Sunday, November 6, 2011

Audiobook Review: Flush by Carl Hiaasen

Author: Carl Hiaasen
Narrator: Michael Welch
Publisher: Listening Library
Edition: Unabridged
Duration: 5 hours, 22 minutes
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)
On Father's Day, Noah visits his dad at the local jail. Dad is a feisty environmentalist with a short fuse. Convinced that the Coral Queen was dumping raw sewage into the harbor, he decided to take matters in his own hands. He sank the floating casino (at least temporarily), but ended up in the hoosegow. Noah knows that his dad was right about the sewage, even if his corrective method was a little over the top. To clean the slate and the harbor, he drafts a motley crew of friends to get the goods on the illegal dumpers.

Overall Rating: 4/5

Before this book, I hadn't read anything by Carl Hiaasen, though I have heard a lot about him because of Hoot's success. Without even reading the summary, I knew that this novel would probably take on some sort of environmental issue, but I didn't expect it to be so good. This is a book I would have loved as a kid, and is still a good read as an adult. It has a lot of action, intrigue, and great characters.

I really liked the relationship between Noah and his little sister Abbey. Their interactions were realistic and Abbey added a humorous element to the story, which I appreciated. I also liked how Abbey is portrayed as a stronger personality than Noah, even though she's his little sister. I'm a sucker for strong female characters, and Hiaasen definitely includes them in this novel.

The story itself is awesome. To clear their father's good name, Noah and Abbey take it upon themselves to prove that the Coral Queen is dumping raw sewage into the harbor and enlist the help of a couple of others. Some plot twists were predictable, but there were a few surprises Hiaasen threw in that completely shocked me.

Michael Welch's narration was perfect. I love listening to audiobooks when it's told in first person, because it gives an heightened sense of simply being told a story. It's even better when the narrator is able to capture the main character's personality and add some quirks, which is exactly what Michael Welch does.

Overall, this story is enjoyable, full of surprises, and carries a good message. It's about kids taking matters into their own hands and helping to right wrongs. With humor and adventure, Flush is great for kids and adults alike.