written and illustrated by Daniel Pinkwater
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.
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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.net
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.
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
I do believe that Daniel Pinkwater is my favorite writer, living or dead.