Friday, January 25, 2013

Twisting Reality like Taffy

Book Review: Bushman Lives! by Daniel Pinkwater

Bushman Lives was my first exposure to the work of author Daniel Pinkwater, and overall it was an enjoyable experience. I was reminded of the work of Louis Sachar (Holes, the Wayside School series), not an unflattering comparison, with that same 'dropped down the rabbit hole' feeling to it.

What happens is that the author introduces us to a fairly normal character in a fairly normal situation - and then begins to pull and stretch it in different un-normal ways. Reality takes on the consistency of Silly Putty; malleable, elastic, and taking the imprint of things which it is pressed against. The result can be both amusing and enlightening, although requiring suspension of disbelief to increasing depths. When is a house not a house? When it's covered in whitewash of course!

However much I enjoy this sort of thing, Bushman Lives didn't quite fulfill my expectations. It feels incomplete-there were infinite possibilities, but I felt like I had been left hanging. I was not expecting a 'happily ever after' conclusion, but neither was I looking for the book to just sort of trail off ...