Hud follows the same worn-out pattern of other children’s book authors trying to relive their childhoods. In this case, the young protagonist, Hudson Lynch, survives borrow-happy neighbors, two giant Great Danes, an alleged one-hundred-four-year-old grade-school ogre, a spoiled theater hot dog, a rabid rooster, nuclear detonation, and the list goes on. Yawn. Listening to Hud was painfully difficult. Frankly, I wouldn’t have suffered through it were I not bound contractually by Editor in Chief Burner to review this audiobook. I found Mr. Crandall’s attempts to impersonate various characters to be quite juvenile, grating, although my resulting agitation did keep me awake for long stretches during a recent road trip. While I cannot recommend this audiobook to the general public, I can, wholeheartedly, recommend Hud to any wishing to remain alert along the interstate between, say, 1:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m.
—J. Vessey, Intern, Foothill Leader
Hud isn’t your average middle-grade fiction. It’s lightyears better. I heartily disagree with Ms. Vessey’s review and wonder why that other newspaper stooped to issuing literary reviews at the hands of road-fatigued interns. Crandall’s soaring narration and nineteen narratives are refreshing, didactic, family-friendly, witty. One time, in fact, I laughed so hard when listening to the Flying Dutchman in my car that I almost wrecked along Foothill Boulevard! I have an aunt just like Ulla—hair and all. This audiobook is a must listen, a rare gem to be savored again and again by kids and their adults alike.
—J. Heffron, Managing Editor, The Valley Sun
Yeah, I remember Mr. Crandall. He came into my shop for a brake job, peddling some audiobook. He got me curious, so I had my kid check it out on Amazon. I kept thinking it was called Bud or Dud, or something like that, but then remembered it was Hud. We bought it and my son said it was pretty good, so him and me listened one night, see, and caught the story titled, The Pinto. Busted my gut, hilarious. Reminded me of me when I was sixteen and bought my ‘76 Gremlin. Awesome car. Vintage. Sleek back hatch. Chariot-wheel hubcaps. Motor always knocked for half a minute after you cut the ignition… Man, still wish I owned that car. It’d be worth at least $425—maybe $475—right now on auction.
Thanks for commenting—and for the brake job, too! Actually, we ended up trading in that ’75 Vega for a ’76 Pacer with 125,000 miles on it. Even swap. Great car. Vintage. Great visibility—like looking out of an aquarium.
Mulo emailed me one day in a huff that someone told him you’d libeled us in an audiobook you’d written. Typical Mulo, always taking things too seriously. So I decided to buy Hud on Amazon. Wonderful stories. I’m still smiling about The Sports Franchise—especially the part about Hud saying I was his favorite pro player and that he made a "primetime jersey" with my number on it. I emailed Mulo back and told him to try listening to Hud himself and reminded him that it's fiction!" I enjoyed Hud immensely. Thanks for the amusement, Mister!
Whoa, “push in your chairs and pick up all your materials-zah!” Wonderful to hear from you, George! Thank you. You're right, no one should take any of the names used for any of the characters in Hud seriously. Most of the time I just picked a name from LCF because it sounded right, or the given name seemed to just go with a particular character. In your case, you were my favorite librarian, so why not my favorite pro basketball player too? I remember you in the alumni game—an immoveable force in the low post!
My grandkids love listening to it right before bed—and so do I!
Thanks, Marty! Glad you’ve enjoyed listening. I knew a Marty at my high school that coached football. Great guy, excellent coach.
Yes, that’s me! How are you? I loved my time at LCHS. Good luck with your book!
Some of my old cronies told me about Hud on Facebook. They asked if I remembered that tall, skinny dude with the big nose, Bruce Crandall, from LCHS? Check it out, they said. Hilarious. Lots of things about La Cañada and the area: Ed’s Variety, FIS, Chuck’s Barbershop, Montrose Theater, etc.—names from the past you’ll remember. The stories were okay—I mean, I’m too old now. I’m a curmudgeon. I don’t have a kid around. But I liked reminiscing, anyway.
Glad you liked the nostalgia, Jarold. Thanks. Remember buying Red Vines, Black Vines, and Grape Vines for 5 cents each at Ed’s? By chance, are you the same Jerry K. that taught English at LCHS?
Agree with the one reviewer that said Crandall’s voice was grating. But my son loved the narration and we loved listening together, so it didn’t matter. It’s all about my son, not me.
Thanks, Don! Funny, you and the Foothill Leader reviewer thought my voice was grating... I always thought it had the opposite effect… better than Sominex!
My heavens, it’s been a long time since that young man come through my line in the cafeteria! Fridays, it was, when we had fricasseed turkey, mashed potatoes, creamed corn, and apple cobbler. He was a brown bagger most of the time. He really loved the apple cobbler and would even ask for seconds (but between you and me, I thought the apple filling we bought from Alexanders tasted a bit like Vicks Vapor Rub). Such a nice young man, though. Now where was I headed? Oh yes, anyway, my great niece was listening to this book called Hud on her phone the other month. When I heard the author’s name, Bruce Crandall, wow, now that took me back to Fridays and fricasseed turkey, mashed potatoes, creamed corn, and apple cobbler, you see, and I just had to listen to the whole thing! Loved it, except there wasn’t a story about the cafeteria. But I remember Laverne Wallace, Sherm Beever, Dorie Canavan, DeDe Smidt—heck, they all came through my line when they were kids. Great book. Great memories.
You’re too kind! You were always so nice—even when we gave you flack for doubling up on the creamed spinach—you and your colleague, Cyrus. Man, the students nowadays are missing out with having to eat the same old fast food. Fricasseed turkey was the bomb. And ground beef and gravy. And cubed jello… may I have a yellow compartment tray please!
Glad to see you have finally written something worth reading, Bruce! I had you in two English classes at LCHS and don’t ever recall that you scored higher than a B minus on any of your papers—and that was even on an easy grading curve. Jerald K. was the one who told me that an old LCHS alum had written a kid’s book… so I bought Hud. My favorite story is Bad Hair Day. Ironic. I had so many days like that. That was a typical day for me, actually! The other stories were fun listening, delightful, with only a couple of grammatical errors. Bruce, even without grading on a curve, you get an A for Hud!
Thank you, Marilyn. What a treat to hear from you! By the way, you actually gave me a B plus on my paper about the Sudanese trucking industry, but who's counting...
Hud was good. Loved the caricature and renderings on the book cover, too.
Double thanks, Valerie, coming from a real art pro like yourself! I can only take a little credit. I drew Hud, but my daughter did the other fun renderings.
I'm outraged that you would encourage violence to an innocent little dog in your story, Dog, Dog, Dog! and can only hope it was meant in jest. I've owned toy poodles for many years and the breed has produced nothing but sweet, lovable, harmless companions to me. Your other stories were quite delightful. Even Bernice, my Cockapoo, loved them but was aghast at your treatment of Terry. I had to cover her ears when Hud opened the car doors on her! Please amend this particular story by adding a disclaimer!
Thanks for reaching out to express your views! First, rest assured that no animals were harmed in any way (outside of Dean the Rooster) nor did we mean to encourage violence of any sort. Second, I know toy poodles are smart dogs, but I also know that (like people) they come in all shapes, sizes, and personalities. Terry Tirebiter was a real dog during my youth. Unfortunately, Terry didn't possess much intelligence or common sense, but she did have tenacity. We did everything we could to dissuade that dog from chasing our tires, from trying to make friends to shooing her to requesting the Davises secure her outside to attaching bunches of garlic to our hubcaps. Nothing worked. We worried early on that Terry would get caught in the wheel-well and run over, but that fortunately never happened. Glad you and Bernice enjoyed the other stories!
© 2021 Hud the Audiobook | by Webmeister Creighton Crandall