Baconburg Horror Week – Finding the Dickensian in the Pinkwaterian

 I’m not a big fan of analyzing books or “taking the fun out of reading” as it’s also known.

However, sometimes it can add to the fun if your thesis is (a) crazy and (b) maybe, just maybe correct. (Perhaps you’re familiar with my theory that The Hobbit and LOTR are basically The Pickwick Papers.*)

Today we compare two other Great Books: Bleak House and The Snarkout Boys and the Baconburg Horror.

 

To keep things straight, I’ll refer to Bleak House as B.H. and the Baconburg Horror as B.H.

* Both BH & BH switch between first person and omniscient narration.

* Both feature multiple, independently operating detectives zeroing in on the same mystery.

* Scott Feldman and Mr. Guppy share many similarities: They are not evildoers, yet the main characters despise them. They have misplaced pride in their attire. They suffer embarrasing attachment to a parent. And have hopeless love for the heroine. Furthermore, I conjecture that had there been a BugWorld in London, Mr. Guppy would have shopped there.

* Lastly, both books feature a major league pig-out in the BOOTH of a diner. Yes, each author clearly paints the picture of a booth. And it’s a feast with a plot-rattling conversation, to boot.

 Let’s compare: 

Dicken’s characters chow down at place called “slap bang:”

Chick [young Smallweed], out of the profundity of his artfulness, preferring “veal and ham and French beans–and don’t you forget the stuffing, Polly” (with an unearthly cock of his venerable eye), Mr. Guppy and Mr. Jobling give the like order.  Three pint pots of half-and-half are superadded. 

Pinkwater’s characters eat a spot called The Deadly Nightshade Diner — We Never Close:

“Gus — a triple order of borgelnuskies, if you please, and topped with confectioner’s sugar, pinapple slices and instant-whip as usual!”

AND NOW FOR THE TEST:

Which man wrote the following sentence?

“Quickly the waitress returns bearing what is apparently a model of the Tower of Babel but what is really a pile of plates and flat tin dish-covers. ”

Yes, it’s Dickensian, but it’s also Pinkwaterian! The answer?

B.H., of course.

*By the by, if you took my book The Qwikpick Papers you could find many such similarities between BOTH the Baconburg Horror and The Pickwick Papers.

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