Library of Congress by chamblee54 on December 23, 2015

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PG turned off the canned noise, and opened a window. Sometimes the pitter patter of rain is the best background sound. It was christmas eve eve, and PG is trying to write a book report on Scat, a “book for young readers” by Carl Hiassen.

PG found Scat on the internet, pun intended, and had a copy sent to the Chamblee library. When he learned of the juvenile intention, PG decided to read until he got bored. Veteran Hiassenites can tell you this will not happen until the book is finished, and the blank pages appear. The spell check suggestion for Hiassenite is Whiteness.

One amazon one star review disagrees. jayess99 Is anyone else sick of adults writing like and about children? This book was great for about the first two pages, and then it morphed into a kid’s tale. Why don’t they advertise it as such? Because they want your DAMN MONEY, that’s why! They dont give a hoot if you actually like the book, they just want your money. Think about it – why else would he even write this dross unless he just wanted your money?

Evidently, there is a British version of Scat, with British slang substituted for American. Just a guy from France was not amused. “Since the book takes place in FLORIDA, even the most insulated British kid is going to know that people there speak American English and I would expect that British kids would find themselves puzzled at least, and those who wanted to read an *American* book would feel cheated by this Bowdlerized bastardized abortion of a book.”

Scat is similar to the adult books written by Mr. Unpronounceable. The plot is set in Florida, and has more twists and turns than the flying spaghetti monster’s beard. There is endangered Florida wilderness, dastardly criminals, well meaning ordinary citizens, and weirdos. There is a degenerate who listens to classical music, and has a macaw that speaks English, French, and German.

The story starts in the classroom of the biology teacher from hell… don’t worry, she has a heart of gold. BTFH leads the class on a field trip, only to be interrupted by a fire in the swamp. Mrs. Starch goes into a burning swamp to find an asthma inhaler, and does not come out for a few weeks. It should be noted that normal people do not go in burning swamps to find an asthma inhaler. Things happen in Scat that require a suspension of disbelief, but are necessary to advance the plot.

When a teacher cannot show up for class, there is a substitute. In this case, the fill in instructor is a weirdo, Wendell Waxmo has unusual methods. On Monday, he teaches page 117 of the book. On Thursday, it is page 329, and Friday features page 263. PG decided to skip ahead, and read the page of the day. Telling you what happens on these three pages is a good way to summarize the plot of Scat. This is using the “BORZOI BOOK PUBLISHED BY ALFRED A. KNOPF.” It is a hard back first edition, Copyright ©2009 by Carl Hiassen.

Page 117 has a conversation with Nick and Marta. They are students of Mrs. Starch, who take an inexplicable role in the investigation after the swamp fire. Marta has seen the Prius that Mrs. Starch drives. Some strange man is driving. A classmate of Marta’s, Smoke, is in the passenger seat. Smoke, the son of the the tri-lingual macaw owner, is suspected of setting the swamp fire.

You probably think that Nick and Marta are a couple. You might be wrong, This is a book for young readers, and does not have the hanky panky that Hiassenites have come to expect. Most people in Scat have had bad marriages. Nobody seems to have sex. The only happy couple is Nick’s parents…. daddy just got back from combat duty in Iraq, minus his right arm

The Thursday class, featuring page 329, takes place on page 159. When you skip ahead to page 329, what you see will not make sense. The fourth and fifth words on the page are “Mrs. Starch,” which tells you the witch is still alive. Smoke, Marta, and Nick are present, along with a panther cub. When you look at this page when you are supposed to, it makes a bit more sense. This is when the various plot lines are hurtling towards a conclusion, and the reader is having too much fun.

On page 263, Twilley Spree is looking for a panther. Mr. Spree is another weirdo, albeit with lots of money. Out of nowhere, a pile of equipment and supplies appears. Someone is trying to dig an oil well, on land that belongs to the State of Florida. This is highly illegal, and is central to the plot of Scat. Twilley Spree decides to teach someone a lesson. What is the lesson, and who are the students? Spolier alerts are for babies. Pictures from The Library of Congress.

So this report has eleven paragraphs. If it is going to have rainbow text, there needs to be at least one more paragraph. Maybe we should consider spending $21.95 for Scat: Novel-Ties Study Guide. The “Most Helpful Customer Reviews,” which is also the only review, gives SNTSG four stars. lydia “I would recommend this study guide for Scat to other teachers. My only criticism is that the vocabulary activities are matching. Excellent literary analysis activities are included in this study guide. There are also extension activities that enrich the novel study experience.”

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One Response

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  1. Skink–No Surrender | Chamblee54 said, on January 26, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    […] to the Chamblee Library. It is another Hiassen book for young adults, like the previously consumed Scat. Skink–No Surrender was entertaining, if a bit unbelievable. Actually, more than a bit far […]


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