Bookish Matters

The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.

—Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Neddiad

The Neddiad: How Neddie Took the Train, Went to Hollywood, and Saved Civilization
Daniel Pinkwater

The book came from the library with a little lavender sticker on the spine, a sticker that had a picture of a dragon and said Fantasy. But this isn't the kind of fantasy with dragons and wizards. The magic slowly reveals itself, in such a way that the reality of the world is as marvelous as the magical elements. At first the book seems to be a quietly entertaining story of a child living in America in the forties with an eccentric family. Then it appears to be the children's lit version of magical realism, and finally near the end you figure out why it's categorized as fantasy.

The book will have you keep an encyclopedia (ahem, Wikipedia) at hand. Is Aaron Finn a real actor from the forties? Are there really stories of sacred turtles in most of the mythologies of the indigenous peoples of the worlds? Are there really tar pits--the La Brea Tar Pits--from which we've pulled the skeletons of mastodons and saber-toothed tigers? Is there a restaurant shaped like a derby hat in LA? The Neddiad seamlessly blends allusions to real things with those that the author has invented.

In conclusion, I love this book.


  1. I remember always liking Daniel Pinkwater as a kid, but I can't quite remember what or why.

    Maybe this is a good way to revisit...

  2. Well, you are welcome to borrow it since I still have it checked out from the library and will continue to until I visit Snohomish.