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Fish Whistle: Little Short Essays by Daniel Pinkwater Kindle Edition

32 customer reviews

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Length: 162 pages

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
  • Publication Date: February 13, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BFUN07E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #588,273 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin Skeen on 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 By #1 reviewer of all time on February 19, 2013
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 By reenum on September 3, 2007
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Pope Mel on 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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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Patrick B. Marren on August 9, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I almost died laughing at this book. I can offer no greater encomium.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Imagine an excruciatingly observant, clever, talented friend who is also kind and loyal and sane. And funny, very very funny. That's Daniel Pinkwater. My sister and I loved his children's books when we were children and found this book of essays two years ago (now we are adults). I read it cover to cover first and then she did. And we leave the book out in our shared home so that whenever one of us feels like it, we can pick it up and read an essay or two. And we do that very often. Every once in a while we'll confuse a detail from one of these stories and find ourselves interweaving it with one of our own family stories-- "Didn't Uncle Manny say that? No, Daniel Pinkwater's dad did! It's in FishWhistle". We may be Filipina and have grown up in the 80s but somehow Daniel Pinkwater's essays return our childhood and adolescence to us even though he's NOT Filipino and grew up at a completely different time all together. That's the kind of magic his writing has.
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By glauber on February 24, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Fishwhistle for the Kindle! This is a very welcome development. Daniel Pinkwater's previously out of print collection of 3-minute radio pieces is a treasure of shining everyday wisdom. They are some of Pinkwater's best and most accessible writing. Having it on the Kindle means i can take it with me everywhere and sooth my soul with a few of these morsels anytime i want. I can feel my soul growing fat with Pinkwater goodness, already!

Don't take my word for it. Buy this book. You will love it. And if you don't love it, you will appreciate that the chapters are short.
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By James Richert on 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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