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Lizard Music [Kindle Edition]

Daniel Pinkwater
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The Big Orange Splot, The Neddiad, and 
Adventures of a Cat-Whiskered Girl

Things Victor loves: pizza with anchovies, grape soda, B movies aired at midnight, the evening news. And with his parents off at a resort and his older sister shirking her babysitting duties, Victor has plenty of time to indulge himself and to try a few things he’s been curious about. Exploring the nearby city of Hogboro, he runs into a curious character known as the Chicken Man (a reference to his companion, an intelligent hen named Claudia who lives under his hat). The Chicken Man speaks brilliant nonsense, but he seems to be hip to the lizard musicians (real lizards, not men in lizard suits) who’ve begun appearing on Victor’s television after the broadcast of the late-late movie. Are the lizards from outer space? From “other space”? Together Victor and the Chicken Man, guided by the able Claudia, journey to the lizards’ floating island, a strange and fantastic place that operates with an inspired logic of its own.

Editorial Reviews


"No author has ever captured the great fun of being weird, growing up as a happy mutant, unfettered by convention, as well as Pinkwater has. When I was a kid, Pinkwater novels like Lizard Music...made me intensely proud to be a little off-center and weird — they taught me to woo the muse of the odd and made me the happy adult I am today.  The NYRB edition of Lizard Music is a beautiful... hardcover, a testament to Pinkwater's influence on generations of readers. It's one of those books that, in the right hands at the right time, can change your life for the better and forever."  —Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing

Lizard Music is. . . funny, properly paranoid, shot through with bad puns and sweet absurdities, and all about a baffled kid intent on tracking reality (as slippery as lizards) in a media-spooked milieu.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Wildly imaginative. . . . This is a natural high.” —Booklist(starred review)

“A writer for smart kids. . . . Pinkwater writes for, and about, people who are not ashamed to look at life a little differently.” —Kathy Ceceri,

“I do believe that Daniel Pinkwater is my favorite writer, living or dead.” —Cory Doctorow

“Pinkwater is the uniquest. And so are his books. Each uniquer than the last . . . A delight in oddness. A magic that's not like anyone else's.” —Neil Gaiman

About the Author

Daniel Pinkwater has written about one hundred books, many of them good. Lizard Music was almost the first one he wrote, and remains his personal favorite. It is entirely his own work, and the story that it was discovered as a manuscript inserted in a bale of banana leaves, probably to increase the weight, is merely legend, and without foundation in fact.

Product Details

  • File Size: 469 KB
  • Print Length: 162 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1590173872
  • Publisher: NYR Children's Collection (January 25, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004JF5YNK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #194,615 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Play that funky music, Lizard-Boy!! June 18, 2001
Victor's parents leave him and his sister alone for a week or two while they go off to get their heads and their relationship together. However, things really begin to get interesting when Victor's sister ALSO up and leaves to go with her friends on some sort of hippie camping trip! (yeah, the book is a bit dated...) Victor, then, is left alone to fend for himself for the next two weeks.
He's a bright kid, and perfectly happy NOT to have his crazy older sister or his doting parents around. He takes care of himself just fine, and one night over a TV dinner, he sees something verrrrry strange on the tube: a band of lizards playing music! What sort of program is THIS? he wonders-- it's not in the TV guide.
Giant lizards having an unreported jam session on late nite TV is just the beginning of the high weirdness, though. Soon he runs into a gentleman known as the Chicken Man because of his dancing chicken that lives under his hat (apparently he gives one-man/one-chicken shows on public busses and dispenses wisdom-- By Appointment Only-- from the depot). This Chicken Man character appears in the strangest of places and goes by some impossibly funny names and hints at Victor that he knows something about these lizards.
For a short time, the book turns into a sort of weird detective novel as Victor sets out to find out WHO the Chicken Man is, and WHAT are all these lizards doing?? Are they real?? How come no one else (including the manager of the TV station) knows anything about them?? Just what IS going on here??
Daniel Pinkwater is the author of a dozen books or so, many from the 1970's, of which almost all are still in print today ("The Hoboken Chicken Emergency", "Fat Men from Space", "The Big Orange Splot" and this title to name a few).
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars File under: life-changing kids literature January 19, 2000
By A Customer
Looking back at all the books I read as a kid, I fondly recall several books which did more than tell a wonderful story...they truly made me think differently about the world around me. The L'Engle books, the Dahl books, and the Pinkwater books fall into this category. But most of all, Lizard Music. It's the book that made my kid-self reorganize his brain to accomodate a world with talking lizards and lesser kudus. It's still one of my favorite books of all time.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible and mind-bending story. November 11, 1999
By A Customer
This is one of those books that you read, and because of its originality, it makes a lasting impression and you never forget it. I, like many other reviewers first read this book in the third or fourth grade. Our little private Catholic school got two D.M. Pinkwater books added to the library, and everybody in my class wanted to read them. I actually wanted the other, Fat Men From Space, but it was taken, so I picked up Lizard Music. It turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made! This book is amazing, it's funny, fascinating, and very strange. Everything from the Chicken Man to Raymond the Lizard(s), to some island made invisible because of... refraction of light... or something. (It's been a while.) Anyway, my point is, this book has made a great and long-lasting impression on me, and if you like strange and semi-eerie things, or just great fiction... this is a MUST READ!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ABSOULUTLY FANTASTIC! November 24, 2004
A Kid's Review
My dad and i together have read a lot of daniel pinkwater's stories. i found that lizard music next to the snarkout boys collection is my favorite book of his. it's imaginative and dazzling. it expresses the meaning of being a child and takes you into a new world full of odd names and lizard music.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lizard Music is awesome! October 20, 2002
This is the second book I read by Daniel Manus Pinkwater. I loved it! It's a great story, and one that kids will definetely like.. It's just got the exact mix of realistic adventure and silliness that makes a good read. Plus, it's got the Chicken Man, a character from several of Pinkwater's books, it features large lizards, and a healthy dose of Walter Cronkite. I don't think it gets much better.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For Children of All Ages March 26, 2001
I remember the day that I found this book vividly. The cover was more aesthetic than all the other books in the library, and, peering at the title, I figured I like lizards and I like music. I fell in love with this book shortly thereafter. It's been almost a decade later and I have since read books that have surpassed this in intellectual levels, but its oddness still appeals to me.
This is an obscure classic that belongs on the shelves next to Dr. Doolittle and Alice in Wonderland, other favorites from my past. It is difficult to describe this book beyond touting its greatness in vague terms, it is something to be experienced on ones own. To summarize shortly, it is the story of a boy left home alone and his adventure in the big city as he meets the Chicken Man, and sates his curiosity concerning the wacky lizard musicians he comes across. Whether you are young or old, this book will appeal to your creativity and your sense of absurdity.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Come for the fantasy; stay for the authentic touches March 23, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am always struck, when reading blurbs, reviews and comments about Pinkwater books, by the emphasis on the fantasy, the absurdity, and the loopiness. Lots of authors can do that. Very few authors besides Pinkwater can do that and yet also touch moments of stunning authenticity.
Once the lizards show up in this one the book just becomes a finely amusing fantasy. But, before that, when our hero is puttering around his empty house, or working on his model, or taking a public transit bus to a neighboring town, or just generally scheming to keep his parents from getting suspicious, that is where Pinkwater shines. He creates the most self-reliant, self-possessed, competent kids in literature.
Good for him. Great for the reader.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
This book is my favorite book that I have on my kindle! It's a little bit strange,but it's still an awesome book!
Published 12 days ago by Delpinneaple
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Just had to order this because I remembered reading and loving this book as a kid!
Published 3 months ago by Danielle Leisten
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Thank You
Published 6 months ago by Greg Manata
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent boys book
This was the first Daniel Pinkwater book my boy had read. He LOVED it......has read it twice and will do so again.
Since reading this book .... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Sonja J. George
4.0 out of 5 stars was just FUN to read
This book, though written for a young audience, was just FUN to read!
Published 7 months ago by Elizabeth James
5.0 out of 5 stars Great treat
Reread after over 30 years. Quite a pleasure to find it held up perfectly well.

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Published 10 months ago by A. Fluffy Bunny
5.0 out of 5 stars An All-Time Favorite Since Childhood
I read this book many years ago and always remembered it very fondly. I decided to re-read when I recommended it to my son. I must say it's just as good as I remembered.
Published 11 months ago by J. Marston
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Classic
This is a very nice production of one of the most iconic books ever written for young people. If you are not familiar with this book, BUY IT! If you are, try it again. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Richard Spafford
3.0 out of 5 stars Weird, slightly off-balance, and odd come to mind
This is a good book for the intelligent pre-teen who lives life slightly off kilter. I found myself smiling throughout the pages of this smartly written story.
Published 14 months ago by WORDMAN
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable for generations
I read this probably a dozen times in late elementary school and middle school, one of my all-time favorites. I bought it for my kids to read and hopefully enjoy as much as I did.
Published 16 months ago by AJS
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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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