May 20, 2018

Leonard never (?) sees Alan again — or does he?

Hi Mr. Pinkwater!

My question is about Alan Mendelsohn, The Boy From Mars.

The first sentence of Chapter 44 is, “I never saw Alan Mendelsohn again.”   (Which of course is very sad.)

But at the very end of the book, Leonard receives an invitation from Alan to spend summer vacation with him in “The Bronx” a.k.a Mars, conditional on it being OK with Leonard’s parents.

So does the 1st sentence of Chap. 44 mean that Leonard doesn’t accept Alan’s invitation — which is hard to believe, unless his parents put the kibosh on the plan for some reason — ?

Or should we take it that Leonard “wrote” [narrates] Chapter 44 prematurely — i.e., BEFORE the end of the story (the end of Chapter 46) has happened?

I’d apologize for asking you something like this about a book you wrote 40 years ago — except that it’s proof that your work is still being happily read 40 years after you wrote it, which has to be nice for an author to know!

Thanks much,


Daniel replies:

It IS nice to know!  As to whether Leonard ever saw Alan again, the text is unclear.  Maybe it was intentional, I don't remember, nor do I know whose intention.  Maybe it was an editorial inconsistency.  At this point, the book has left my hands and is more or less in the hands of the readers.  You are a reader.  So, the answer is up to you.  Thanks for reading.