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5 Novels: Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars; Slaves of Spiegel; The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death; The Last Guru; Young Adult Novel Paperback – September 30, 1997


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5 Novels: Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars; Slaves of Spiegel; The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death; The Last Guru; Young Adult Novel + 4 : Fantastic Novels + Lizard Music
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

There are many words that could be used to describe Daniel Pinkwater's books. Wacky comes to mind. Outrageous. Lively. Real. Unreal. Comic genius Jules Feiffer, in his foreword to 5 Novels, says, "Pinkwater's thoughts don't connect like yours or mine. His 'tab A' does not fit into 'slot A' the way it's supposed to in a well-thought-out thought. More likely, his 'tab A' will fit into 'slot 14' or 'slot X79,' the kind of fit that might drive you or me crazy if we tried it, but when Pinkwater does it, you read it and say to yourself, 'Why, of course, this is how it should be.'"

Performing chickens, a New Jersey Martian, an orangutan orchestra conductor from Ceylon ... the details are what jump out of his novels. The ice cream dish in Slaves of Spiegel, for example, consisting of an eggplant, two slabs of whole-wheat pizza dough, 16 flavors of ice cream, fresh figs, pistachio nuts, a lobster, and assorted fresh garden vegetables and fruit. (It's served piping hot from the microwave, in a freshly laundered regulation army knapsack, to the accompaniment of Franz Liszt music.) This is what Pinkwater is all about. A junior-high schooler's dream of an author.

In 5 Novels, you can feast upon five beloved and quirky favorites: Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars, Slaves of Spiegel, The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death, The Last Guru, and Young Adult Novel. And if you still need more Pinkwater novels (and you definitely do), explore 4 Fantastic Novels. (Ages 9 and much, much older.) --Emilie Coulter

Review

"Here, in an appropriately fat trade paperback...is a collection of the Master's greatest works: Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars; Slaves of Spiegel; The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death; The Last Guru; and Young Adult Novel. . .Daniel Pinkwater is so obviously the funniest writer of children's books that he should be made a Living National Treasure." --The Washington Post Book World
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 8
  • Lexile Measure: 920L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 656 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR); 1st edition (September 30, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374423296
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374423292
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #370,287 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
87%
4 star
9%
3 star
4%
2 star
0%
1 star
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See all 77 customer reviews
Great reading for 10 year old boys.
Skeptical Reader
This is an EXELLENT book for anyone to buy, I've read it so many times i tore off both covers and three pages.
K. Breazeale
Because of that book, I have always sought out avocados that were "black and blasted looking".
William Lewis Read

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 25, 1999
Format: Paperback
There is a whole subculture of young people such as myself who met D. Manus Pinkwater at a tender young age and are hopelessly corrupt because of it. I mean that in a good way, I think. Here's a seven-year-old kid in the late 70's reading the Hardy Boys and suchlike, then he reads this thing about lizards and chickens and force-fields and, most importantly, a kid whose parents go on vacation and leave him alone and he's able to Stay Up As Late As He Wants! Or aliens who look like fat guys and come to the earth to eat junk food. Or any other order and permutation of wackiness. Pinkwater is a genius. I suspect that he himself is an alien, sent to perform the opposite task as the pod-implanting creatures. He has been sent to wake us up from our pod-like existences. I love Pinkwater. My friend Max introduced me to him in second grade, and twenty years later I remain Blatzed.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By jamie stack on March 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
When i picked this book up I was about nine I started reading it. it is really somthing you have to read, alen mendelsohn the Boy from mars is my favorite story you can't explain how good it is you have to read it. if you liked harry potter you will love it if you didn't you'll still love it.daniel pinkwater is a genius when it comes to writing .i just don't know how he does it but he really is good at it and he's got to keep up the good work if he is going to keep us going it should be a sin not to read this EXCELLENT book. i wish i could explain how good it is but you'll have to read it to find out don't hesitate just do it it is the longest book i ever read it is the best book i ever read as well.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Lucy Webb (lsw@monad.net) on November 7, 1998
Format: Paperback
I loved Pinkwater when I was eleven and I love him at least as much now. He treats his readers with respect, rather than talking down to them, and he is one of the funniest writers I've ever read, for any audience. His characters are some of the best in fiction, and his ideas are far-fetched enough to make anyone wonder a little about the fine line between brilliance and insanity. Having five novels in one volume was almost more excitement than I could handle. A warning to kids: you may want to keep two copies of this one around, because you'll never pry this book out of the hands of the adults around you. A warning to adults: once children are introduced to Pinkwater, there are reading flashlights to be confiscated in the middle of the night. One last note: Pinkwater has written for all ages, from some wonderful picture books to at least one book of essays for us grown-up folk who have loved him on NPR. Try them all.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By greasergrrl on December 5, 1999
Format: Paperback
Alan Mendelson is the best book ever. It is a triumph for those of us who didn't fit in when we were young. Truly mind-blowing in its creativity (it's about two eight grade boys, mind control, and motorcycle riding aliens), funny and inspiring. And I do mean it, I still think it's the best book ever.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 9, 2003
Format: Paperback
I hadn't heard of Daniel Pinkwater until I got this colelction from my aunt, so I reluctantly began reading "Alan Mendelsohn". The five books are:
"Alan Mendelsohn: The Boy From Mars": Loner meets friend, loner and friend use mind control, loner and friend go to "lost continent". The best of the best, it combines humor with the not-so-supernatural but not grounded in reality. That's what's the best with all of Pinkwater's books. Most of them aren't fantasy, so technically, they can happen. You COULD have something called "Green Death Chili". "Alan Mendolsohn": 9/10
"Slaves of Spiegel": I read about one page of it and I couldn't read any more, it was just plain horrible. Sorry, but I could not bear to read any more. "Slaves": 1/10
"The Snarkout Boys and the Avocodo of Death": Yet again, loner meets friend. Loner and friend sneak out to movies. Loner and friend meet another friend. Then they go looking for someone's Uncle. Not the greatest, not the worst. It seems too muddled, but I still award "Snarkout" a 7/10
"The Last Guru": 12 year old Harold Blatz becomes a millionaire. That usual story. Another one of those "fiction/supernatural" books: 7/10
"Young Adult Novel": A weird group at school decides to exult one student as being superior. Funny yet weird, I enjoyed this one a lot. 8/10
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By audrey TOP 500 REVIEWER on October 11, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I first read Mr. Pinkwater's wonderful comedy when an excerpt of Hoboken Fish and Chicago Whistle appeared in Funny Times magazine. I laughed through the whole thing, and then showed it to everyone I know. Those who didn't laugh I dropped like hot potatoes!
Protagonists are most often intelligent junior high-ish boys who don't quite fit in at school and have rather odd relatives (though sympathetic females and adults also make appearances). And while these books may be just the magic to get your pre-adolescent son reading, don't make the mistake of thinking these books are limited to that demographic. The author is creative, inventive, outrageous, charming and sweet, and anyone who appreciates outrageous invention and smart-alecky humor will love the work of this very talented author.
I can't wait to read more books by Mr. Pinkwater, and am very happy to see his books are being reissued.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Glen Engel Cox on August 15, 2002
Format: Paperback
I was going to write that Pinkwater is not your normal young adult author and then I got to thinking--what is your normal young adult author? Lewis Carroll had his thing for photographing young girls, C.S. Lewis was a bit of a hermit, Roald Dahl played with perversity (if you think his children fiction are dark, try some of his adult stuff, which I couldn't finish). The women might be sane, for I've never heard a nasty story about Madeline L'Engle, Diana Wynne Jones, or E. Nesbit (well, she was a bit of a socialist radical). It does not matter. Pinkwater is akin to all of these in that no one else could quite copy the things that he writes.
This is a collection of Pinkwater novels that have been out of print for years (the original copyrights on these range from 1978 to 1982), but not out of mind. Alan Mendelsohn, in particular, seems to be well-loved and is often mentioned as a favorite of the younger set. I'm glad to finally have this opportunity to read it, for it is indeed a fun book, full of exceedingly strange twists and turns. You aren't sure if Alan is from Mars, or if he's just playing, and then you are sure, and then you aren't. It's Philip K. Dick lite, but it's fun.
Slaves of Spiegel and The Last Guru are much more simple (I would even think that they are meant for less mature readers than for the other three in this book), but like the best children's literature, they have something for everyone. I chuckled through Slaves of Spiegel, finding the contest quite amusing, especially the description of some of the delicacies concocted in the name of food, and I thought the satire, while obvious, in The Last Guru quite effective.
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5 Novels: Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars; Slaves of Spiegel; The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death; The Last Guru; Young Adult Novel
This item: 5 Novels: Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars; Slaves of Spiegel; The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death; The Last Guru; Young Adult Novel
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