I actually got this book when it was released but never find the time to read it. Yeah, I know it’s a novella. The review requests pile was… it was bad, guys. I’ve just waded out of it now. 😀
And then, I was browsing through hoopla and stumbled upon the audiobook. Actually, a lot of audiobooks, lol. Thanks local library! ❤
So off I went into a man-eating-hippo audio adventure.
In the early 20th Century, the United States government concocted a plan to import hippopotamuses into the marshlands of Louisiana to be bred and slaughtered as an alternative meat source. This is true.
Other true things about hippos: they are savage, they are fast, and their jaws can snap a man in two.
This was a terrible plan.
Contained within this volume is an 1890s America that might have been: a bayou overrun by feral hippos and mercenary hippo wranglers from around the globe. It is the story of Winslow Houndstooth and his crew. It is the story of their fortunes. It is the story of his revenge.
“It’s not a caper,” Houndstooth replied, sounding irritated. “It’s an operation. All aboveboard.”
This book has a really interesting concept. The concept is that the US government brought in hippos to breed to become meat. Some of them escaped captivity and now roam around the bayous of Louisiana eating… people and whatnot. Y’know… everything.
So, this is the story of Winslow Houndstooth and his crew of shannanigators in their
caper… operation to rid a particular section of Louisiana of feral man-eating hippopotamuses. We’ve got Winslow himself, out for revenge for the burning of his hippo ranch; Cal Hotchkiss, his former ranch hand and the fastest gun in the west; Hero Shackleby, a poisons/demolitions expert; Regina Archambault, a French woman and con artist; and Adelia Reyes, a contract killer.
It was almost kind of Oceans Eleven meets early twentieth century Louisiana… with man-eating hippos. I’m bad at explaining this, but it was a really fun story all the same, okay? 😀 I thought it was well put together, pretty fast paced, and full of interesting people, twists, turns, and adventure.
My favorite character was Hero. Their relationship with Houndstooth was often times very adorably and innocently romantic. It was aww-inducing (#sorrynotsorry). A non-binary character and a pansexual character (and a relationship between them) were unexpected in a story that takes place in the 1800s southern United States, but not unwelcome. They’re fucking adorable together. ❤
The narrator, Peter Berkrot, did a pretty fair job with this one. He does a pretty good Louisiana accent, a good southern accent, made Regina sound suitably French, and Adelia sound suitably Hispanic. Houndstooth is supposed to sound sort of ambiguously sort-of-British, and Hero even notices and places his accent, so I assumed that it would be at least a little bit there. It really isn’t at all though. Oh well, it’s not a dealbreaker by any means, but something I noticed was kinda missing.
All told, I thought it was a real great use of 4 hours of doing housework. God, I love audiobooks for helping with the housework. Folding laundry can fuck itself without something else happening. ❤ ON TO THE SEQUEL!~