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Fish Whistle: Little Short Essays by Daniel Pinkwater [Kindle Edition]

Daniel Pinkwater
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $2.99
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Book Description

A compilation of the best of Daniel Pinkwater's short commentaries and essays. Originally published in 1990, this new Kindle edition features an updated introduction and Pinkwater's own selection of favorite material from NPR's "All Things Considered" and beyond.

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Leaving his native California to settle in New York's Hudson River Valley, Pinkwater recently began broadcasting on National Public Radio, after a career writing and illustrating outstanding books for children. This is a collection of his "commentaries, uncommentaries and vulgar excesses" from the radio talks that enjoy a wide audience. An inspired satirist, Pinkwater speaks for all who suffer from those "Who Only Stand and Snarl," instead of doing their work; for fat people who can't lose weight; for those who can't find a real Jewish deli; for everyone benighted by life's perversities. In a lighter vein, the author tells about times at home with his wife Jill, their dogs and good friends. But readers will perhaps be most charmed by memoirs of Pinkwater's Polish immigrant parents, especially his father, who is the inspiration for "Fischvistle" and other affecting pieces.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

YA-- Readers familiar with Pinkwater's books for children will enjoy this collection of humorous adult essays. The man is mad, and so are his comments. He takes on the characters of his small town in upstate New York, as well as those of his childhood; he comments on his weight problem and various methods of weight loss; he recalls incidents experienced while traveling the world. No topic is sacred, and all are cynically hilarious. Most pieces are taken from his efforts on National Public Radio, but their translations to written from spoken word do not suppress any amusing notes. Cataloging will hide this in 814, but creative librarians will find ways to make it more accessible. --Dorcas Hand, Episcopal High School, Bellaire, TX
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 326 KB
  • Print Length: 162 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BFUN07E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #385,202 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pinkwater at his best October 21, 1999
Format:Paperback
This collection of stories (most of which aird on NPR, I believe) is the best book on my bookshelf. The wrighting is brilliant, and humorous. Each piece is enjoyable because it is easy to identify with the events. I am always thinking about one story or another from this book, becuse they apply to real life so well. Buy this book if you are a fan of funny, honest stories.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book of many delights February 19, 2013
By Eric G.
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Good to read if you are sick or sad: love on every page. Daniel Pinkwater is sane, kind, naughty, and of course uncommonly funny.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A warm and funny book September 3, 2007
By reenum
Format:Paperback
This is the first time I've read Pinkwater, and it won't be the last.

Pinkwater's marvelous book is a collection of stories from his life. He is an average joe, and speaks in a very straightforward and jovial way. It's the little details Pinkwater provides that make the stories funny and warm. Like for example, the way his favor would say "fish whistle".

A lot of zany characters also populate his past and make this book a joy to read. Pinkwater accurately captures these quirks without being mean spirited or making fun. He knows these people are different and doesn't fault them for it.

The parts of the book I loved the most were the stories in which Pinkwater is traveling. He is the quintessential American tourist. He is away from the US, but still wants to find little snatches of home, as shown by his (successful) search for a Jewish deli in Japan. But, he accepts his foibles and makes a go of it. He is entirely unpretentious about his personality and is unafraid to make fun of his mistakes. That lends a human element to this book.

A great book for any reader.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars masterpiece August 9, 2002
Format:Hardcover
I almost died laughing at this book. I can offer no greater encomium.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! January 29, 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The writing of Daniel Pinkwater is always a treasure, and these short pieces are no exceptions. Always amusing, insightful, touching, and profoundly human, Pinkwater's writing is to be savored.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Feel Good Read September 26, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a pleasant collection of short essays, many of which were previously read by the author on NPR. Pinkwater waxes eloquently on his boyhood, his weight, writing and art, teaching writing and art, and loving and living with dogs.

No surprise here, but my favorite essays involved food and memories of great meals shared.

Here Pinkwater talks about an eatery from his youth:

"Grease was the motif at Fred's. Instantly I would enter the place, a fine mist of grease suspended in the air would adhere to my eyeglasses--diffracting the light--so I always remember Fred's as a pointillist painting."

And here is the story of a trip he and his father made to a Jewish restaurant in Warsaw, where they were served an eight-course meal:

"First there was scalding hot chicken soup--minimum fifty percent fat. Delicious."

"Chopped liver, glistening with schmaltz. My father inhaled it."

"Third was some kind of herring. I dropped out after that. I knew another bite would kill me. Roast chickens followed. Carps' heads, jellied calves' feet, stuff I'd never seen before. The two old guys worked steadily. They took on more cholesterol than the average Greenland Eskimo gets in a month. They both lived through it. Afterward, my father and I were in the street. He was chewing a toothpick. "Dat vas good Jewish cooking," he said. 'Don't tell your mudder ve vent here.'"

I'd rate most of the essays between 3 and 4 stars, but because Pinkwater makes me want to pinch his cheeks (all four of them!), I'll award him the higher score.
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5.0 out of 5 stars My kind of humor June 24, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Short essays on all kinds of subjects. All were easy reading and I found it hard to put the book down.
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5.0 out of 5 stars So much funny June 4, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
this one was a charming little read that I knocked out in an afternoon. All of the stories were hilarious, and Pinkwater has an interesting voice, like that funny uncle you've always wanted to have.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Little short concepts
I enjoyed the wit and intelligence of this book and I would have liked hearing the author narrate his own essays....in his underwear! Read more
Published 10 months ago by CK
4.0 out of 5 stars This is not what I thought it would be
The title and summary led me to believe that this was some kind of science fiction novel. It is not. Its just a buncha dumb stories and anecdotes. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Hugh Jerrection
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay for free.
Some of the essays are a bit dated and bloated but he does a good job of writing about his life and I did laugh at times.
Published 11 months ago by Gizmo
5.0 out of 5 stars happy to read
These essays are wonderful. We would recommend them to anyone who likes intelligence and wit when they are looking for a book
Published 11 months ago by T. Gould
5.0 out of 5 stars Never knew this guy was so funny.
I actually got this as a free download a few months ago from a review on Boing Boing. If you are in need of a great laugh then you will do well to purchase this gem. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Stellarr
5.0 out of 5 stars Fish Whistle
Daniel Pinkwater is funny and sincere, his writing cheers me up and I would recommend this book to anyone, especially if you only have time to read a short story or two
Published 12 months ago by Leightay
3.0 out of 5 stars Great for free moment reading
This set of essays is diverting taken a few at a time. It is perfect for my Kindle, where I often have a minute or two free and no time to immerse in a larger book.
Published 12 months ago by Pavla
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok, but worth the price
I'm not a huge Pinkwater fan, but these essays are enjoyable. Good for quick reads when you have some downtime.
Published 12 months ago by pamela a crews
5.0 out of 5 stars I've always loved Pinkwater's children's books...
...but this collection of stories -- most, if not all, from his commentary on NPR -- were charming, engaging, and just plain fun. Highly recommended.
Published 12 months ago by Ann Marie Moriarty
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More About the Author

Daniel Pinkwater lives with his wife, the illustrator and novelist Jill Pinkwater, and several dogs and cats in a very old farmhouse in New York's Hudson River Valley.

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