Author: Daniel Pinkwater
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
Publication Date: October 9, 2012
ARC provided by publisher
Bushman Lives! is the latest book by Daniel Pinkwater and in case you've missed it, he's been serializing the novel for the past year, one chapter a week. But if you want to read the entire novel at once, it's slated to be published next month.
Bushman Lives! takes place in 1960's Chicago, but except for the lack of cell phones and the Internet, it doesn't read as a historical piece. It does, however, read as a quirky piece, which one would expect from Daniel Pinkwater.
Harold Knishke and his friend Geets are fans of the dearly departed gorilla known as Bushman. They greet each other with "Bushman lives!", sort as a secret code to each other and to people that they meet. It's the start of summer vacation and Harold has no real plans for the summer. But then he stumbles into a museum one day and decides he wants to be an artist.
The novel almost reads as a picaresque novel with Harold having odd adventures that sort of connect to each other and meeting odd people who sort of connect to each other as Harold learns how to be an artist.
But there's no real plot to the novel, which I was fine with because I enjoyed having adventures with Harold. But there's also no real ending, either. Just as it seemed that all the adventures and characters were coming together to actually have a point, it just ends.
And I'm like .... wha ...?
I hope that this is the first of a series because I dug Harold and want to have more adventures with him. And because I really, really want to know how this book ends.
I would recommend Bushman Lives! to readers who enjoyed Holes by Louis Sachar or How I Stole Johnny Depp's Alien Girlfriend by Gary Ghislain.