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River of Teeth

(River of Teeth #1)

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  7,482 ratings  ·  1,841 reviews
In the early 20th Century, the United States government concocted a plan to import hippopotamuses into the marshlands of Louisiana to be bred and slaughtered as an alternative meat source. This is true.

Other true things about hippos: they are savage, they are fast, and their jaws can snap a man in two.

This was a terrible plan.

Contained within this volume is an 1890s Americ
ebook, 114 pages
Published May 23rd 2017 by Tom Doherty Associates
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Moniqa That's the singular, gender-neutral pronoun, which the English language has used since the 14th century. It appears that Hero is a non-binary characte…moreThat's the singular, gender-neutral pronoun, which the English language has used since the 14th century. It appears that Hero is a non-binary character.

Fun fact: The American Dialect Society—comprised of linguists, lexicographers, etymologists, grammarians, historians, researchers, and more—named singular "they" Word of the Year in 2015.(less)
Nick If you look up the dietary habits of hippos, the phrase most often used is "mostly herbivorous." They will kill both humans and creatures the size of …moreIf you look up the dietary habits of hippos, the phrase most often used is "mostly herbivorous." They will kill both humans and creatures the size of cattle, if provoked. If they get some meat on their large and pointy teeth, do they swallow it?(less)

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Rick Riordan
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
I was sold on this novella as soon as I read the premise. Based on an actual idea that was never executed by U.S. government, this book postulates a Wild West-era America in which hippos were introduced to the Mississippi River to be raised as a source of food. Unfortunately, some of these hippos have now gone feral, which means, Houston, we have a hippo problem. The government hires a crack team of hippo wranglers (who also have varied talents as demolition experts, assassins, con women and pis ...more
If you catch my thoughts here on Goodreads you might realize that I almost never give anything one star. I try to always find the good in something and if I manage to at least finish the book, the author accomplished something. But I got halfway through this novella and couldn't finish anymore. I got tired of rolling my eyes. There is no book this year that has a cooler sounding concept than this one: a bayou western set during an alternate history where the gulf is filled with feral, man-eating ...more
James Tivendale
May 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: freecopy, fantasy
I received an advanced copy of River of Teeth via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank Sarah Gailey and Tor.

River of Teeth is an alternative history/fantasy Western adventure where the cowboys and mercenaries ride hippos instead of horses. Winslow Houndstooth is the main protagonist and he has been assigned a mission by government officials which involves brutal feral man-eating hippos and a shady gangster who runs a canal based gambling empire. For this mission, Ho
I think we've all had our mental images of hippos cutified by Fiona the Hippo, right?

Totally undoctored cuteness

Though River of Teeth predates that pudge of adorableness, focusing more on their ferocity than their cuteness. Alas; it takes more than a great Big Idea to make a story. (hippo chasing a boat)

Hippos have been brought to the southern U.S., essentially replacing horses as transportation in the uncertain and watery in the 19th century Louisiana landscape. A f
Dan Schwent
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, 2017-books
In a world where the US government DID import hippos into the Louisiana swamp to raise for meat in the 1800s, Winslow Houndstooth gets hired for a caper, no, an operation, to get the Hippos out of The Harriet, a vast marsh overrun with feral hippos. Only one member of his crew is a traitor...

When I read about this on the Facebook, I knew I had to read it. A western with people riding hippos? What's not to like? Anyway, Tor denied me on netgalley but an early birthday present from the esteemed Ri
Melissa ~ Bantering Books (On Reviewing Hiatus)
Guess what!

I love hippos! I do! I do! I do!

I didn't think I would ever love hippos. They're not cute and furry like cats. Or happy and playful like dogs. But Sarah Gailey's alternate-history novella, River of Teeth, has forever changed the way I view these amazing, fierce, deadly -- and loveable -- creatures.

Set in the Louisiana marshlands, River of Teeth is built upon a relatively unknown fact regarding the history of America. Apparently way back in the day, the U.S. was facing a meat shortage
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
You might want to take a deep breath before reading the following sentence. You're welcome.

Why this book which I read before the summer and consequently remember very little about—except that it was slightly not good—because I only have one grey cell left—bloody shrimping tourists be damned—should have been awesome because man-eating hippos and mercenaries and Louisiana and stuff, but wasn't and therefore kinda sorta disappointed me as you might have grasped from my not-so-wondrous rating:

Caz (littlebookowl)
Jun 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
Rating: 4.5 stars

WOW was this fun! I'm planning to re-read this before I continue with Taste of Marrow.
Feb 26, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reminds me of Maverick (1994) and Wild Wild West (1999). Just suspend your belief system and have fun. Hippos are waiting. Carnivorous ferals are circling and snapping their teeth like crocodiles in a James Bond movie. 'A good time no alcohol required' by the Jeremy Jahns rating system.

A drunken Soviet worker is trying to saddle a hippopotamus, Novokuznetsk, 1982.
"I dont like reading cow-people stories" - Melanie, 2019
"hold my beer" - this fucking book, right now.

I loved this. A biracial (Korean/British), queer cowboy who is getting together with a fat con-artist and a nonbinary demolition expert to pull off a heist in an alternative history with feral and ranching hippos? Wow, my new favorite thing in this world.

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❤ I read this for The Reading Rush, 2019!
Jun 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017-shelf, sci-fi
Reading this because it is a Campbell nom for this year, I'm walking into this as a properly fascinated reader. I mean, it's a western alternative history where hippos are the next big meat and it was ACTUALLY A THING. It might have been a bad idea in the real world, but the concept for a SF novella is pretty spectacular.

So how did it pan out?

Well. I like revenge stories as well as anyone and having these big monsters that crunch people with a single bite always makes for great river fiction, bu
Charles  van Buren
Sep 07, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
She writes of rivers and swamps with an appalling ignorance of geography and physics

By Charles van Buren on September 7, 2018

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

Review of Kindle edition
Publication date: May 23, 2017
Language: English

Fantastic idea for a fun alternate history romp ruined by poor prose, poor character development, an ignorance of the traits, habits and physiology of the hippopotamus (an inexcusable failing considering that the story idea is bas
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
*sighs* Don't you just hate it when the description of a book shows a story with SO MUCH potential, but as soon as you read it, you just KNOW that it'll never live up to that promised potential?!

It was like this for me when I heard about this story. An 1890s USA that has introduced hippos into the wild as an alternative meat source - that was even an actual plan of the government (it simply didn't work out in reality). How cool is that?! And look at the pretty awesome cover! In one place, where
Richard Derus
Jan 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindled, quiltbag
Rating: 3.5* of five, rounded up because HIPPOS!!!

Okay, there's this little-known weirdness about the Congress actually considering the importation of hippos for real in the early 20th century...see my four-year-old review of the Kindle Single for my take on that...but it went nowhere, thankfully.

Also thankfully Sarah Gailey got wind of this deliciously loopy piece of fucked-up thinking. This novella is a terrific playful use of reality's undercooked braining. I can't be any more pleased about t
Have I taken crazy pills? Has the world gone mad? No and yes.

This was nominated for the Hugo and Nebula. Kirkus calls it “delightful” and “fun” and “charming”. I kept hearing that a lot. “Fun!” people keep saying.

What. The. Actual. Fuck?

You tell me: hippo eats a dog. Fun! Hippo tears apart a delightful orphan. Charming! Then it takes a turn for the grim. This is, in fact, grimdark fantasy. Make no mistake about that. This is not Ocean’s 11 as numerous reviewers have stated, this is a badly-writt
Apr 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-sff-faves
* I was sent this for review by the publisher *

This novella was excellent rollicking fun. It's a story that when I saw the cover and hear the synopsis, I KNEW I needed it in my life and it definitely didn't disappoint. Not only is the story sharp and witty and non-stop, it also has some of the best representation of non-gendered characters, female protagonists, older characters and more. The only white male character is quickly killed off (yay) and we're left with a cast of pretty great (albeit
Oct 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

THIS BOOK WAS SO FUN. Seriously, more people need to read it! The main character is a queer Korean-British hippo-wrangling cowboy who puts together a rag tag group of criminals featuring the most fabulous of fat French female con artists and a gender non-binary demolitions expert, among others. It's a fucking riot.

I just wanted MORE. The only negative critique I would give this book is that we simply don't get enough page time to really develop the characters and the plot. Gailey cr
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
I think in the end, that I just had too high hope on this book. Sure it's good, with an interesting story and some really gruesome scenes. But, at the same time did I feel that this was not a book that I devoured. I loved the idea of this book, with hippos in the marshlands of Louisiana and the story was interesting, but it ended when it started to get really interesting. It's a short story only 152 pages long and that could be why I felt like I wanted more meat to the story. This is book one so ...more
Feb 27, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Feral hippos in Louisiana, mercenaries and an almost-recommendation by Ilona Andrews, what's not to like?

Classic caper. Ocean's Eleven comes to mind. Gather your fellow gender fluid characters and go against the bad guy, Western-style and on the back of hippos...

Other than that pretty flat and predictable, no great surprises. If you are looking for a light in-between read, this is entertaining enough. I might even pick up the sequel at some point.

2017 MacHalo Challenge: Western
K.J. Charles
Wildly, gleefully enjoyable. Alt-American history with hippos, for heaven's sake, as well as a gloriously diverse cast--our MCs are some or all of female, fat, POC, nonbinary, bi, pregnant, and not American--and lots of lovely romance with the banter, violence, and FERAL HIPPOS. And there's going to be another one, which I totally need.

It's a first book and you can tell--the style clunks occasionally, which an editor really could have dealt with, and the pacing's a bit rushed. It could have bee
Joce (squibblesreads)
Oct 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
OMG so much fun! It’s a good ol time Western with hippos and queer characters, a non-binary character who uses they/them pronouns and fat woman representation. Here for it. Starting the sequel in 3, 2, 1...

Thank you Emily from possiblyliterate for recommending this!
Rachel (Kalanadi)
Aug 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: novellas
It is totally a caper, Houndstooth.
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: novella
One of my reading resolutions for this year was to read more novellas – and I tried, I really did, but I am not so sure the format works for me. Which is why you should take my rating maybe with a grain of salt because it might be a genre thing. But, I struggled here and if the book had been any longer I do not think I would have finished it – but the length itself is also possibly the biggest stumbling block I had.

This is an alternative fiction Western – a world where Louisiana imported hippos,
Apr 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
So many mixed reviews for this book and honestly, I don't understand it! I loved it!

I listened to the audiobook and it was fabulous. I loved the colourful characters, the descriptive storytelling, and the amount of action packed into this short tale. I am quite anxiously awaiting the continuation of the story in the upcoming sequel, Taste of Marrow.
Mogsy (MMOGC)
3 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

Fun fact: The hippopotamus is widely considered to be the most dangerous mammal in Africa, responsible for more human fatalities there than any other large animal. Although they don’t look very threatening, they are extremely moody and territorial, often known to attack boats in the water or people on land with little to no provocation. Another fun fact: Back at the turn of the 20th century, U.S. Congress actually consider
Montzalee Wittmann
Jul 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Wild hippo ride!

River of Teeth is a fantastic alternative history book that was a joy to read and so unique. What was a blast is that she used a bit of real history as a basis! Only our crazy government would think of bringing hippos over to America! It didn't go through in real life but in this book it is a fun ride! Great story!
H. P.
May 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: modern-sf
The River of Teeth has a killer concept. It riffs off a cockamamie scheme to deal with invasive vegetation and a meat shortage in America by importing hippos en masse. In Gailey’s world, Congress went forward with the scheme (at a slightly different time than proposed), and instead of a Wild West we got wild bayous in Louisiana full of hippo-riding cowboys and riverboat casinos. How could you screw up such a great concept? Let me tell you in excruciating detail, gentle reader, because this book ...more
María Alcaide
4.5 *s. Full review here, and video in my channel to come very soon :)
Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Review originally written for my blog

This book has been on my TBR for a while because well, who doesn’t want to read about mercenary hippo wranglers? However, I bumped it straight to the top when I saw somebody online complaining about it being “too diverse”. Now, that’s a ridiculous statement but it did let me know that the book was full of diverse characters which instantly made me way more interested in it.

The characters are brilliantly diverse which I absolutely adored as it was so refreshin
The Captain
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
Ahoy there me mateys! So apparently there was a meat shortage in the United States in 1910, so this dude Robert F. Broussard introduced what was known as the "Hippo Bill" or H.R. 23261 to Congress. In it, he proposed to import hippos from Africa and let them loose in Louisiana! These hippos would eat the hyacinth that polluted the swamps and in turn be eaten by the American meat-loving people. Anyone fancy a hippo steak?

Now obviously this did not happen. At least I never saw hippos running aroun
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Sometimes the monster in your life looks a lot like you. Or exactly like you, but better.   This is the case of Evelyn Caldwell. An...
43 likes · 5 comments
“In the early twentieth century, the Congress of our great nation debated a glorious plan to resolve a meat shortage in America. The idea was this: import hippos and raise them in Louisiana’s bayous. The hippos would eat the ruinously invasive water hyacinth; the American people would eat the hippos; everyone would go home happy. Well, except the hippos. They’d go home eaten. Much to everyone’s disappointment, Congress didn’t follow through on the plan, and today America lives a cursed life—a beef life, with nary a free-range hippo within the borders of our country.” 5 likes
“Get used to it, ma’am. We have a saying where I’m from—boys will make you cry, but girls? Girls will make you sweat.” 4 likes
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