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THE NEDDIAD by Daniel Pinkwater


How Neddie Took the Train, Went to Hollywood, and Saved Civilization

by Daniel Pinkwater

Pub Date: April 23rd, 2007
ISBN: 0-618-59444-2
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Pinkwater bills this tale of a lad who saves the post-WWII world from a sudden reversion to the Pleistocene Epoch as his best work yet. He’s right—for about the first third. When his well-heeled family boards the Super Chief for an impulsive move from Chicago to Hollywood, Neddie experiences an America rich in marvels, from elegant Pullman Porters and fellow passengers with colorful (if, Ned suspects, fictive) pasts to stunning natural wonders. A stranding in Flagstaff only adds to the adventure, as he falls in with the son of a renowned movie star and gets a car ride the rest of the way to California. He also meets a shaman named Melvin who hands him a small carved turtle that must be kept safe. Ned’s compelling sense of wonder and delight at each new sight or encounter positively propels his account of the cross-country journey along. But once he arrives in L.A., it begins to sputter, because aside from the odd and often surreal diversion, he and some new friends spend the next 200 pages essentially waiting around to find out just why that turtle is so important. Pinkwater is putting up a chapter a week on his website, and should be about halfway along to the mystical climax by the book’s publication date. Even confirmed fans might want to stick with the online version, tune out for a month or so and then tune back in to see everyone receive just deserts. (Fantasy. 10-13)