Summary (Magill's Survey of American Literature, Revised Edition)
My Darling, My Hamburger, Zindel’s second young adult novel, was the first to use the type of offbeat title which would become a kind of Zindel trademark. Eventually, the Zindel bibliography would grow to include titles such as Pardon Me, You’re Stepping on My Eyeball!, Harry and Hortense at Hormone High, and The Amazing and Death-Defying Diary of Eugene Dingman (1987). Zindel was again concerned with four basic themes—identity and meaning, the questioning of traditional values, the loneliness of the individual, and the difficulty of communication. My Darling, My Hamburger goes beyond these concerns to deal with subjects such as casual sex, the use of contraceptives, and abortion as an alternative to unwanted pregnancies. These subjects are dealt with realistically and with candor.
Zindel departs from the format used in The Pigman and other novels by focusing on four teenagers rather then his usual two. These four, like the young people in the other novels, learn through their own experiences, without much help from adults. In My Darling, My Hamburger, the lesson appears to be that carefree living has risks and that people must account for their actions. Zindel also departed from The Pigman formula by using a third-person omniscient narrator to tell the story; the language used in the dialogue is similar to that used in his other novels. As in The Pigman, Zindel...
(The entire section is 581 words.)
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