Rereading my childhood: The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death

When I was finishing grade school the works of Daniel Pinkwater delighted me. I read his stories over and over and The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death is a life long favorite.

Reminiscing with an old friend last night brought tears to my eyes. It is amazing how this tale of youth and discovery holds me. Walter's terrible boredom at Ghengis Khan High? Sneaking out to see classic films with Winston Bongo? Beers at Beanbenders? I still want to do these things! My imagination is permanently warped in the most wonderful ways.

I just ordered a copy, the same edition I had as a kid. Next up will be Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars.

The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death by Daniel Pinkwater


  1. Avacado of Death?  Wouldn’t that be… The Devil’s Avacado?

    Also, I remain frustrated to this day that I neglected to pick up Night of the Living Gator, the singularly elusive conclusion to the Daniel M. Pinkwater’s Melvinge of the Megaverse trilogy.  I should probably just bite the bullet and pay the outrageous Amazon prices.

  2. Having grown into a Vintage Hi-Fi geek in adulthood,  the description of Rat’s Klugwallah Sound Reproducing System (stereo is for sissies!) in chapter 13 is a tantalizing clue to the origins of my interest.  It also tips Pinkwater’s hand – a lovingly detailed description of something so esoteric could only have been crafted by a fellow enthusiast.

  3. You can listen to Daniel himself reading this book for free at
    Pinkwater and his words makes me happy.

  4. Thank you so much.  I read this book as a kid and have been trying for what seems like years to remember the title.

  5. Yes!!! Love the Snarkout Boys and Daniel Pinkwater. Also great are Borgel and Yobgorgle :) I read them in collected form as a kid, and I recommend his collections as a great and affordable way to get into his work:

  6. Pinkwater is so good! I read these to my kids, and loved them. Recently I began re-reading the Just So stories from my own kiddage. Wonderful stuff!

  7. I’m still searching for a bowl of Green Death chili.

    Throughout college (and beyond, truth be told) I was thrilled to discover some personage or other from a DP book that was based on somebody or something real (a bunch of characters from “The Last Guru”, many of the elements from Young Adult Novel, etc.). There was a weird thrill when I found out that the bizarre home movies described in AMTBFM were based on his uncle’s bizarre home movies.

  8. Fat Men from Space by Pinkwater was a favorite of my younger brother. It was silly fun. Maybe I’ll check out his other books for my kids :)

  9. This is absurd. The Snarkout Boys and the Baconburg Horror is clearly superior. Why has nobody mentioned this?

    Over the last year or so, I’ve made a habit of bringing home Pinkwater books every time I take my son to the library. It’s been very, very rewarding. The Big Orange Splot stands out among the picture books.

    1. I’m a Baconburg man myself.  Borgelnuskies, the Napoleon of crime, lycanthropy…that’s 3X win right there!

      I need to re-read the classics…it’s been awhile.

    2.  I think this is the one that I read.  I read a book a day in the 7th grade, and I know I read something with The Snarkout Boys in the title.  this was the one with the mad scientist that tried to make magnetic food; then put it in the disc drive, save data on it, and eat it?  there may have been a soundproof room in a basement where they blasted Depeche Mode or something, and a beatnik poetry coffee house?  all those books blur together a bit.  Like the other commenter said, I would never have remembered the title had it not been for the post.

      When I got to highschool and had long forgotten this book, my homie Dave and I used to sneak out to Rocky Horror on Fridays, so I guess it was a seminal influence.  good times.

  10. Re-reading Alan Menelsohn as an adult was a very strange experience: I got the jokes. I’d learnt enough to know what he was making fun of, instead of assuming it all came from Pinkwater’s imagination.

    That book is basically the kiddie equivalent to the Illuminatus! trilogy.

  11. Ah, but if you were living in Chicago, you really could have gone to the Clark Theater, a different double feature every day.

  12. Other things The Snarkout Boys books deserve recognition for: WPOV (werewolf-point-of-view), a brilliant fantasy version of lower Wacker Drive, the greatest drive-in movie theater to never exist, “Rat,” and that bit with the booth in the Deadly Nightshade Diner We Never Close. 

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