by Dietlof Reiche
A while ago I read this cute book about a hamster- I, Freddy. My daughter has the first four books in the series, so looking for another fun read I tried the second and third.
I just couldn\’t get into it. The established premise is that Freddy can now read and write with ease- he is in fact writing (his life story and some fiction) on his owner\’s computer, and also using the computer to communicate with the man who seems to find it normal to talk to a hamster now, but keeps it a secret from everyone else. Freddy in Peril pitches immediately into a mystery of sorts- someone is trying to break into the apartment and Freddy suspects it is to steal him. This would-be-thief has learned of Freddy\’s communication skills and wants to use the hamster in some scientific experiment. Of course Freddy and his companions- a cat and two guinea pigs- have to thwart the plan and save Freddy.
It was just implausible from the very beginning. I enjoyed the first book which only stretched a little bit from the normalcy of a hamster becoming used to a new environment and getting along with the other pets. This one goes a lot further- talking hamster solves a mystery and saves the day! I can see how kids would really like it, but it\’s obviously aimed at them and not me.
I opened the third book Freddy to the Rescue just to see, as this one had a premise that interested me a bit more. Freddy learns that a nearby construction site threatens the lives of a field hamster population, and he intends to save them. But it was really tedious to find that so many things were reiterated in the first chapter as in the other books: the guinea pigs fall over whenever Freddy surprises them with his snarl. The cat is full of himself but Freddy knows better. The humans are clueless as to what is really going on and Freddy will figure out how to fix it all- despite his small size. The incessant jokes and rhymes coming from the guinea pigs were tiresome. The writing style did nothing for me. Oh well.
Now I\’m diving into something thick instead.
Abandoned 208 pages, 2006