Back in 2011, The New York Review of Books inducted Daniel Pinkwater's classic Lizard Music into its canon with a handsome little hardcover edition; today they follow that up with a stylish, jazzy paperback, priced to move at $10.
Lizard Music is a novel about Victor, a kid who falls asleep while doing a model airplane and wakes up when the local TV station is going off the air, who discovers that the true late-night programming comes from humanoid lizards who live in a secret nearby volcano and worship Walter Cronkite.
Victor travels to the land of the lizards with the Chicken Man, a recurring Pinkwater character: a kind of hobo figure whose pet chicken is wise beyond her years and dander. What happens next will… Well, it will make you weirder.
Here's what I wrote on the occasion of the hardcover:
No author has ever captured the great fun of being weird, growing up as a happy mutant, unfettered by convention, as well as Pinkwater has. When I was a kid, Pinkwater novels like Lizard Music made me intensely proud to be a little off-center and weird — they taught me to woo the muse of the odd and made me the happy adult I am today. It's one of those books that, in the right hands at the right time, can change your life for the better and forever.
Lizard Music [Daniel Pinkwater/NYRB Kids]