I wish I could’ve read Pinkwater as a youth. When I first read The Snarkout Boys & the Avacado of Death it was around 1981 and I was on my second or third bookstore clerking job. It reminded me of a favorite book read as a young alienated fourth-grader; Bertrand R. Brinley’s The Mad Scientist Club, a wild adventure about a gang of geeky kids from Mammoth Falls, Wisconsin, who turn their hometown upsidedown. I first read Brinley’s anarchistic stories as they were serialized in Boy’s Life, a kind of oversized shaggy newspaper for the boomer crowd. But the Snarkout Boys went further, and was more subversive then any so called “Young-Adult” novel I’d read before. It was like a glowing scrap of alien spaceship, new, revolutionary reading…
Pinkwater is a kind of an intergalactic Woody Allen, fun to explore at any age. You’ll find interviews, news articles, essays, links & words of wisom by and about the warm-hearted, 400 lb eggplant eating author at: The Offical Pinkwater Page & “P-Zone” websiteThe two best collection’s in print are; Five Novels, and Four by Daniel Pinkwater. His latest book (now in paperback) is an uproarious fictional/autobiography of his high school days growing up as a beatnik in urban Chicago. You can read more about this or buy the book at our store link:The Education of Robert Nifkin.
I am telling you about Pinkwater because I think that he is a genius, whose writings are easy to miss, because they are filed in the YA (young adult) ghetto. It is difficult to explain the charm of a Pinkwater novel; charm does not lend itself to analysis. As the old expression has it, it is like trying to fluoroscope a ghost…. We all look for reflections of our own experience of life in fiction, and in Pinkwater’s books, complete with aliens, talking animals and weird relatives, almost everyone finds it….