HOKA Mass Market Paperback – Jun 22 1984
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This book is a collection of short stories about the Hoka and the unfortunate Alexander Jones. Each story is literally laugh-out funny, and the illustrations peppered throughout add a lot to the humor of this wonderful book. With most short story collection there are good and not-so good stories, well that is not the case with this book, they are all hilarious. This is a great book, one that I highly recommend to everyone!
In case you are curious, there are 2 stories in this book. #1) Joy in Mudville tells the story of the Hoka baseball team (the Teddies), and their quest for the Sector Pennant. (No one can stand before the Mighty Casey, right?) #2) Undiplomatic Immunity finds Alexander Jones and a delegation of Hokas on Earth to request that Toka’s status be upgraded. Unfortunately for Jones his Hokas have discovered the spy novel! #3) Full Pack (Hokas Wild) describes what happens when the Hokas discover the Jungle Books, and meet up with a group of aliens that look like a tiger, a gorilla and a snake (or should I say Shere Khan, the Banderlog, and Kaa?). #4) In the Napoleon Crime, Hokas across the planet are suddenly introduced to military history with potentially disastrous consequences; can Jones save the day yet again? #5) The Bear That Walks Like a Man is not a Hoka story per se, but a faux-leftist intellectual’s look at the Hoka.
All of the stories are passable fun. I especially liked "Joy in Mudville," in which the Hokas are determined to reinact Casey at the Bat against the rival octopoid team from Saren, and "Full Pack," in which the Hokas (along with some other aliens) reinact _The Jungle Book_. But some of the stories -- particularly "Full Pack" and "The Napoleon Crime"-- drag on a bit too long. And the punch line spoken by Alex Jones in the last tale was used by a villain in _Earthman's Burden_, which weakens the effect a bit.
There are a generous number of interior illustrations by a variety of artists. The quality is somewhat mixed. But I did like Phil Foglio's cover and his street scene on page 156 showing the Childe Cycles Shop and the 3 Hearts and 3 Lions Tavern. None of them had quite the comic dazzle for me of Edd Cartier's original illustrations in _Earthman's Burden_. Perhaps readers with more modern tastes than my own will find the illustrations more to their liking.
All in all, good entertainment. And you can always pass over Sandra Miesel's tiresome spoof.
I found myself initially turned off by the unsophisticated and simple short story format. I was expecting more development. These stories just kinda dive right in. But, the book grew on me and I got a few good chuckles from it. For big science fiction fans, it probably won't satisfy your craving for a good sci-fi book. But, for anyone wanting to kill some time reading something a little off the wall, you won't be dissapointed. Probably a good book for kids. It's a quick read, too.