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Lizard Music Hardcover – January 25, 2011
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"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.
Top Customer Reviews
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).Read more ›
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Ok, I read this book on the recommendation of a friend. As a 50 year-old with a taste for more sophisticated literature, I found this book a little thin. Read morePublished 3 months ago by P. Blum
What I remember best about reading this book as a kid was, "I am never, ever, going to grow up to be a pod person. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Rebecca
I read this book as a preteen and I bought this copy for my some who is 11. I hope he will like it and will edit this review once he finishes it. Read morePublished 8 months ago by g man
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 17 months ago by Delpinneaple
Just had to order this because I remembered reading and loving this book as a kid!Published 20 months ago by Danielle Leisten
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
This book, though written for a young audience, was just FUN to read!Published on August 12, 2014 by Elizabeth James
Reread after over 30 years. Quite a pleasure to find it held up perfectly well.
Five more review words required by Amazon. Read more