Friday, July 15, 2016

FFB: The Neddiad -- Daniel Pinkwater

Summertime is rerun time, USA.  Here's one from December 28, 2008.

I'm a big fan of the works of Daniel Pinkwater. His books are supposedly for kids, but that doesn't matter to me. I read 'em anyway, and I'm rarely disappointed. Among my favorites: The Snarkout Boys and the Avacado of Death, The Hoboken Chicken Emergency, Lizard Music, Slaves of Spiegel, and Alan Mendelson, Boy from Mars. These aren't like anyone else's books for kids, or for anybody. 

But I was going to write about The Neddiad. Ned Wentworthstein is the narrator, and the setting is the late 1940s. Ned's father has made a fortune in the shoelace business, and one day he decides more or less on a whim to move the family from Chicago to Los Angeles, mainly so he and Ned can eat in the Brown Derby. 

So the adventure begins. It involves travel on the Super Chief, a visit to the Grand Canyon, meeting movie star Aaron Finn and his son, travelling with the ghost of a bellboy, going to military school, a circus, and more. Along the way, Ned is given a sacred turtle by an Indian shaman named Melvin, who's everywhere. There's an evil minion with the wonderful name of Sandor Eucalyptus and a girl named Iggy. There's even a cameo appearance by the Fat Men from Space. And more, much more. I may not be nine years old anymore, but I laughed a lot. Maybe it's not for everybody, it it sure works for me.

7 comments:

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

I knew this sounded familiar. I must have read it after you mentioned it previously, though not in 2008 since I read it in 2013. I agree, it was great fun. I keep meaning to read more Pinkwater.

George said...

The Neddiad was typical Daniel Pinkwater: clever and funny!

J F Norris said...

I love that you're so willing to admit that you still find something intended for a nine year old laugh out loud funny. I'd have the same reaction I'm sure! My guilty pleasure is Daniel Handler writing as "Lemony Snickett." They seemed so adult to me. I'm sure all the literary allusions to Dante's work and Victorian writers must've completely eluded all the kids who bought those books by the thousands.

I've always wanted to read all of these books by Pinkwater. Out here in Chicago Lifeline Theater that has adapted many of his books into extremely popular plays for young audiences. One of them -- LIZARD MUSIC -- has been revived multiple times since I moved here in 1986.

Bill Crider said...

LIZARD MUSIC, the book, is a big favorite here. I enjoyed the Lemony Snickett boks, too.

Richard Robinson said...

I've read most of the ones you name, but find I have to be in the right mood for Pinkwster.

Mathew Paust said...

Our kids are long out of the nest, but I can look around for Pinkwater unless they went with the others to the library used book corner. I know they had the Lemony Snicketts, as a read of few of them then. Heavy on imagination, which today's schools tend to discourage as the kids get older.

Kevin R. Tipple said...

Lemony Snickets were great and read them with the boys as they were growing up. Never heard of these. Local library has this one and others. Am trying to resist placing holds as I have a ton of stuff here from the library as it is. Not to mention all teh stuff sent by others.

The wife says we could run a bookstore from the apartment. As if the yarn queen should talk. :)