Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Lizard Music Paperback – January 29, 1996
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
"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, Wired.com
“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.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Not my favorite Danial Pinkwater preteen novel. The lead in is as good as his best. The payoff was something of a let-down. It is a tight bit of storytelling; meaning that there is little in the way of complex plotting , and therefore not much padding. Start to finish in a brisk 157 pages. Note my copy is the hard back NY Review Children's' Edition. Absent one relatively unnecessary reference to a woman's over use of cleavage it is family friendly. This is a minor bit of satire that may have some parents re thinking this selection but over-all Lizard Music is a good choice for bed time or for the 9-12 Yr old readers. Likely boys will like it better than the girls, but mostly because the main character is a boy.
Having just finished a classic pulp who done it, Lizard Music impressed me with Daniel Pinkwater's ability to draw you into a mystery that does not require the usual violence or high risk threats that even the old Hardy Bros, Nancy Drew mysteries tended to employ. Our hero a 12 yr old tells us the story of the previous summer when he had a few weeks, home alone. He lives in a small town near Hogboro on the shores of Lake Mishagoo. (Most of the intended readers will get these references so let's not spoil their fun) Unaccustomed to late nights and getting to indulge his taste for anchovies on his pizza, he finds himself watching very late night TV , after the end of the broadcast day. The surprise is that after the local station s, all of them sign off he can watch a very fine set of performances by a band of musical lizards.
Herein are a number of problems for the modern readers. The copyright for Lizard Music is 1976. Pre Cable. Younger readers will not know abot things like the end of the broadcast day. Likewise Victor is a fan of Walter Cronkite and Daniel Rather and these names, likely will carry no meaning. The description of a Lizard game show: "You Bet Your Duck" is one of the slickest bits of humor in the book. And likely no reader under 50 will `get it'. My solution for this is to have the parents do the reading and be ready for the questions. The Groucho Marx game show via u tube will serve as answers for the parents who missed the original broadcasts.
Solving the Lizard Music mystery will take Victor into Hogboro where he will meet the Chicken man and his performing chicken Claudia. This aspect is one of the classics in children's books. I like most kids had that one unexplained experience in a strange part of town where you met nice people but experienced something out of the normal. The store you can never find again. There are the people behind the counter who helped you and helped you to have an adventure. This happens to Victor, it is vaguely unsettling for him, but exciting and in the end rewarding.
For me the resolution of the mystery is not as exciting as the visits to Hogboro. There is magic but it is not that magical. We get some idea of Victor's reaction to this visit, but what is supposed to be a Pinkwater version of the land of Oz is not that spectacular.
Beside is his sister one of the Pod People? Yes we have a homage to the Day of the Triffids, but that is a thread left unresolved.
Written at a time before our hyper-accelerated society with our contrived notions of childhood happiness manufactured by Disney; this book is a throw back to a time when radio waves were a thing of wonder and it was conceivable that a young boy named Victor could pick up TV signals late at night from Invisible Island in the middle of lake Mishagoo.
Lizards playing the saxophone, pizza with anchovies, The Pod People, Claudia the Chicken, Reynold the talking Lizard, Charlie (a.k.a. the Chicken Man), Walter Cronkite, and Grape Neehie at Shane Ferguson's Candy store.
This book is perfect for good old fashioned thought provoking story telling and it also happens to be fabulously entertaining.
Two Thumbs up!
Mr. Pinkwater's books were among the first of what I considered "big kids" books I'd read, in maybe third grade. (We weren't allowed to check them out until then.) They were so far superior to the Ramona stories, or Judy Blume, or even Encyclopedia Brown, that I made my mom drive me to every library in the area so I could read every book by him I could lay my hands on. I must have read Lizard Music three or four times; it was my favorite.
So it was with a heavy sense of nostalgia - and a trepidation that, much like the old Transformers and He-Man cartoons I also loved at the time - I would return to Lizard Music and, instead of still loving it, find that it just didn't live up to my memories.
Wow. I was thrilled to discover that, 25 or more years later, this is every bit as charming, funny, and just downright delightful as I'd remembered. I'm glad I bought this for my son; I hope one day to read it with him. It's weird, irreverent, timeless, and perfectly captures a sense of childhood delight.
I've since picked up Four Novels and Five Novels, and plan to read through those as well. They'll make nice, short diversions in-between the doorstopper fantasy/sci-fi novels I usually read!