New Daniel Pinkwater novel being serialized online in weekly chapters

Zack sez, "The author of such surreal delights as LIZARD MUSIC and THE HOBOKEN CHICKEN EMERGENCY has gone to the web to premiere his latest work before it heads to hard-copy. Daniel Pinkwater's BUSHMAN LIVES will update with a new chapter every Monday, with the first already online. So far, it involves a giant gorilla and a sacred order of hall monitors. Pure Pinkwater."

Just in case it's escaped your notice, I happen to think that Pinkwater is one of the greatest novelists alive, and I credit him with a large part of my sanity and outlook.

I must have been asleep for an hour or two. I woke up sensing there was someone in my room.


“Ook Ook, Bushman lives,” Geets Hildebrand said.

“Ook,” I said. I switched the light on.

Geets was sitting cross-legged next to my bed. He had done this before. Sometimes I would wake in the morning and there he would be, sleeping on the rug. I could never get him to tell me how he got in–how he got into a building with a doorman, into a locked elevator area, into our locked apartment, and into my locked bedroom. Had he slipped past the doorman, and picked three locks? Had my father, who disliked and mistrusted all my friends, let him in and for some reason agreed not to say anything about it? It was a mystery.

“Drink to Bushman,” Geets said. He pulled four bottles of Guinness out of his jacket, and two bananas. This was our ritual. We would drink to Bushman the Gorilla at the Lincoln Park Zoo, and eat bananas, which actually went quite well with the thick, bitter Guinness.

Bushman Lives | A novel by Daniel Pinkwater (Thanks, Zack!)


  1. I’ve been planning on serializing my upcoming self-published novel to promote it. I wonder how successful previous attempts were.

  2. Pinkwater is the greatest! He always manages to combine elements that ive never considered into something that makes great sense. As soon as I finish my eggs mctavish I must try guinness and bananas.

  3. I was unaware until now that there was anyone else in the world as infatuated with Bushman the gorilla as I was.  As a child I was acquainted with him at the Lincoln Park zoo and told he was actually a relative. When I discovered he had been mounted after his death and that I could see him at the Field Museum I made it a point to always go there and share thoughts with him by standing with him and staring into his eyes. I know the landscape of his face and recognize it like it was my own.

  4. “Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars” is brilliant, as are so many of his. Snarkout Boys! But I always got the feeling in all DP’s novels, that he writes without every looking back and editing what came before. They’re all a bit Shaggy Dog Story.

  5. I’m so ashamed.  I actually read the article.  Now I feel “informed” and actually understand the references, I feel so dirty,  I don’t know what I was thinking…

  6. I am savoring this first chapter like a single-malt and a piece of dried persimmon. Or Olde English 800 and a snow pea, stir-fried at home. I am neither aping Pinkwater nor concocting these combinations in my head. I have tried them; the OE and snow pea just last week. 

    It may be that the tendency to try and enjoy such combinations are due in some part to the influence Pinkwater has had on my personality, my courage and my art since I first found Lizard Music at the Public Library. I was 7, and home was like Riverside High except far more dangerous.The Pinkwater-ness of this new novel is extremely powerful. I started reading it and instantly thought: It’s gonna be good. It’s gonna be really, really good. It’s got that Walter Galt, Miss Sweet’s hot-rod, Leonard Neeble, baked potato, Chicken Man, the Mighty Gorilla, Green Death Chili vibe to it. I feel like I’m reading Bird playing a solo in his prime.No one calls someone a jerk the way Pinkwater can. Thank you, Daniel Pinkwater. Again. Ook.

  7. Hooray! Thanks for posting. This means I need to finish the Yggssey, which I have neglected.

    Pag: I have read his past two online (partially) and have also bought the books. So, I think it works for him. I wonder how this would work for non-Pinkwaters. I haven’t bought anyone elses serialized novels, but nor have I read them online either.

  8. My dad took my brother and me to see Bushman at LIncoln Park when we were  about 4 and 5, 1948-49, maybe younger. It was one of my first memories. We rode on a double decker bus so I know it was way back. Every week after either i or my brother would bug my dad to go back and see Bushman. I’m sucked in now.

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