Friday, October 2, 2009

The Neddiad by Daniel Pinkwater (5/5 stars)

I had no idea what to expect from this book, but with a subtitle of "How Neddie took the Train, Went to Hollywood, and Saved Civilization", how can you go wrong? I actually saw the sequel to this book "The Yggyssey" and it peaked my interest, so I got the first book from the library and read it. This was an absolutely wonderful book. I don't know what I haven't heard of Pinkwater before. Oddly enough after I read this book Gaiman mentioned Pinkwater as one of his favorite writers on his blog; so I guess you can't get a better recommendation than that!

Neddie lives in Chicago, but he would really like to eat hamburgers at the Brown Derby in LA one day. He tells his dad and his dad agrees that would be cool. So on a whim the family packs up and moves to LA. On the way there an Indian shaman (who can be multiple places at once) gives Neddie a stone turtle and tells him it is really important. Neddie misses his train and goes on a crazy road trip to LA, where some creepy man tries to steal his turtle. What if Ned's turtle really is the key to saving the world from total annihilation? Throw in a ghost, some prehistoric creatures, a circus, a military school, a man with blue gums, and some alien policemen; and you have yourself a story like none I have ever read before.

This was an awesome book. It is a fun and quick read, with surprising depth. The characters are all quirky, funny, and interesting. I liked every single one of them. Billy the Ghost was great and I really enjoyed Iggy. The road trip they go on down route 66 was very interesting and really made you wish that we were still in the good ole' America of the past. Much of the book is a young boy's view of nostalgic America, and is most amusing. This book was just a riot from beginning to end. The chapters are short but compelling; making the book very hard to put down!

This is one of those books that is hard to describe. It is a mixture of adventure, nostalgia, humor, fantasy, and just all out good ole' craziness. It would be suitable to read to kids of any age and I think adults of all ages will get a kick out of it too. After I finished this book I really wished that I had the Yggyssey to read. This book completely wraps up the story but it was just so much fun I wanted more!!! I am kind of disappointed that I got it from the library because I want to keep it; so I guess I will have to buy myself a copy.

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