Peggy Wheeler identifies herself as an author of fantastical fiction and she most definitely is! I listened to The Splendid and Extraordinary Life of Beautimus Potamus and was captivated right away. It is a story about a 300-year-old hippo who lives on the planet Rendaz and moves through life teaching earth history and interacting with others such as her good friend Sam, the praying mantis, her mentor and high priestess who is a blue crane, a gorilla named Rufus who tells bad fart jokes and a host of other fantastical creatures who live and interact as humans. In one history class, she shares how the Egyptians and other cultures came to worship animal gods – yes, coincidentally, animals who visited earth from Rendaz!
Beautimus is lacking in the self-confidence area but when she finds love – watch out! In her gaining confidence, she manages to unintentionally set off a revenge-fueled hatred that will leave the listener on the edge of their chair.
Wheeler creates a world, much like earth where her characters mirror humans in actions and beliefs. I found the audiobook interesting and couldn’t stop listening. Between the wordplay, satire, social situations that are political and religious peppered with puns and other jests and the excellently developed plot and characters, this book is awesome. When I first started listening to the book I thought, “OMG really? A hippo as the main character???” But then Wheeler sucked me in and I fell in love with Beautimus, Sam, Lucas, and all the other delightful characters.
Kelley Hazen deserves an A+++ for her narration. She did a fantastic job of keeping up with the voices and tempo of the book. She was just amazing! I would love to hear more of her. I cannot imagine anyone else doing as magnificent a job as she did.
There were no issues with the audio or production of this book.
Star Rating: * * * * *
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