A sequel to critically acclaimed THE NEDDIAD told from the point of view of Ned's friend, Iggy
La Brea Woman is missing. Valentino, too. The ghosts of Los Angeles are disappearing right and left!
Iggy Birnbaum is determined to get to the bottom of this mystery, no matter what Neddie Wentworthstein and Seamus Finn say.
There’s just the little matter of traveling to another plane of existence, first…and then, of course, not pissing off a witch once she gets there.
From L.A. to Old New Hackensack, fans of The Neddiad will be delighted to join up with Iggy, Neddie, Seamus, and the usual apparitional entourage for another weird and wonderful adventure by Daniel Pinkwater. As Neil Gaiman said about the first book: "it's funny and tender and strange and impossible to describe. What Pinkwater does is magic and I'm grateful for it."
THE YGGYSSEY is vintage Pinkwater: laugh out loud funny, incredible characters, dialogue, humor. And like THE NEDDIAD, this book will be similarly illustrated throughout by Calef Brown.
About the Author
Daniel Pinkwater is crazy about writing, and has been trying to learn how to do it for fifty years. He has written about a hundred books, all but two or three of them good. People who own radios may know Daniel Pinkwater as a popular commentator and children’s book reviewer on National Public Radio. At one time, he lived in Los Angeles, went to a fancy private school with the children of movie stars, and ate in The Hat numerous times. He lives with his wife, the illustrator and novelist Jill Pinkwater, and several dogs and cats in a very old farmhouse in New York’s Hudson River Valley.
Daniel Pinkwater lives with his wife, the illustrator and novelist Jill Pinkwater, and several dogs and cats in a very old farmhouse in New York’s Hudson River Valley.
Read an Excerpt
Room Full of Spooks
When I got home from school, my room was full of ghosts...again! They were being invisible, but I could feel the cold spots in the air.
“Did I speak to you ectoplasms about this, or did I not?” I asked the empty room.
Silence. The ghosts were dummying up.
“Rudolph Valentino! I can smell your lousy cigar!” There was a faint smell of cigar smoke, the trademark of the ghostly Valentino, so I knew he was among them. And my bedspread was rumpled. Probably they were sitting on my bed, playing cards.
“Look, you spectres—this is a young girl’s bedroom, not a club! Why do you have to hang out here all the time? You have an eight-story hotel to haunt. There’s a complete apartment reserved for your personal use. Why don’t you stay there? It’s the nicest one in the whole building.” The management had sealed off a large apartment because it was way too haunted for living guests to put up with. The hope was that if they gave the ghosts their own space they wouldn’t haunt the rest of the hotel so much. Some hope.
“We get bored,” Rudolph Valentino said. “It’s nothing but ghosts there.” “So you crowd in here so you can bore me, and stink up my room,” I said. I was mad. I really liked most of the ghosts, but a woman is entitled to some privacy. Grumbling and mumbling, the ghosts climbed out my bedroom window, made their way along the ledge, and climbed into the window of the apartment that had belonged to Valentino in 1927. I had been in the apartment lots of times. Like the ghosts, I had to climb out my window and go along the narrow ledge to get in, which was a little scary to do if you weren’t already dead.
The Hermione is not a regular hotel in the sense that people check in for a couple of nights or a week. It’s all apartments, some tiny and some quite large. People live in it for months at a stretch, or all the time. It was quite the fancy address when my father first came to Hollywood in the days of the silent movies.
You can see what a deluxe sort of place it was. It has architecture all over it. There are rough plaster walls, old-fashioned light fixtures made of hammered iron, fancy tile floors, and dark, heavy woodwork with carvings and decorations on it. There are tapestries that hang from iron things that look like spears, and a couple of suits of armor standing around. It looks like a movie set. It’s a combination of old Spanish California and the Middle Ages, with some Arabian Nights thrown in.
I have lived in the Hermione all my life. I know the old hotel from top to bottom. I have been in all of the apartments, the basement, the laundry, and the restaurant that’s been closed for years, and I know about the deserted tennis courts and the second, unused, and hidden swimming pool where the enormous turtle lives. I know things about the hotel that Mr. Glanvill, the manager, does not know. Chase, my favorite ghost, was the one who showed me where to find the master key someone had mislaid a long time ago. It opens every door in the place except the one to Valentino’s apartment where all the ghosts hang out, because the door lock is rusted solid. Chase is not the ghost of a person. She is the ghost of a black bunny rabbit. She has been sort of my own personal ghost since I was a baby. We are able to talk, which is something you can’t do with a living bunny. Chase changes size. Usually, she is bunny-size, but I have seen her get to be as large as a German shepherd dog.
Rudolph Valentino is the ghost most people would know about, because he was a big movie star in the 1920s—but the oldest ghost, and the one who should be most famous, really, is La Brea Woman. Valentino doesn’t compare to La Brea Woman for being distinguished. She is the only human whose bones have been pulled out of the La Brea Tar Pits. She lived about nine thousand years ago. She is the oldest human ever found in Southern California. Plus, she was murdered—someone knocked her on the head with a rock. We are all proud of La Brea Woman. And she’s a nice ghost. She’s shorter than I am, in her early twenties, and always has her hair in curlers and wears sunglasses with pink frames and fuzzy pink slippers. She is friendly and cheerful, and talks a blue streak in some ancient dialect that hasn’t been heard on earth in thousands of years.
I don’t know exactly how many ghosts live in the Hermione—at least a dozen, maybe more. Not all of them like to communicate—they just haunt, appear and disappear, walk the corridors—some of them moan, or cry, or make ghostly laughter. Chase is the only ghost with whom I can have a conversation. Valentino will exchange a few words with me—but that’s just his polite nature. Alsso, he may be nice to me because he knew my father in the old days.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
She looked around and dropped her stuff on the floor, curling up in a corner.
This book was the sequel to Pinkwater's "The Neddiad". While this book wasn't as hilarious and quirky as "The Neddiad" it was still a great read.Iggy is wondering why the ghosts that live in the hotel her and her parents permanently inhabit are disappearing. With the help of the main characters from the Neddiad (Neddie and Seamus) she tries to find out. As with the Neddiad the path to the answer is funny, not at all straight-forward, and full of general craziness.I was excited that this book was told from Iggy's perspective; I really liked her character in the Neddiad. I was surprised to find that I didn't enjoy her perspective quite as much as Neddie's. Neddie was just so matter-of-fact and fascinated by everything that it was really funny to follow his thoughts. Iggy is more practical and down-to-earth. I also missed the cross-country traveling present in "The Neddiad"; the majority of this book takes place in LA.The other thing that bothered me a bit was that the beginning of the book was rather slow. About half way through things really take-off as the kids start off on their adventure to find the ghosts, but it takes too long to set all that up. Also this story doesn't have the-world-is-ending urgency of the first novel.Despite the above complaints, this book was still a fun and quirky read. Some of the coincidences that take place, the crazy references, and the quirky characters are amazing. It was a very hard book to put down. I think you could read this book without reading "The Neddiad"; although you will miss out on some of the jokes in this book as well as the better of the two books (which is "The Neddiad").It is again a book I would recommend to all types and ages of people. I can't wait to read it to my son when he gets a few years older (at two he doesn't have the patience for non-picture books yet). Both "The Neddiad" and "The Yggyssey" were great books. They prompted me to acquire more of Daniel Pinkwater's previous works. He is such an interesting (and hilarious) storyteller.
This story is great!!!!!!! My friend has this book and i thought that i would check it out for mysef. You should really read this book