The author wrote this about his novel:
I was down in Florida with my family, visiting a zoo that harbors a variety of reptiles and other exotic animals. We were part of a small audience watching a zookeeper demonstrate how to put an alligator to sleep by stroking its up turned belly. Something about that man fondling that alligator amused me so much that it struck me with a revelation: I had just met one of my characters. Not long after that I sat down at my keyboard and began to wonder what kind of voice this embryonic character might have - and what he might want to say. After a while I found myself typing the following sentence:
“A sink had fallen on the Komodo monitor and busted up its head pretty bad.”
After that sentence appeared, the zookeeper Lemuel Lee Frobey and his Uncle Earl started walking around their family-owned reptile park named Lizard World. I wrote a half dozen pages, but put them aside and tried to forget about them. They just seemed so strange: I couldn’t believe this was the novel my capricious Muse was asking me to write.
But after several months, I found that I simply couldn't write anything else. “Take it or leave it,” said the Muse. And so I said, Well, okay, I'll take it. I went back to my pages - and the words started flowing again. That is when the dentist, whose acquaintance I'd made in an earlier little book I'd written, suddenly found himself in this new book, driving down at night into the heart of the Florida swamps.
After that I had a number of other hunches. Each one was an idea I found myself so drawn to that I couldn't leave it out. For example, I had long wanted to write about a Poe-obsessed horror novelist who murders editors: One day I realized that this psychopath had to be my zookeeper. I was also thinking a lot about alligators - and it occurred to me that perfume might be manufactured from the secretions of their musk glands.
Intrigued by this idea, I phoned the Bronx Zoo and was told by one of their experts that he, too, had long been fascinated by that possibility. That's how the perfume factory came into existence in my novel. Another plot element that intrigued me was the idea of a brain transplant. It dawned on me that the kidnapped dentist was going to be the brain donor, but I didn't know who was going to get his brain until I started experimenting with the voice of a 17th-century English Lord. I knew I’d found something else I had to stir into the soup. After a while I'd stirred in so many curiosities that my story seemed like the brew in the Weird Sister’s cauldron:
“Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard’s leg, and howlet's wing. . ..”
The potion had begun to bubble and steam - and out of it, gradually, the monster arose.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Mrs on 23-06-13
Would you listen to Lizard World again? Why?
I'd maybe like to read it again.
Who was your favorite character and why?
Which character – as performed by David Stifel – was your favourite?
Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
Any additional comments?
Well, there's fantasy and then there's fantasy by Terry Bazes, which seems to be turbo-charged. Yes, I had to suspend my disbelief systems, sometimes to the power of 10, but isn't that what vivid imagination should do? I like books which make me think 'what just happened there?' and 'I wonder what happens next...'. Interestingly, I actually ended up liking precisely none of the characters because they were so really horrible, or horribly real, not sure which...and that was just the humans.'
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Tony on 10-09-14
Narrator David Stifel brings life to characters
What made the experience of listening to Lizard World the most enjoyable?
The book was an entertaining wild journey brought to life by David Stifel's fantastic narration. An unorthodox story of past and present with crocodiles and cooky characters it is an fun tale of of kidnapping, jealousy, and good old Tomfoolery. This book reminds me of those famous Florida fictions by Carl Hiaasen and Tom Dorsey.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
By Slim on 27-08-14
David Stifel rocks LIZARD WORLD
What did you love best about Lizard World?
The narration, loaded with eccentric and variously accented characters, kept me constantly amazed and engaged in a story that can be compared to nothing I have ever read before.
What does David Stifel bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
Every single character in the story from the 17th century English Earl to the 21st century New Jersey Dentist is fully developed as far as dialect and voice are concerned. The narration makes this complicated story really come to life.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
It made me laugh quite a few times. It never exactly made me cry, but it did make my stomach roil a bit.
Any additional comments?
You have to listen to understand....if you are looking for something way out of the ordinary and well written, then visit LIZARD WORLD. David Stifel's narration will not disappoint and his female characters, some with deeper voices than their male counterparts, are nothing short of genius.