May 2, 2014
Post #3718 – 20140502
Dear Daniel Pinkwater,
I'm 28 years old with a masters in English from one of the most prestigious universities in North America, and I have to say that Lizard Music and The Snarkout Boys are my two favourite books. Of all time. They oust Madame Bovary and Anna Karenina. I first picked you up at age 9 or so and I have never looked back. You are a Dickens, Dahl, a Lee to me.
Growing up in a small town in rural Canada, the vision you painted of urban streetscapes, of secret restaurants, late-night cinema, Nosferatu and punks and beer gardens and Walter Cronkite, were my first exposure to any of those types of things. It blew my mind. It depicted a freedom and liberalism to which I aspired. Your books quite helped make me the artist and writer I am today. I recently started dating a new guy and one of the first things I did was go to the library and check out The Snarkout Boys; I handed it to him and said, "This is required reading for anyone who wants to date me. It tells you everything you need to know."
Thanks for all that, D Manus, the man. I wish this forum allowed me to take a picture of my childish scrawl on the fly lead of the library copy of Lizard Music that is still held, 21 years later, in the kids section of the Saint John Free Public Library: "THIS BOOK IS GREAT! READ IT." I mean it as sincerely now, as ever.
Yours, with great esteem,
I suppose this is as good a time as any for me to repeat my theory of art: If the book, (or painting, or whatever), is put together in the right way, the reader may make certain connections, or have certain insights or feelings that are entirely personal, and can even be important, which have little or nothing to do with what the artist knew, or understood, or felt. So, I was not thinking at all about offering you a view of alternative lifestyle, or a litmus test for prospective boyfriends. I was just trying to make the book, not even thinking that much about anyone reading it. Well, I did intend that someone would read it...boils down to this, the book isn't finished until you read it, and the things that can happen happen. I hope you are not bogged down in the past, and know that I have written better books than the Snarkout Boys, and possibly as good as Lizard Music. Quite a lot is available cheap as Kindle editions at Amazon. Thanks for your touching remarks.