Each second Saturday of the month, start out your day with a fun bookish hour by joining our Short Book or Funny Book (book club). Join us Saturday, February 10 at 9am for our first meeting. We'll be reading a short book (and possibly funny book), RIVER OF TEETH by Sarah Gaily.
In 1909, the United States was suffering a shortage of meat. At the same time, Louisiana's waterways were being choked by invasive water hyacinth. Louisiana Congressman Robert F. Broussard proposed an ingenious solution to both those problems: Import hippos to eat the water hyacinth; then, eat the hippos.
Luckily for the United States in our timeline, the fact that hippos are ill-tempered apex predators not amenable to being ranched was pointed out, the American Hippo Bill failed to pass by a single vote, and consequently, we don't have hippos casually chomping on passers-by due to a lack of their usual forage.
Sarah Gailey's imagined United States, however, are differently fortuned.
Winslow Remington Houndstooth, former hippo rancher, current ne'er-do-well for hire, accepts a commission from the U.S. government to get the feral hippos out of a marshy, dammed up stretch of the Mississippi River. He assembles a motley crew of hippo wranglers — with ancillary skills involving demolition, poison, disguise, and murder — to assist with the job. Unfortunately for them, one man is quite invested in the hungry, hungry hippos remaining precisely where they are — and the bad blood between him and Houndstooth goes back a very long way.
“This hippopotamus epic is just as preposterously fun as you could possibly have hoped — but it’s also a brave, clever alternate history. River of Teeth packs one hell of a gold-plated bite.” —Charlie Jane Anders, author of All the Birds in the Sky