Sunday, June 3, 2007

Review: Rattled

Here's the second part of G...

Title: Rattled
Author: Debra Galant
Rating: 3 1/2 stars

Review: I had to work hard to find this book! I had seen it on our New Books shelf a few months before I read it and was struck by the blurb on the front: "In this wickedly satirical novel, Debra Galant does for the McMansions of New Jersey what Carl Hiaasen did for the swamps of Florida." I'm all about Carl Hiaasen, so I wanted to read Rattled, but had too much on my reading plate. But I was sure I'd remember the title, no need to write it down. Wrong! Fortunately, our New Books stay New for 3 months, so after much shelf surveillance, I found it again.

Uber-controlling and materialistic mom Heather Peters wants a nice house on a nice lot. She thinks she's found it in the new subdivision of Galapagos Estates. Of course, slimy developer Jack Barstad neglected to mention that the development is located on an endangered rattlesnake habitat. Heather and her overworked, henpecked husband Kevin move in and Heather sets to work decorating and volunteering to be class mom for her son Connor's class (Connor has just a few teeny behavioural problems, so starting ata new school is hard) like chasing kids with scissors). Unfortunately, just before Heather and her cut-and-bake cookies head off to Back to School Night, a timber rattler creeps onto her new patio and she has her "handyman" (local oldtimer and egg farmer Harlan White) kill it. Turns out it's illegal to kill the endangered snakes, and thanks to an implanted tracking device, hardcore animal rights activist Agnes (who has been deputized by the wildlife service) shows up at her door. Jail, fame, ridicule and eventually self-discovery ensue for Heather as she at first takes credit for being the snake-killer but eventually everyone from the enivronmentalists to her neighbours are trying to drive her family out of Galapagos Estates.

There's definitely some Hiaasenesque-ness going on in Rattled. Galant doesn't have the sheer hilarious bizarreness of Hiaasen (but who does?) and it's a bit broader in the farce department, but it was a fun read. I found myself thinking several times that it would make a good movie. Perhaps it'll be made into one - Hoot (or perhaps Hiss?) for grownups. :)


maggie moran said...

Hiss made me laugh! ;) In order to qualify for Hiaasenism one suburbanite would need to lose a body part and replace it with a rattle! ;D

gautami tripathy said...

Glad to be here via the blogroll game!

I will be back!

tinylittlelibrarian said...

Maggie - Thanks! But yes, you're right, the body part loss is pretty important. :)

Gautami - thanks for stopping by!

Dewey said...

So, what is Hiassenesqueness? I got one of his books from the library recently, but I've never read one.

Kelly said...

Sounds kinda interesting.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for review and for taking time to track down my book!

I love the title "Hiss" for a movie.

Actually, though the Hiaasen comparison is popular, I think I'm actually closer to Elinor Lipman and Diane Johnson. And I am loving everything I'm reading by Edith Wharton these days, especially the 20th century stuff.

By the way, I have a new novel, "One God at Most," coming out next March.

tinylittlelibrarian said...

Thanks for stopping by, Debra! I'm glad you liked "Hiss." :) Hmmm...I can see Elinor Lipman, though I don't know anything about Diane Johnson. I'll be looking forward to the new book!