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The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death (Snarkout Boys, #1)
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The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death

(The Snarkout Boys #1)

4.37  ·  Rating details ·  873 ratings  ·  88 reviews
Walter and Winston set out to rescue the inventor of the Alligatron, a computer developed from an avocado which is the world's last defense against the space-realtors. ...more
Paperback, 151 pages
Published March 1st 1983 by Signet (first published January 1st 1982)
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Ariana It's an expression that is sometimes used when a story gets to the point where it's so ridiculous that you can't even suspend your disbelief. It came …moreIt's an expression that is sometimes used when a story gets to the point where it's so ridiculous that you can't even suspend your disbelief. It came from an episode of Happy Days where Fonzie jumped over a shark on waterskis that, to many viewers, was the beginning of the end and that the show kept on getting worse from there on out.(less)

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Average rating 4.37  · 
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 ·  873 ratings  ·  88 reviews

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Apr 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, ya
I thought about it, and I decided this is my book that, if you don't like it, you are dead to me. ...more
Feb 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Joel by: Sauk School library
This book was written in the early '80s. The following are among the long list of giveaways:

1) The word "retarded" appears twice on the same page.
2) The narrator's science teacher is casually anti-Semitic.
3) In order to find out what movies are playing, the characters need to use a newspaper.
4) One of the movies they go to see is Song of the South, which as far as Disney is concerned ceased to exist around 1984.
5) The main characters, young high school kids, all smoke.
6) Inside of theaters and r
Apr 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a children's book in the same way that Rocky & Bullwinkle was a children's TV show, which is to say, not really. But if you're in the mood for a book about biology notebooks, late night movies, speeches in the park, disappearing uncles, Chinese butlers named Heinz, Commonists, rubber doughnuts, singing chickens, space realtors, wrestling orangutans (don't let them get your feet!), evil masterminded criminal who torture people by making them watch German movies, and - above all - avocados ...more
Jun 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
My favorite book of all time...I read it at least once a year.
(I see no reason to ever change this review even though I read this book at least yearly...the review always stays the same)

As Jenne has stated in her review (best book review I've ever seen by the way)..."I thought about it, and I decided this is my book that, if you don't like it, you are dead to me." and I couldn't agree with Jenne more.

There is no book in the world that has had a greater impact on who I am than this book, no book
Aug 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
i found a bunch of daniel pinkwater novels in a used bookstore a few weeks ago, and have just now gotten around to re-reading them. i adored pinkwater as a kid, but hadn't thought about him for years - not because i stopped loving him, but because his books are these perfectly and transcendently weird marvels that seem to exist in a different realm of existence entirely, emerging suddenly to delight you page by page only to erase itself from the world as soon as the last page has been turned.

Jun 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
Like many Pinkwater books, it starts off weird and gets weirder as you read on. The story: Walter Galt and Winston Bongo, they're two regular boys (sort of) who sneak out of their homes to watch late night movies. What could go wrong? They soon meet a girl, Bently Saunders Harrison Mathews (nicknamed Rat), who's introduces them to her uncle Flipping Hades Terwilliger, after which things steadily go off course.

From my perspective, the characters are great. Full of surprises, just reading their na
I highly recommend any Pinkwater books, but I listened to this one narrated by Mr. Pinkwater himself, and... well... he's my favourite.

Edit: I listened to this for the second (or possibly third) time, and it still cracks me up. Daniel Pinkwater is hilarious!
Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: summer2019
Hurray for short and zany 20th-century summer fiction!
Matthew Tremmel
Dec 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I think I already reviewed this once, but here goes again. Pinkwater tells such a unique story in such a uniquely quirky way, that no junior high student can resist. This is when I fell in love with this book, back when I was in Junior High and after rediscovering it about 10 years ago still come back to it every few years. This book informed, in part, my sense of humor, my love of the silly, and the appreciation of a dry sense of humor. This book is about two boys who sneak out of their houses ...more
Greg Kerestan
Apr 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was in fourth grade when I read this book. I knew it wasn't a masterpiece then, and I know it's not one now, but it's daffy, hip surrealist fun. The best way to describe it would probably be "Murakami, but for kids/young adults." A slightly eccentric tale of a group of like-minded loner teens who sneak out after curfew to see midnight movies becomes something much, much weirder. The almost nonsensical adventure leads to an underground street, a park full of hipsters, an avocado-based computer, ...more
Jul 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Just finished this as a read-aloud with my son, 11 yrs old. It's a strange book, about oddly realistic adventures (including the adventure of seeing a part of town you never heard before, or eating food better than that made in your family) combined with truly outlandish characters and situations and the peculiar habit of repeating every character's full name at every opportunity, no matter how absurd. My first time re-reading it since reading it to kids at the summer camp I worked at in my earl ...more
Jan 09, 2018 rated it liked it
I read this aloud to my son, who is four months old, primarily because I needed something that wouldn't be overly emotionally involving (unlike, say, Corduroy the Bear). I noticed that there are some real clanger-type sentences in the beginning, but overall things got better and more smooth by the end of the book. Also, the subject matter (three teens, the world's greatest detective and his sidekick, and a professional wrestler search for one of the teen's uncle, a man named Flipping Hades Terwi ...more
Sybil Lamb
Apr 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This book is very silly. The beginning may seem merely middle-of-the-road silly, but then each chapter begins to layer on additional silliness until you hardly know what you're reading any longer, it's so full of orangutans and avocado supercomputers and alien realtors and operatic chickens. I suspect the author put a bunch of nouns and adjectives together into a hat and pulled them out and built a plot around the results. And then added more descriptions of food.

Best scene: The interwoven speec
Kris Dersch
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: a-family-thing, ya, funny
I discovered this book on my husband's childhood bedroom shelf a few years ago...a delight. If you have a young teen in your life, do yourself a favor and introduce them to Daniel Pinkwater. Wacky, snarky, and one of those delightful writers who has respect for his young readers. Sadly most of these books are out of print and only available in 4 and 5 book compilations which are somewhat daunting, but these hold up really well as stories and should find more readers. ...more
Heidi Burkhart
Aug 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love Pinkwater's zany humor. I audiobooked this title which was read by the author. He read a bit fast, but it is always a pleasure to hear an author read his own work. "Lizard Music" remains my all-time favorite of Pinkwater's books, but love them all. ...more
Liz Kozek Hutchinson
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I may have been the only girl in the 1980s who had her father's permission to snark out. I never knew the same quirky and eccentric characters as those in this book, but I haven't stopped searching. This book is great for YA or even adult audiences. ...more
Kelly McCubbin
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This might well be the best book by the best kid's book writer ever. The usual hilarity in this one is wrapped up with an edginess that speaks to childhood independence and a flat-out mania.
Hilarious, smart and never EVER pandering.

Remember, if the orangutan gets you by the foot, it's all over.
Nov 20, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-for-kids
a librarian friend said she loved it...a 7 yr old boy would, but I didn't ...more
Martin Such
Aug 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Very fast in the talking and some times funny
Jul 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sid Khosla
Mar 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
nothing could be more comforting
Jun 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Maybe my fourth time reading it. It makes me want to write a book.
Stacey Gow
Jul 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I always love coming back to old favorites
Elaine Fultz
Aug 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Even more bizarre than I remembered! Lizard Music is next to re-read with its spiffy new cover.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
After reading "The Neddiad" and "The Iggyssey" and enjoying them both immensely I decided I needed to read some more Daniel Pinkwater. So I picked up this book. It was an enjoyable book; I liked it. If you like Pinkwater's writing, you'll like this book. I did notice though after reading three of Pinkwater's book; he has a very distinctive writing style.

Walter and Winston Bongo are two boys who are bored to death in school and decide to Snark Out. Snarking out means that you sneak out of the hou
Apr 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Not just any writer excels at a zany tone. But Pinkwater, who I have been remiss in avoiding until well into my sorry adulthood, is possibly the equal of my long-time favorite Douglas Adams. "Young Adult Novel", the first story of Pinkwater's I've read, was like nothing else I've read: a unique, slightly twisted story from a more than slightly twisted mind.

"The Avocado of Death" is more conventional; uh oh, hey, "conventional" was too good a word there, because the book is in part a comic riff o
Rachel Smalter Hall
When you're a kid, it's comforting to know there are grown ups writing books about radioactive stone fruit and gangs of villainous orangutans. I'm so thankful for this novel about three smartypants 15 year olds, bored out of their gourds in their crummy high school, who invent a sport called "Snarking Out" to save their sanity. Walter, Winston, and Rat "Snark Out" in the wee hours of the night to explore their metropolis of Baconburg and watch B movies at a seedy downtown theater. After a series ...more
Fuzzy Gerdes
Aug 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I've read Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death several times, and once drove up to Chicago (before I lived here) to see Lifeline Theatre's stage adaptation—it's one of my favorite books by one of my favorite authors. This last time through I was listening to the audio version, available free from It's read by Daniel Pinkwater himself, which one of my friends remarked would drive her crazy. It's true that Pinkwater has a fairly gruff and distinctive voice. YMMV.

The story is a cl
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Daniel Manus Pinkwater is an author of mostly children's books and is an occasional commentator on National Public Radio. He attended Bard College. Well-known books include Lizard Music, The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death, Fat Men from Space, Borgel, and the picture book The Big Orange Splot. Pinkwater has also illustrated many of his books in the past, although for more recent works that ...more

Other books in the series

The Snarkout Boys (2 books)
  • The Snarkout Boys and the Baconburg Horror (Snarkout Boys, #2)

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