Bryan Wilson (no, not that one, despite what my e-mail address might suggest)

August 18, 2018

Trying to remember a title

Mr Pinkwater,

  First of all, thank you for the years (<<cough>> decades! <<cough>>) of reading enjoyment.  My first encounter with your books was Alan Mendelsohn in about 1981 or so, but thankfully my school had any number of your books available for me to read, and I read them I did!

  Therein lies my problem, and I will get straight to my question: is it Yobgorgle?

  You see, I read a book of yours during that time that I would love to read again, but I cannot remember which one it is.  I remember very little about it actually, except that it was funny (not much of a clue, I know).  I also remember this exchange between two characters on a fast-moving boat of some sort:

  Character 1:  “It’s a beach!”  (I think the character says ‘beach’, but it could be another word)

  Character 2:  “It’s a wall!”  (I know this character says ‘wall’)

  Character 1:  “It’s a beach AND a wall!”

  I thought perhaps this might be Lizard Music, but after purchasing and re-reading Lizard Music, I found I was wrong but had a great time doing it.  The only other title I think it could be is Yobgorgle, which I have yet to find (not that I’ve looked hard); is it indeed Yobgorgle?  I see from the Amazon blurb that a particular Great Lake is involved, and there is a pig on the cover, which seems familiar.

  I also feel like the book I am thinking of was somewhat like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, but again I can’t remember the title of the book, so what do I know?

  Anyway, to reminisce!  After a too-long hiatus away, I took my daughters to our local public library.  None of my beloved hellspawn have turned out to be readers, but I haven’t given up hope.  This has been a few years ago now, but while they looked about I walked the rows of shelves.  I came across the P’s, mopped them up, and took a look for your books.  I discovered among them the Neddiad and was as delighted by Ned as I was by Alan in 1981.

  Normally, this nearly middle aged fellow doesn’t need a reason to act with childish delight, but picking up your books again has given me one!

Thank you!  And thank you for any help you can provide about the mis-remembered book!

Bryan L Wilson, CMfgT, Esq.  🙂

Daniel replies:

Yes, it's YOBGORGLE, MYSTERY MONSTER OF LAKE ONTARIO, and your fragmented recollections are all correct. It's interesting to see how a book I apparently wrote turns into a specific kind of mental compost in the memory of one reader. You actually have a more detailed ready recollection than I do, although I can dredge up the whole thing by making an effort. It's out of print, like most of my stuff, but copies turn up. Possibly best bet is the collection FOUR FANTASTIC NOVELS in which it is included. Thanks for your kind words, and best of luck civilizing your children.