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Bushman Lives
September 19, 2011 12:29 PM   Subscribe

Read the latest Daniel Pinkwater novel before it's published. As he has done with his last three novels , children's author, NPR commentator and pet lover Daniel Pinkwater is serialising his latest novel, Bushman Lives.

From the author: “I really like this book! I just finished writing it, (a little in advance of this posting in September, 2011). It will be published as a regular book, made of paper and available for purchase, by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in due course–but before that it is the pleasure of pinkwater.com to offer it, serialized chapter by chapter, here on this website, at no charge. Once again, we are showing you the unedited, uncorrected text as handed in to the publisher. Please enjoy the book, tell your friends, and express your appreciation to Webmaster Ed, who makes all this possible and adds the classy design elements and graphics. Express your confusion, complaints and comments to me via the forum provided. We want to hear from you. Bushman lives!”

Pinkwater previously.
posted by cottoncandybeard (28 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
It kills me so often that the Snarkout Boys and Yobgorgle and Alan Mendelshon aren't available on Kindle or iBooks.
posted by Brainy at 12:37 PM on September 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


Growing up in the 70s and 80s, Daniel Pinkwater profoundly changed my life. I read "Alan Mendelson, Boy From Mars" when I was sick with the flu once, and I still link that book to my nauseated, feverish delirium. But in a good way. Great post!
posted by KokuRyu at 12:38 PM on September 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I love how "Bat Masterson Junior High" often appears in his books...
posted by KokuRyu at 12:39 PM on September 19, 2011


Daniel Pinkwater is responsible for my unjustifiable affection for kooky New Age charlatans. God bless him.
posted by theodolite at 12:43 PM on September 19, 2011


Daniel Pinkwater was my absolute favorite writer when I was a lad. He was cool enough to reply personally to many of the letters I sent to him as a lad, and it really meant a lot to my nerdish young self. Looking forward to reading this.
posted by ghastlyfop at 12:44 PM on September 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Which Pinkwater book was it where the plot involved a video game that you actually fought real aliens with - or something of that nature? Forgive me - it's been at least 25 years.
posted by item at 12:51 PM on September 19, 2011


I love Daniel Pinkwater and The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death and some of his other books so much. His characters are so quirky and awesome - I think they helped me survive being a kid and still help me realize there are other quirky folks out there.
posted by fieldtrip at 12:54 PM on September 19, 2011


It kills me so often that the Snarkout Boys and Yobgorgle and Alan Mendelshon aren't available on Kindle or iBooks.

I just read on Wikipedia that Alan Mendelsohn isn't even in print as a stand-alone regular book anymore! TRAVESTY. That book isn't nearly as popular as it should be. It's still one of my absolute favorites.
posted by something something at 1:04 PM on September 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


He's so rad. My daughters are way into him now, and I'm so glad. It makes all that suffering through Junie B. Jones worthwhile.
posted by padraigin at 1:07 PM on September 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thank you for this. Now is a good time in my life (and in the world) for some Pinkwater.

From the new novel:
He didn’t make cute faces or do little tricks to please the crowd like some chimp. He was not a smiley gorilla. He kept his dignity. He’d had a bad break, but he wasn’t about to let it break him. Maybe that is why he was the most popular animal in the zoo–there are a lot of people in Chicago who feel the same way.

Loving it so far.
posted by Rock Steady at 1:09 PM on September 19, 2011


Wait, you're telling me that Lizard Music by D. Manus Pinkwater wasn't the product of a fever dream and actually existed in my Catholic elementary school's quaint little library?
posted by psoas at 1:18 PM on September 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Reading "Lizard Music" at the age of 11 did some kind of weird re-wiring thing to my brain. It was simultaneously hilarious and kind of eerie. Not enough literature for kids manages to thread that particular needle.
posted by Ipsifendus at 1:19 PM on September 19, 2011 [8 favorites]


Reading "Lizard Music" at the age of 11 did some kind of weird re-wiring thing to my brain. It was simultaneously hilarious and kind of eerie. Not enough literature for kids manages to thread that particular needle.

Thank you for articulating the feeling I had when I read this as a kid.
posted by josher71 at 1:29 PM on September 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Which Pinkwater book was it where the plot involved a video game that you actually fought real aliens with - or something of that nature? Forgive me - it's been at least 25 years.

That sounds an awful lot like Only You Can Save Mankind. But that's Pratchett, not Pinkwater.
posted by baf at 1:33 PM on September 19, 2011


Lizard Music was my absolute favorite book as a kid. Going to have to buy it for my 10 year old nephew.
posted by smoothvirus at 1:52 PM on September 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


When I was 13, our community youth theater did a staged production of The Big Orange Splot, and it was probably the most fun I'd had at that point in my life. Pinkwater actually showed up to one of our performances, and his large, bald, shiny head caught the spotlight. During some witty exchange between myself and the female lead, Pinkwater let out a Joyous laugh, and it blew my mind that he was laughing at me delivering a joke he himself had written.
posted by Jon_Evil at 1:55 PM on September 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


In the best possible way, Lizard Music messed my shit up.

I went back and read it again a couple of years ago. It is undeniably brilliant, and weird, and upsetting. And in rereading, I realized what a profound effect it must have had on my sense of humor. So, so good.

I've never read any of his other books. Which is silly.
posted by davidjmcgee at 1:56 PM on September 19, 2011


Oh gods, I love Pinkwater. LOVE. Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death was always my favourite. Oh, and I had no idea he wrote The Big Orange Splot! LOOOOOVe.
posted by Pallas Athena at 2:02 PM on September 19, 2011


I somehow completely missed all Pinkwater as a child. I think a lot of my reading was a .5-1 generation behind everyone else, due to various circumstances. But I read one of his books to my own boys and we all liked it. So I'm storing up the most nth'd books in this thread for later.
posted by DU at 2:09 PM on September 19, 2011


toothgnasher superflash rules. my kids still want that car.
posted by TMezz at 2:15 PM on September 19, 2011


Alan Mendelshon, The Boy from Mars broke my brain a little in a good way. When I came back to it as an adult I realized it was basically treading a lot of the same ground as the Illuminatus! trilogy. Right down to having parts that are a primer in basic magic, if you look at them the right way.

Which is pretty cool to be reading when you are eight. Not that I tried to make my own half-ass e-meter and beam zeta rays at people or anything. Maybe I should.
posted by egypturnash at 2:24 PM on September 19, 2011


Lizard Music as read by the man himself was a recent listen while exercising (free, with DMP's blessing - you have to search with the little dropdown menu - along with a lot of other things. The audio, being a freebie recording, is not perfect, but not bad, and Pinkwater is a hilarious reader. Oh wow, Young Adult Novel is so going on the list...).

I also love Pinkwater's (I think out of print but easy to find used) books of essays from his NPR commentaries, Fish Whistle and Chicago Days/Hoboken Nights and his novel for grownups, the Afterlife Diet. (I see he's still got these available on Xlibris, on the pricey side though) He's the best, and one of a very small group of writers I still buy new in hardcover whenever he publishes something.
posted by nanojath at 2:42 PM on September 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Which Pinkwater book was it where the plot involved a video game that you actually fought real aliens with - or something of that nature? Forgive me - it's been at least 25 years.

That sounds an awful lot like Only You Can Save Mankind. But that's Pratchett, not Pinkwater.


Only You Can Save Mankind was written in '92, years after I would've read it, which would have been at least 1988 or earlier while I was still in elementary school (and before I discovered Vonnegut and Bradbury).

I'm maybe 90% certain that it was Pinkwater. Maybe the video game machine was actually a spacecraft of some kind?
posted by item at 2:45 PM on September 19, 2011


Fat men from space was the first book of his I read. What a genius!
posted by xammerboy at 3:03 PM on September 19, 2011


i am excited and surprised to be excited - i wasn't as into the neddiad or the yggysy and am hell of pleased to see a return to the maladjusted teenagers in moon chicago kind of narrative. pinkwater's books set the crack in my mind for further explorations of time, space, books, and strange drops of liquid to expand until i finally found my own version of the College of Complexes right here in portland.

i was such a fucking dork in high school/early college that i had a punk jacket but instead of band logos it was 90% quotes from books and one of those quotes was the first sighting of the Great Popsicle, which even now makes my heart soar to think of. boy oh boy.
posted by beefetish at 4:19 PM on September 19, 2011


The Pinkwater I come back to are his NPR commentaries (Fishwhistle and Chicago Days/Hoboken Nights were collected in the omnibus Hoboken Fish and Chicago Whistle) and Young Adults (which is a collection of related stories that includes "Young Adult Novel"; if you have 5 Novels you have only "Young Adult Novel" and not the rest.)
posted by Zed at 6:56 PM on September 19, 2011


Lizard Music blew my 6th-grade mind. It cleared a path for all kinds of stuff: surviving junior high, reading PK Dick.

A real delight was introducing my children to Pinkwater, years later. My son still loves the Flying Piggie.
posted by doctornemo at 10:17 AM on September 20, 2011


You know how in Lizard Music the lizard band kind of seems like some sort of special secret that only the boy is privy to? That was always how I felt about Daniel Pinkwater's books! I never knew anyone else who knew who the hell he was. It's great to see he's still cranking out his quirky books all these years later and that... well, it wasn't all a dream and Pinkwater is justly appreciated by many generations!
posted by Mael Oui at 10:21 PM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


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