Hooked, by Jane May

As our longtime readers know, we here at Wordcandy rarely turn down a re-told fairytale, even when it’s just another teen-girl-friendly version of Cinderella. We’re particularly excited when the fairytale in question is an unusual one, which is why we were all a-flutter over Jane May’s Hooked, a modern retelling of The Fisherman and His Wife.

Clarence "Woody" Woods, the assistant dockmaster at an exclusive Miami yacht club, dreams of sailing around the world on his almost-fully-restored boat. Woody’s a simple-living kind of guy, but his moderate lifestyle isn’t likely to win the heart of Madalina Dragoi, the yacht club’s hot, money-grubbing new Romanian waitress. So when Woody catches a magical talking tuna (actually a philandering used-car salesman who’s been cursed by his wife) that claims to grant wishes, he finds himself charging up Florida’s social and financial ladders—and discovering that wealth, privilege, and sultry Eastern-European babes aren’t always all they’re cracked up to be.

Several of the jokes in Hooked seem like crassness for crassness’s sake, which may limit the book’s appeal for adult readers. In fact, the book’s target audience is unclear—half the humor (jokes about adulterous spouses, gold-digging, and inappropriately-timed erections) is too R-rated for young readers, but other half (jokes about flatulence and public urination) is too immature to appeal to adults. May’s book would have been improved by a hardcore editing job: one that either A) removed most of the book’s gross-out jokes, added a more fully-developed romantic storyline, and turned it into a book for grown-ups, or B) kept the gross-out humor but removed most of the overt sex stuff, making it more young-reader-friendly. After all, May is a clever, imaginative author, and Hooked makes for a fun read—it’s too bad that it ended up being neither fish nor fowl nor good red herring.
Posted by: Julianka


02 Oct, 2007 07:37 PM @ version 0

"The Fisherman and His Wife" always struck me as being an unbelievably sexist story.

09 Oct, 2007 05:00 AM @ version 0

The original fairy tale was a little tough on the ladies... I wonder why fishwives have such a shrewish reputation?

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