Daniel Pinkwater is the king of nerd fantasy. We all wish we get to adventure into the weird magical underbelly of the city where there are cool girls named Rat and places who will serve beer and buttery baked potatoes to 12 year-olds, if that is, they are in search of the mad scientist whose avocado machine might possibly save the earth from alien invaders.
After reading "The Neddiad" and "The Iggyssey" and enjoying them both immensely I decided I needed to read some more Daniel Pinkwater. So I picked up this book. It was an enjoyable book; I liked it. If you like Pinkwater's writing, you'll like this book. I did notice though after reading three of Pinkwater's book; he has a very distinctive writing style.
Walter and Winston Bongo are two boys who are bored to death in school and decide to Snark Out. Snarking out means that you sneak out of the house late at night and go to the Snark Theater to watch movies. They think they are the only ones who do this. That is until they meet Rat. Rat has been snarking out forever and she invites the boys over for breakfast. Rat's family is crazy and bizarre to the extreme and when Rat's avocado loving Uncle goes missing the boys are enlisted to help find him. Of course there are a ton of crazy characters; like Walter's avocado obsessed father and his mother who continually experiments with different types of tuna casserole for dinner.
This was a great, fun read. As I am finding to be the Pinkwater norm, the characters are unique and crazy, the plot is twisted and strange, and the imagination factor is off the scales. A quick read and hilarious; I think all ages will enjoy this book.
The only thing that bugged me a bit was that Walter's dialogue and thoughts were very similar to Neddie's from "The Neddiad"...this is odd because these books were written over 20 years apart. It make me wonder if Pinkwater uses a similar dialogue and character style for all of his young boys. Also Rat reminded me a lot of Iggy, the girl character in "The Iggyssey". That being said I still really enjoyed the book.
I will definitely read more of Pinkwater's books. I did not think this book was as good as "The Neddiad" though. Despite that this book was great fun to read.