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1. Still Life with Woodpecker
2. Wild Ducks Flying Backward
3. Jitterbug Perfume
4. Even Cowgirls Get the Blues
5. Another Roadside Attraction
6. Skinny Legs and All
7. B Is for Beer
8. Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas
9. Fierce Invalids Home from Hot
10. Villa Incognito
11. Conversations with Tom Robbins
12. The Quiet Center: Isolation and
13. Tom Robbins: A Critical Companion
14. B Is for Beer (Hardcover)
15. The Annotated Uncle Tom's Cabin
16. Chop Suey (German)
17. PanAroma. Jitterbug Perfume.
18. Another Roadside Attraction
19. Salomes siebter Schleier.
20. Skinny Legs & All 1ST Edition

1. Still Life with Woodpecker
by Tom Robbins
Paperback: 288 Pages (1990-04-01)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$7.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553348973
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Still Life with Woodpecker is sort of a love story that takes place inside a pack of Camel cigarettes.It reveals the purpose of the moon, explains the difference between criminals and outlaws, examines the conflict between social activism and romantic individualism, and paints a portrait of contemporary society that includes powerful Arabs, exiled royalty, and pregnant cheerleaders.It also deals with the problem of redheads.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (179)

5-0 out of 5 stars Nothing is Sacred
I read that Tom Robbins will spend a week on a page. Believable since the pace of his release is something like a snail crawling up the edge of a straight razor. Every five years brings us a new Tom Robbins release. FIVE YEARS between Cowgirls and Woodpecker or 260 weeks for 272 pages is just about right. The only thing 'wrong' with Robbins is the interminable wait for the next installment. But like fine wine or Scotch this aging brings an exceptional result.
Robbins writes in such harmony with my view of the world it's enough for me to know that someone is writing what I would write without my effort. Jackson Browne has written the songs and Tom Robbins has written the novels so I don't have to.
So in a nutshell if you are like me you will be in such total harmony with Robbins worldviewyour soul will resonate with every word and your heart will sing. If you're a T Partying Limbaughtomized Beck lover who thinks that truth and Faux Noise are even remotely connected your head will explode.
Robbins is a world of fun and insight for those who seek humor and enlightenment and who understand that religion and politics are the root of ultimate evil when they are combined. If you're a Robbins fan - Tim or Tom - then we would be great friends. If not then we don't need to occupy the same room.

5-0 out of 5 stars D@mn good book.
My (now husband) dear friend gave me this book years ago.Now i'm not saying it's why i fell in love with him, but it added to the intrigue for sure, because i realized after reading this he had amazing taste, a great sense of humor and intelligence if he thought this book was worthy of passing on.Life in a pack of camels... who knew it could be so fulfilling.

5-0 out of 5 stars Nice Introduction to a Remarkable Author
I've read this a few times over the years. The first novel I've read which includes meta narrative and being set in a pack of Camels. The question: how do you make love stay? Much mythology about redheads (I am one) including that they are addicted to sex, sugar, and controlled by the moon. Hey, I can't argue other than to say why stop there? My obsessions continue much further than those three! A deposed princess is courted by a terrorist who never seems to blow up anything. He just likes attending terrorist conventions. Add to this themes of Love, Loss, Isolation but all dealt with in a mad, diabolical fashion, and you get the general drift of Mr. Tom Robbins.

5-0 out of 5 stars Delightful, subversive, playful, silly, and seductive
Two unlikely lovers feature in this delightfully funny love story about a disenchanted princess and her affair with the outlawed bomber who calls himself the Woodpecker.The heroine is the daughter of dispossessed royalty from a foreign land who is unhappy with her cozy upper-middle class existence.She meets the Woodpecker at a conference in Hawaii where they both hope to change the world for the better: she by attending seminars and he by blowing them up.The two seem to have nothing in common except their spectacularly bright red hair, but the girl nonetheless finds herself captivated by his devil-may-care attitude, his entrancing conversation, and his complete defiance of the mores of a society that she herself feels disconnected from.

Surely the best part of this book is Robbins' prose, both as the narrator and in the Woodpecker's dialogue: delightful, subversive, playful, silly, and seductive.And who can resist the long, pointless, borderline psychotic discourses on odd topics like for example, the moon, or love, redheads, or the pyramids on the Camel cigarette package, or those peculiar interludes where Robbins talks about his typewriter - these digressions have the effect of building suspense, but don't really contribute to the story.He had me with "Yum".The purest sheer reading enjoyment this reviewer has had for quite some time.

1-0 out of 5 stars Worst Tom Robbins Book I've Read
Could not finish. Plot was lost to his "Peach fish fuzz" gross talk. The plot might have been ok but after reading half the book I lost interest after all his pre-adolecent musings. Should have been condensed to a teen pamphlet. ... Read more

2. Wild Ducks Flying Backward
by Tom Robbins
Paperback: 272 Pages (2006-08-29)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$6.56
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553383531
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Known for his meaty seriocomic novels, Tom Robbins’s shorter work has appeared in publications ranging from Esquire to Harper’s, from Playboy to the New York Times. Collected here for the first time in paperback, the essays, articles, observations—and even some untypical country-music lyrics—offer a rare overview of the eclectic sensibility of an American original.

Whether rocking with the Doors, depoliticizing Picasso’s Guernica, lamenting the angst-ridden state of contemporary literature, or drooling over tomato sandwiches and a species of womanhood he calls “the genius waitress,” Tom Robbins’s briefer writings exhibit the five traits that perhaps best characterize his novels: an imaginative wit, a cheerfully brash disregard for convention, a sweetly nasty eroticism, a mystical but keenly observant eye, and an irrepressible love of language. Embedded in this primarily journalistic compilation are brand-new short stories, a sheaf of largely unpublished poems, and an offbeat assessment of our divided nation. Wherever you open Wild Ducks Flying Backward, you’ll encounter the serious playfulness that percolates from the mind of a self-described “romantic Zen hedonist” and “stray dog in the banquet halls of culture.” ... Read more

Customer Reviews (30)

5-0 out of 5 stars "The whirling dervish lit hippie of Seattle"
Tom Robbins is a madman. His passionate love affair with language is surpassed only by his compassion for thoroughly mobile drive by turkeys, beet scented waitresses, chatty defensive sticks, wedding cake flavored pyramids, dynamite flavored woodpeckers, water logged socks, cantankerous and injured transgendered cans o' beans, and of course the ORIGINAL bombastic balloon boy sweet Haysoos.

Tom Robbins is THEE shoehorn defibrillator of writerz; YES that is writerZ with a captial Z. His electrifying way with words wedges itself between your skull and that gelatinous gray sludge therein and Za za za ZAPS your brain into a mind expanding revery that no flip-the-bird-at-sobriety-stimulants, ill eagle or otherwise, could ever possibly compete with much less top.

Don't take my words for it...take Toms:

"I want to travel on a train that smells like snowflakes.

I want to sip in cafes that smell like comets.

Under the pressure of my step, I want the streets to emit the precise odor of a diamond necklace.

I want the newspapers I read to smell like the violins left in pawnshops by weeping hobos on Christmas Eve.

I want to carry luggage that reeks of the neurons in Einstein's brain.

I want a city's gases to smell like the golden belly hairs of the gods.

And when I gaze at a televised picture of the moon, I want to detect, from a distance of 239,000 miles, the aroma of fresh mozzarella."

3-0 out of 5 stars Longing for the best of Tom Robbins
By my calculation, Tom Robbins has produced one novel every five years (on average).Beginning with "Fierce Aliens ..." he has seemed rushed by a semi-decenial deadline and has not produced works equal to his earlier masterpieces.(See "Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas" for a masterpiece.)"Wild Ducks Flying Backwards" offers some glimpse of the master by collecting decades of his short writing.It reminds me of why I want more of his best.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wild Words Flying Forward
Tom Robbins has a complete mastery of the use of words to create a novel image, always fun, and thought-provoking. I re-read many passages, just for the sheer enjoyment of listening to the words in my head. This book is a collection of articles and essays, which makes it a great read when you don't have a long stretch of time. I loved it!

1-0 out of 5 stars Yawn
Tom Robbins, a self-proclaimed Zen Hedonist, is one of those writers whose name is now vaguely known- although it has slipped considerably in recognition and reputation from his 1970s heyday, but whose works are doomed to end up in antique shops in a century as people hold up his moldering books and wonder why and how his banal and flat out bad writing ever got into print in the first place. In short, they will either loathe us as barbarians, laugh at us as fools, or pity us as cretins for rewarding such bad writing with publication.

To say that Robbins is a fifth rate Hunter S. Thompson is to insult even that vastly overrated cultural scribe. Known mainly for some supposedly humorous novels such as Even Cowgirls Get The Blues, Still Life With Woodpecker, Just Another Roadside Attraction, and Skinny Legs And All, this compendium- somehow aptly if enigmatically titled Wild Ducks Flying Backward: The Short Writings Of Tom Robbins, is about forty years worth of sheer irredeemable banality on display. This book is the sort of atrocious book that a name writer puts out when he has run out of new ideas and simply wants to milk his name for what little marketable worth it has left....The worst section is Stories, Poems, & Lyrics. To say that the `poetry' of Mr. Robbins is execrable is to waste a valuable word on it. Why do non-poets all think they can write poems? Yes, we know, they think their names can sell anything, but Robbins makes Leonard Nimoy's infamous Blue Mountain books of `poetry' look like a competent poet by comparison. His doggerel shall not even be quoted. Musings & Critiques is Robbins attempting to be `deep', while the final section, Responses, is just a series of a paragraph or two long pieces where Robbins opines, thus showing off both his lack of intellectual profundity and originality, as he answers such dillies of queries like, Why Do You Live Where You Live?, and What Is The Meaning Of Life? Robbins, as a humorist, writes like a none too talented fourteen year old trying to imitate the best lines from the first Monty Python skit he's ever seen on DVD. When asked to write a piece for the Center For Steinbeck Studies, San Jose State University, 2002, in answer to the query, How Would You Evaluate John Steinbeck?, Robbins starts off his reply with this bon mot:

Maybe what I admire most about John Steinbeck is that he never mortgaged his forty-acre heart for a suite in an ivory tower.

Yes, this was his apparently serious attempt at discourse. To not say that wordplay is not a forte of Robbins' would be to shirk one's duties as a critic.

Luckily, this critic found this book lying about the office of his mother's doctor, about to be tossed, so paid not a red cent for it- it retails for $25.00 (Shame on Bantam Books!). Perhaps actor and filmmaker Tim Robbins really wrote this atrocious book, and the man who has had so many books published simply is the victim of a typo. How else to explain the twisted Kantian logic of the ridiculously bad piece titled What Is Art And If We Know What Art Is, What Is Politics? Of course, the whole presumption is that `all art is political,' and Robbins opens up his piece with the Kantian stance that, `The most useful thing about art is its uselessness.' One might hope he'd ended the piece with that single sentence, even if it is wrong, for art does have a purpose, and it is about the best written sentence in the book. Yet, so clueless as to even his stumbling upon a semi-truth is Robbins that he ends the piece by unwittingly giving art's real purpose, even as he tries to negate it:

Art revitalizes precisely because it has no purpose. Except to engage our senses. The emancipating jounce of inspired uselessness.

Of course, if it is useless, how can it revitalize? This is a non-sequitur. One would be expecting much too much from such a writer and thinker at the Tom Robbins level to expect much more. Perhaps Robbins has written a few paragraphs of solid prose in his career, but they are not on display in this book. Let's hope Tim Robbins's Collected Prose betters his doppelganger's.

3-0 out of 5 stars Odds-n-Sods From Tom Robbins
As a loyal Tom Robbins fan, I have read almost all of his published works. Like many of you, I have even met him in person at a book signing or two... So when I spotted this little gem, I thought it was going to a collection of short stories.I had read his novels- or at least most of them and figured a collection of short stories by Tom Robbins would be interesting to say the least.What I didn't really pick up on was that the front cover read "The Short Writings of Tom Robbins" not "The Short Stories of Tom Robbins".

Had I been more observant, I might not have been surprised by the fact that stories as such are almost non-existent in this book.Instead we are treated to Tom's responses on various subjects, short essays about famous people he admires or has met, critiques, opinions etc.

At times the Tom Robbins we all know shines through at other times, he is about as missing as the short stories I had hoped to find.This collection is kind of like a retrospective.Misc. stuff he had jotted down over the years for magazines and newspapers and so on.It spans several years of his writing career- so not all of the content is as well written as his later works. But according to his author's note, he tried to reword some of the pieces prior to this publication.

Overall it is enjoyable to read and the more recently written pieces- the ones that actually seem like Tom Robbins wrote them may even make it all worth while.Still, this collection is only for the diehards.It isn't a good place to start for a new reader.To anyone looking to test the waters... try Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, Jitterbug Perfume or Skinny Legs and All.
... Read more

3. Jitterbug Perfume
by Tom Robbins
Paperback: 352 Pages (1990-04-01)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$7.23
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553348981
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Jitterbug Perfume is an epic.which is to say, it begins in the forests ofancient Bohemia and doesn't conclude until nine o'clocktonight [Paris time]. It is a saga, as well. Asaga must have a hero, and the hero of this one is ajanitor with a missing bottle. The bottle is blue,very, very old, and embossed with the image of agoat-horned god. If the liquid in the bottle isactually is the secret essence of the universe, assome folks seem to think, it had better bediscovered soon becaused it is leaking and there is only adrop of twoleft. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (204)

5-0 out of 5 stars One worth reading over and over till you get it.
I think the 1 star reviews are funny.
This book is not for the pretentious writer, it is for the free spirit.

One of the things I love about Robbins is how he researches the small details of his subject...in this case perfumery. He is a metaphorical wizard and has such a visual writing style that I can clearly picture each character, expression and even, dare I say it...smell.

This is my favorite of his books. The fact that you can even bridge the gap between a King in the middle ages to a bisexual coke-snorting genius waitress is enough to keep me interested. He is funny, astute in observation and spiritually revolutionary.

Some questions that we all pose in our spiritual journey (those of us who know we are on one) are explored in this book with humor and it's share of irony.

Out of the many books I have read, this is the only one I continue to re-read throughout the years so that I can smile and not take myself so friggen seriously.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sex and Virtue
This is the book I read in-between other author's tragedies. It makes me not explode.

An amazing read, to say the least.

5-0 out of 5 stars Love this book
I had to buy this book, after my sister let me read her copy w/o letting me keep it.

1-0 out of 5 stars Completely Lacking
I seriously cannot believe how many people gave this book good reviews. There were so many glaring problems that I feel like I have to say something to warn potential readers.

The story was far from gripping, and at times made hardly any sense at all. The characters were a hodgepodge of cartoonish stereotypes that were impossible to relate to. Most characters were poorly developed, and almost all of the female characters were motivated by greed.

There is a litany of juvenile sexual metaphors that are thrown about in a Palahniukish grab for attention, as if this wannabe rockstar writer was hoping that someone would use one of his puns as their facebook status. "She was so wet that children could have sailed toy boats in her underpants". Yuk yuk yuk, very clever.

The themes of the story were immortality and scent. Alright I'll bite. Wait, smelling leads to a higher form of consciousness and makes us gentler, better people? Wait, learning to smell was one of the most important stages of our evolution because it made us less aggressive and more contemplative? Wait, you're going to ramble about this for 5 or 6 pages at a time? Robbins's claims were anecdotally justified if at all. I felt like he was a used car salesman trying to convince me that a Plymouth Voyager would help me pick up women. It could happen, but it's a stretch.

I don't know if anyone else caught this, but he used the word "portentiously". That isn't even a word. What he meant to say was "portentously".

The worst part of the whole ordeal was the terrible ending. All of the conflict was swept under the rug and ignored so that all of the loose ends could be tied up. Everything just kind of worked out for no reason. On top of that, he throws in a remark about how money makes it easier to deal with heartache. There wasn't a tone of sarcasm or cynicism. If you're thinking about marrying Robbins, get a prenuptial agreement.

There are several things that I would love to tell Robbins about his writing style. Just because your characters are ridiculous, it doesn't make them complex or memorable. Characters should be relatable and show the reader something about themselves. If you want a humorous tone, don't use smutty, lowbrow jokes to achieve it. Write about something that makes even a little bit of sense or is at least make a justifiable argument. Don't just quickly wrap everything up at the end of a novel. Give us some reason to finish the last 50 pages. One last thing, there's no i in portentously.

1-0 out of 5 stars Jitterbug Perfume
The book was in horrible shape.The description understated the condition of this book.Very disappointed! ... Read more

4. Even Cowgirls Get the Blues
by Tom Robbins
Paperback: 384 Pages (1990-04-01)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$5.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 055334949X
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Starring Sissy Hanshaw--flawlessly beautiful,almost. A small-town girl with big-time dreams and aquirk to match--hitchhiking her way into yourheart, your hopes, and your sleepingbags...

Featuring Bonanza Jellybean and thesmooth-riding cowgirls of Rubber Rose Ranch. Chink,lascivious guru of yams and yang. Julian, Mohawk bybirth; asthmatic esthete and husband by disposition.Dr. Robbins, preventive psychiatrist and realityinstructor...

Follow Sissy'samazing odyssey from Virginia to chic Manhattan to theDakota Badlands, where FBI agents, cowgirls, andecstatic whooping cranes explode in a deliciouslydrawn-out climax... ... Read more

Customer Reviews (99)

2-0 out of 5 stars The Best of Times, The Worst of Robbins
Tom Robbins has always kind of frustrated me as a good writer who tends to sink into self-indulgence. My favorite parts of his writing are his appreciation of how disparate plot elements can be spot-welded together and ability to write some interesting descriptive and philosophical prose. But I can't get past his cutsiness, irritatingly smug self-righteousness on sociopolitical/philosophical matters, or creepy sexual infatuation with his own female characters. Still Life With Woodpecker had those elements, but the good outweighed the bad. In this one, he sank into some truly disturbing leering, pages of simplistic moral lectures (sometimes delivered by a self-insert named The Chink in a display of Ayn Rand level didactic arrogance), and long digressions about nothing much in particular. There are the outlines of a truly interesting plot underneath it all; the world's greatest hitchhiker, crane rustlers, and the battle between western civilization and, well, everything else. But it's lost beneath rewarmed 60isms about authority and freedom, as well as the typical Robbins device of having all the main characters be played by hot, sexually curious women (honestly, can any men be as creepy as the ones out to prove their feminist bona fides, as Robbins clearly was here?) and some truly condescending views of race. The occasional amusing side-note (a cubist nose surgery) or lovely piece of descriptive writing can't save this from being a masturbatory (in all senses of the word) mess. Robbins' other work, especially the aforementioned Still Life, has its issues but is a much better reading experience, as is the work of Vonnegut and Pynchon, both writers who have obviously influenced Robbins' style more than a little. Unless you really want to know what Robbins thinks of AIM or need to see panties mentioned dozens of times, I'd give this a miss.

1-0 out of 5 stars Thumbs down on the audio version
This was my first Tom Robbins experience, having been gifted with the audio book which has 18 sides on cassette tape. It was quite a ride!Parts were so interesting and intriguingly written while other writing just seemed redundant and self indulgent.And where was the plot?Took more than a couple sides to find it. Then when I was getting caught up with the characters, it all went wrong for me. Here's where I would have definitely preferred a printed book, so I could skip ahead more easily.I found scenes that were distasteful to me (okay, I admit I'm a prude about some things), and thank goodness only my dogs had to listen with me.After side 7 I put it away and swore not to go back to it.But, Robbins has me in his grasp now, and I want to READ some of his other works. I might also, after reading the various reviews, like to skip to the end of this one to see what happens.Then I'll happily give it away to anyone who will take it - but for the life of me, I can't think of anyone I dislike that much.

5-0 out of 5 stars On Life's Journey

I read this in the late seventies or early eighties.

What I remember most is the quote to the effect:

I don't care if it is real good, real bad, or real in~between, just as long as it is real.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Review by Dr. Joseph Suglia
Literature has always had a hard time justifying itself. And how could it justify itself? Literature does no work. Nor does it ground itself in any socially productive activity or engagement. Not only does literature not serve the interests of society; often, in fact, it seems to playfully subvert these interests, although only in a powerless and purely "theatrical" way. Departments of literature seem to have been designed to disguise the "fact" of literature's essential frivolity.

No novel seems more flamboyantly frivolous than Tom Robbin's EVEN COWGIRLS GET THE BLUES (1976). The work is often breathtakingly, magically, and intoxicatingly eloquent-and also, at times, bombastically written, pretentious, empty, and light as air. It is easy to be seduced and enchanted by the playful language of this work. But one must nonetheless ask oneself: "What is the point of it all? Where is this book going? Why was it written?" Perhaps these are questions that go against literature's essential nature. Perhaps the purpose of this book--and the purpose of literature--is purposelessness.

Sissy Hankshaw is all thumbs. In town of South Richmond where she was born and raised, the gigantic-thumbed girl is ostracized because of her so-called "deformity." When she reads in a dictionary that the thumb affords the hand a greater "freedom of movement," she decides to use her strangeness to her advantage by becoming the very "spirit and heart of hitchhiking" [47]. As she traverses across the United States and beyond, she meets and marries a Native American and asthmatic watercolorist from Manhattan named Julian who, unlike Sissy, has renounced his difference from the dominant collective. Since she is perpetually in a state of motion, Sissy departs from her husband and takes up a modeling assignment given to her by "the Countess," the misogynistic magnate of a feminine deodorant firm, on the Rubber Rose Ranch, an exclusively female-staffed, Western-themed beauty salon for older women who want to revitalize their appearances. Under the leadership of neo-cowgirl revivalist, Bonanza Jellybean, the cowgirls take possession of the ranch and claim ownership of the whooping cranes that populate it--a species that is imperiled by a technologized, male-dominated society that offsets the balance of nature.

If this narrative sounds silly, that is because it is. This is not to suggest that the work is meaningless or without "theme." Of course, it is possible to thematize any work. One can always pretend to have "excavated" its "themes," to enumerate them, and to present them to the reader. There is an unapologetic environmentalism, the "allegory" of burgeoning feminism, and the championing of social misfits, freaks, deviants, lunatics, outcasts, and other "endangered species"--in particular, the novel celebrates female hitchhikers and cowgirls, both of whom represent women who affirm their differences from male-defined normality. According to the logic of Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, the sick are normal, and those who attempt to normalize themselves are the sick; by denying their singularity, the latter mutilate themselves. And yet all of these "themes," as serious as they may seem, are tossed off with such gleeful abandon that their seriousness as themes is eroded.

The book's frivolous style of writing casts light on what one might call its "politics of playfulness." Even Cowgirls Get the Blues joyfully affirms the irruption of the frivolous and the extraordinary in everyday life and the rupturing of our sedimented responses "in a rational where even disasters are familiar and damn near routine" [49]. An earthquake, to use one of the book's many of metaphors for strangeness, interrupts the rhythms of ordinary life and thereby opens up new spheres of possibilities, breaking open the fabric of the normal and empowering a more vital experience of the world--this is a "concept" that is clearly inspired by the philosophy of surrealism. Sissy Hankshaw, with her massive thumbs, has a destablizing effect on one's rigidified perceptions. Through her difference from others, she reminds the more "normalized" characters in the book that the world is multiple, that stability is not rigidity, that the most "authentic" experience of life is one that is afforded by ceaseless movement. As she explains to Julian, "I've proven that people aren't trees, so it is false when they speak of roots" [80]. Hitchhiking is here a figure endless motility-perpetual movement without origin or goal, motion for motion's sake. Systems, the book suggests, that do not incorporate the instability of motion-that is to say, that do not include chaos-are doomed to destruction. Systems that are air-tight not fortuitously resemble fascist dictatorships; they attempt to impose order on disorder, they prefer homogeneity to heterogeneity. As a result, they unravel, for the extraordinary can never be contained or managed. Every system has "chinks" and leaks. In order for systems to endure, they must bear disorder within themselves. Stability and instability are-paradoxically-conjoined. As Sissy remarks to her psychiatrist, Dr. Robbins, "Disorder is inherent in stability" [208].

And yet, even beyond this cluster of meanings, the work's most essential "theme" is simply the joyous dance of language; its eloquence is absolutely overpowering. When confronting the eloquence of someone like Tom Robbins, the literary critic should step aside, bow out, walk off the stage, and let the author take the floor. Even Cowgirls Get the Blues is replete with surrealist disanalogies more striking than the chance encounter of a sewing machine and an umbrella on a dissecting table. So exuberant is his writing that the author throws a party for the hundredth chapter of his book. What Friedrich Schlegel once said of Diderot could also be said of Tom Robbins: Whenever he does something truly brilliant, he congratulates himself on his brilliance.

Dr. Joseph Suglia

3-0 out of 5 stars Even Cowboys Like a Plot
Robbins can write a novel when he wants to. Unfortunately, he wanted to explain life's fundamental truths to us more than he wanted to entertain. He was successful, at least to the extent the book is not that entertaining.

If you are willing to sit at the feet of Guru TomRobawanda half the time, and laugh your ass off and get into the story of Sissy Hankshaw Gitche and the Rubber Rose Ranch the other half, then pick up the book. Or, if you missed the sixties, how much people cared and hoped and even partially believed, then this is a good choice. If you want to get familiar with the genius, self-awareness, self-ignorance and false beliefs uttered by the leaders and chroniclers of the time, that would be another smart reason to read Cowgirls.

Otherwise, you may want to avoid an essay/novel by an author who, while writing this book, saw himself as a blend of the best of Jesus, Mick Jagger and Richard Pryor. And he may be partially right. By the end of the book, I was thinking Robbins actually believes he is wiser, sexier and funnier than anyone who ever lived, and then I read the epilogue, which I think proves my hunch to be accurate. ... Read more

5. Another Roadside Attraction
by Tom Robbins
Paperback: 352 Pages (1990-04-01)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$6.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553349481
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
What if the Second Coming didn't quite come off as advertised?What if "the Corpse" on display in that funky roadside zoo is really who they say it is--what does that portent for the future of western civilization?And what if a young clairvoyant named Amanda reestablishes the flea circus as popular entertainment and fertility worship as the principal religious form of our high-tech age? Another Roadside Attraction answers those questions and a lot more.It tells us, for example, what the sixties were truly all about, not by reporting on the psychedelic decade but by recreating it, from the inside out.In the process, this stunningly original seriocomic thriller eating a literary hotdog and eroding the borders of the mind.Amazon.com Review
It's clear that when Robbins sits down to write, he has onething on his mind: having himself some fun. I read Another RoadsideAttraction, years ago, then immediately went back to the beginningof the book and read it again. Robbins holds nothing back in this, hisfirst novel. It's a perfect introduction to the Robbins oeuvre ofoddness. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (85)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fun read
I read this book when I was 21 traveling in Thailand. It made for an interesting juxtaposition of characters, scenery, and circumstance! It was also my first T. Robbins book, and thus far, my favorite.

5-0 out of 5 stars Even Better The Second Time
I recently reread Another Roadside Attraction, the first time being over a decade ago. It wasn't my introduction to Tom Robbins (that was Jitterbug Perfume) but it was the world's. And after reading it again, I can see why he was so embraced and how this was the book that launched his career.

Not since Kurt Vonnegut (to whom Robbins is often compared) has a writer been so handy with the construct of story, able to explore the greatest themes we face in our times through the simple foibles of quirky and fantastically flawed human beings nothing like us but everything like us. Like Vonnegut, Robbins doesn't tell a story as it happens, but as its participants think and feel. On top of that, Tom Robbins is equally crafty with metaphor, drawing truly original comparisons that are sometimes baffling, sometimes brilliant, usually both.

A Tom Robbins book, this one included, is not a plot-driven narrative, though it contains more than its fair share of breakneck unpredictable twists (especially as it nears its imminent and yet still astonishing climax, as all good novels and carnival rides should). In this case, the book is an entire amusement park-- one featuring a flea circus, a hot dog and juice stand (no coffee), and the most pathetic zoo you've ever heard of--and like all of Robbins' books, is a rollicking ride through a philosophical dreamscape of the psycho-sexual-social minefield of his times (sex, the media, religion, war). And remarkably, they're as timely and relevant today as they were then. What Another Roadside Attraction lacks in traditional story (call it build-up) it more than makes up for in colorful characters (with names like Plucky Purcell and Marx Marvelous) engaged in outrageous (and sometimes lascivious) escapades in a rich and fecund landscape of ideas.

2-0 out of 5 stars An empty promise
Having read several of Robbins' later works, I looked forward to Another Roadside Attraction.However, this novel is vacuous, naive, disingenuous and altogether empty.Robbins attempts to employ a kind of Socratic dialogue to legitimize his rants against (amongst many other things) authority and pedantry, but he does so in the most authoritarian and pedantic manner one might imagine!The artist as moron.The book is written for idiots who must necessarily be incapable of thinking critically on any level whatsoever."Full of sound and fury.""Signifying nothing."

5-0 out of 5 stars "Consider the silent repose of the sausage as compared to the aggressiveness of bacon.

Another Roadside Attraction has E V E R Y T H I N G!

A Cosmic weenie,
Puerto Rican clock,
artistic fleas,
divine prophetess with scarabs in her belly button,
The Indo-Tibetan Circus and Black Panda Gypsy Blues Band

What more do you require in a book of wonder?Manically scrumptious sentences so inexplicably delicious that you end up wearing a bib and holding a fork just to help sop up the drool while you simultaneously gorge yourself on a repast of gorgeous language?

I TOLD YOU THIS BOOK HAS EVERYTHING!!! It sticks to your ribs and it sticks to your soul. Buon Appetito

"You risked your life, but what else have you ever risked? Have you risked disapproval? Have you ever risked economic security? Have you ever risked a belief? I see nothing particularly courageous about risking one's life. So you lose it, you go to your hero's heaven and everything is milk and honey 'til the end of time. Right? You get your reward and suffer no earthly consequences. That's not courage. Real courage is risking something that might force you to rethink your thoughts and suffer change and stretch consciousness. Real courage is risking one's clichés."

5-0 out of 5 stars LOVED IT!!
If your interested in liberalism, the hippie movement, free-love, wild ideas, and the like i would say read this book already! its an american classic. this is the first tom robbins book ive read but it makes me want to read his whole collection. its far fetched but at the same time it explores real topics that we as a people deal with day in and day out. for instance the clash between science and religion.. one of the most entertaining books ive read.. so enough about the praise - you can see that i loved it... now for the cons.. hmm yea there were none except that it had to end. Enjoy it! ... Read more

6. Skinny Legs and All
by Tom Robbins
Paperback: 432 Pages (1995-11-01)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$5.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553377884
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
An Arab and a Jew open a restaurant together across the street from the United Nations....

It sounds like the beginning of an ethnic joke, but it's the axis around which spins this gutsy, fun-loving, and alarmingly provocative novel, in which a bean can philosophizes, a dessert spoon mystifies, a young waitress takes on the New York art world, and a rowdy redneck welder discovers the lost god of Palestine--while the illusions that obscure humanity's view of the true universe fall away, one by one, like Salome's veils.

Skinny Legs and All deals with today's most sensitive issues: race, politics, marriage, art, religion, money, and lust.It weaves lyrically through what some call the "end days" of our planet.Refusing to avert its gaze from the horrors of the apocalypse, it also refuses to let the alleged end of the world spoil its mood.And its mood is defiantly upbeat.

In the gloriously inventive Tom Robbins style, here are characters, phrases, stories, and ideas that dance together on the page, wild and sexy, like Salome herself.Or was it Jezebel?
... Read more

Customer Reviews (120)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fabulous
I recently ordered a hardback copy of Skinny Legs and All, by Tom Robbins. It was in great condition. And I received it in a very timely manner. Thanks so much!

5-0 out of 5 stars still one of my favorites
I have read this book upwards of five times and love it more each time.I was on amazon and was suprised to see not that the book received 4.5 stars but at how few reviews it had.So I decided to chime in.One of my all time favorites. If you don't figure out what's wonderful about this book then you just aren't getting it.

2-0 out of 5 stars I love Tom Robbins but
I found myself skipping through half the sections in the book. I agree with other reviewers that the parts in which personified animated objects attempt to "locomote" to Jerusalem was extremely boring. I started skipping past these sections to read about Ellen Cherry and the other human characters. I've never skipped any parts of a novel before. It's tough. He cuts between these inanimate objects and the other characters every two pages. Then I would happen upon a religious rant that completely disinterested me over time. It's enjoyable at first, but quickly becomes tiresome. I had to put this one down. It just does not compare to his other novels like "Jitterbug Perfume," which are full of deeper thinking, richer characters, and have a great plot to boot.

5-0 out of 5 stars FABULOUS!!!
This is quite simply my favorite book.... EVER!
Read it and weep (with laughter and awe.)

2-0 out of 5 stars Couldn't get into it
Perhaps I'm not that smart.Perhaps I don't care for lots of descriptions and big words.I'm not sure.

My buddy (who shall remain nameless, but her initials are W.L.) picked this for our book club and I couldn't get into it.I've heard great things about this author so I think I'll try another of his books, but this one wasn't for me. ... Read more

7. B Is for Beer
by Tom Robbins
Hardcover: 128 Pages (2009-05-01)
list price: US$17.95 -- used & new: US$6.71
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0061687278
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

A Children's Book About Beer?

Yes, believe it or not—but B Is for Beer is also a book for adults, and bear in mind that it's the work of maverick bestselling novelist Tom Robbins, inter-nationally known for his ability to both seriously illuminate and comically entertain.

nce upon a time (right about now) there was a planet (how about this one?) whose inhabitants consumed thirty-six billion gallons of beer each year (it's a fact, you can Google it). Among those affected, each in his or her own way, by all the bubbles, burps, and foam, was a smart, wide-eyed, adventurous kindergartner named Gracie; her distracted mommy; her insensitive dad; her non-conformist uncle; and a magical, butt-kicking intruder from a world within our world.

Populated by the aforementioned characters—and as charming as it may be subversive—B Is for Beer involves readers, young and old, in a surprising, far-reaching investigation into the limits of reality, the transformative powers of children, and, of course, the ultimate meaning of a tall, cold brewski.

Amazon.com Review
Book Description

A Children's Book About Beer?

Yes, believe it or not--but B Is for Beer is also a book for adults, and bear in mind that it's the work of maverick bestselling novelist Tom Robbins, internationally known for his ability to both seriously illuminate and comically entertain.

Once upon a time (right about now) there was a planet (how about this one?) whose inhabitants consumed thirty-six billion gallons of beer each year (it's a fact, you can Google it). Among those affected, each in his or her own way, by all the bubbles, burps, and foam, was a smart, wide-eyed, adventurous kindergartner named Gracie; her distracted mommy; her insensitive dad; her non-conformist uncle; and a magical, butt-kicking intruder from a world within our world.

Populated by the aforementioned characters--and as charming as it may be subversive--B Is for Beer involves readers, young and old, in a surprising, far-reaching investigation into the limits of reality, the transformative powers of children, and, of course, the ultimate meaning of a tall, cold brewski.

Questions for Tom Robbins

Q: So, Tom Robbins, you’ve gone and written a children’s book about an alcoholic beverage. First, why the ode to beer?

A: Why not? As ode fodder, its got to have at least as much potential as nightingales and Grecian urns.

Beer is so universally beloved that 36 billion gallons of it are sold each year worldwide. Moreover, it’s been popular for thousands of years, with origins dating back to ancient Egypt and Sumer. It has deep connections to the earth -- and possibly to outer space, as well (I explain this in the book). Bittersweet, like much of life itself, it’s exceptionally thirst-quenching and enormously refreshing; it’s cheerful, accessible, affordable, lovely in color, and somewhat nourishing, being one of our few neutral foods: perfectly balanced between acidic and alkaline, between yin and yang. Best of all perhaps, beer makes us tipsy. What’s not to ode?

Q: Okay, but what’s the angle with children?

A: Children see beer commercials every time they watch a sporting event on TV. In the supermarket, they pass shelves and coolers overflowing with the stuff. Neon beer signs wink at them as they’re driven to school, to church or the mall. And, if their own parents and older siblings aren’t enjoying beer, then the parents and siblings of their friends surely are.

Kids are constantly exposed to beer, it’s everywhere; yet, aside from wagging a warning finger and growling -- true enough as far as it goes -- “Beer is for grownups,” how many parents actually engage their youngsters on the subject? As a topic for detailed family discussion, it’s generally as taboo as sex.

It’s a kind of largely unpremeditated side-stepping, and part of the reason is that most parents are themselves uninformed. Even if mommy and daddy have more than a clue about beer’s ingredients and how it’s brewed, they know nothing of its history, let alone the rich psychological, philosophical, and mythic associations bubbling beneath the surface of its wide appeal.

Q: So, children need to know the “meaning” of beer?

A: Well, at the very least they need a clearer understanding of why their dad keeps a second refrigerator in the garage, and why he stays up late out there on school nights with his shirt off, listening to Aerosmith.

Q: Of course. How would you compare B Is for Beer to your previous nine books of fiction?

A: At 126 pages, it’s shorter. It’s illustrated. And it’s less complex, although considerably more complicated than Poopie the Pukey Puppy.

Q: What will you possibly do for an encore?

A: Not my problem. I’ve decided to take advantage of outsourcing. My next novel will be written by a couple of guys in Bangalore.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (46)

5-0 out of 5 stars so creatively awesome
This book is fun to read and great for a present or to introduce someone to Tom Robbins' style :)

2-0 out of 5 stars Introduce your kids to the magic of beer-drinking?No thanks.
Six year old Gracie Perkel learns about the magic of beer (as well as a few other life lessons) in this peculiar children's book by Tom Robbins.Precocious little girl that she is, Gracie prefers the company of her unconventional Uncle Moe to her emotionally distant father.Moe promises to take her on a wondrous trip to learn about beer, but winds up pursuing his own happiness instead, leaving Gracie to pilfer a bottle ofbrew from her refrigerator, thus beginning her own little journey.

Robbins' prose is breezy and engaging, and Gracie's story is convincing enough, at least until the Beer Fairy appears.And Robbins still has his knack for the bon mot: "You know what the game of golf is, don't you?It's basketball for people who can't jump, and chess for people who can't think."

But the long exposition on the science of beer-making is pretty dry stuff, even for grownups who are fairly interested in beer in the first place.Robbins' also offers a paean to the "magic" of beer - the effect it has on the human soul, if you will.Robbins is clearly serious here, and even waxes poetic, but is this really an appropriate subject for a children's book (which perforce this clearly is not)?So don't go reading this book to your kids unless you want their little minds dwelling on just how wonderful beer can be.That said, who is this book really for?Robbins has toned down his high-flying prose and sexual daring, ostensibly for the kids, so if that's what you're looking for, forget it.The wide-ranging social criticism is pretty much reined in as well.In the final analysis, this is book is really for Robbins' himself, and perhaps his most rabid fans.It was a crazy idea and he pulled it off, but now it's time for something a little less self-indulgent.

5-0 out of 5 stars happy purchase
i haven't read the book yet, but it arrived quickly & my husband & i love tom robbins so i don't really see how we could be disappointed. thanks

3-0 out of 5 stars But It's Still Robbins
I'm a huge fan of the guy.His perfect mix of soul searching, crazy whimsical fantasy, and basic common sense have always gotten up under me.More than once I've read a Robbins' book straight through the night. He has been that rare reading experience for me, where I lose all sense of time and place.So, when I came across a Robbins book I haven't read I was pretty excited.

And then I read it.It's an odd, odd premise for me.A young girl is visited by a Beer Fairy and taken through the brewing process.Additionally, she is schooled in how beer is a neutral substance.Beer doesn't cause problems.Its effects, like guns and bullets I guess, depends on the drinker.At its worst, the book feels creepy, like someone trying desperately to justify their drinking problem or the country's fascination with beer through a child.But, despite this, it is still Robbins.The book does have those moments of genius that I have come to expect from an experience with a Robbins book.But unfortunately, those moments just don't go on long enough.Too far and few in between.

But, it still may be worth taking a look at.The book is unique and does have Robbins at its core.I can't give it a strong recommendation, but for a fan, it might be worth giving a read.

Chris Bowen
Author of Our Kids: Building Relationships in the Classroom

3-0 out of 5 stars not exactly what I expected
I bought this book for a friend to read to his 3 year old. We thought it would be like a children's book that was funny, but it's really for older kids and it's not really appropriate for them either. I didn't hate the story and I learned some things about beer, but I will never read it to my child. ... Read more

8. Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas
by Tom Robbins
Paperback: 400 Pages (1995-11-01)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$5.61
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553377876
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
When the stock market crashes on the Thursday before Easter, you -- an ambitious, although ineffectual and not entirely ethical young broker -- are
convinced you're facing the Weekend from Hell.Before the market reopens on Monday, you're going to have to scramble and scheme to cover your butt,but
there's no way you can anticipate the baffling disappearance of a 300-pound psychic, the fall from grace of a born-again monkey, or the intrusion in your
life of a tattooed stranger intent on blowing your mind and most of your fuses. Over these fateful three days, you will be forced to confront everything from
mysterious African rituals to legendary amphibians, from tarot-card bombshells to street violence, from your own sexuality to outer space.This is, after
all, a Tom Robbins novel -- and the author has never been in finer form. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (86)

3-0 out of 5 stars mixed feelings
A co-worker and Tom Robbins fan recommended this book. This was my first time reading Tom Robbins' work, and this author is a fair genius with simile. (His description of the various inredients in a stir-fry veggie platter- where did he get ideas like that?) Dialogue was smart and witty. Belford Dunn's goody-goody character was over the top, and I couldn't get interested in Q-Jo Huffington because I generally roll my eyes at female mysticism-type workers. Gwen Mati's superior attitude, especially toward service workers, irritated me and made me hope for reformation or a serious blow to her quality of life. But she was clearly no bimbo; she spoke articulately to Diamond and her mind was constantly scheming about the best way to salvage the market. The plot had some great unexpected twists, but I found myself barely skimming the long excerpts about frogs and primitive tribes and philosophy. I was okay with Tom Robbins' obsession with female urination; I was uncomfortable with his bashing of Christianity. My favorite thing about the book was Larry Diamond. He could be very funny and sarcastic, and he always had a prompt comeback for obnoxious Gwen. If you, a reader of reviews, do not feel a long book must have faraway adventures or epiphanies for its protagonist, then you might give this one a try.

5-0 out of 5 stars A believer....
A "missionary" author and book. One has to buy old copies and give them to friends.

1-0 out of 5 stars One Word

to describe this book would be deplorable.I HATE the main characters Diamond and the ever superficial bimbo Gwen Mati. A friend of mine raved about Tom Robbins and what a brilliant writer he is. This is the first book I read about Tom Robbins and I am thoroughly disappointed.Reading the chapter where the little superficial bimbo walks into Diamond's bathroom was a no brainer to find out that they would end up doing the nastyand I mean the "nasty" in every sense of the word. For a moment I felt I was readingone of those sleazy Harlequin novels. I have nothing against including sex in novels, however this was too sleazy for my taste.For me personally this book was bland and lacked context.

3-0 out of 5 stars It's Okay
I remember someone I dated reading this and so, when I came across it, I thought I'd try it and thought it'd be brilliantly funny. Mostly, though, it's kinda sad to see someone wake up one day and realize that the common way of things is not fulfilling, sometime most people never realize, admittedly. It kinda smacks of mid-life crisis and it has some cute and amusing factors but it's basically mediocre.

4-0 out of 5 stars Fun to read and good commentary on work/life balance
For as zany and irreverent as this book is, its insight into the US economy and workforce is surprisingly adept.It yields equal expertise to tarot card readings, eschatologically attuned amphibians, and ancient African mystics as it does to the Nikkei index, commodities put/call schemes, and international liquidity trends.

This witches brew of both bourgeoisie and harebrained excesses is delightfully funny to read.The main character's tug-of-war between her devotion to her career and the allure of a higher existential calling provides the foreground for Robbins' unique perspective on contemporary American life.

Also, as a world history fan, I especially liked the information on Timbuktu.

Entertaining, funny, witty, and fast-paced.I highly recommend it. ... Read more

9. Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates
by Tom Robbins
Paperback: 464 Pages (2001-05-29)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$5.34
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 055337933X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Switters is a contradiction for all seasons: an anarchist who works for the government; a pacifist who carries a gun; a vegetarian who sops up ham gravy; a cyberwhiz who hates computers; a man who, though obsessed with the preservation of innocence, is aching to deflower his high-school-age stepsister (only to become equally enamored of a nun ten years his senior).

Yet there is nothing remotely wishy-washy about Switters. He doesn't merely pack a pistol. He is a pistol. And as we dog Switters's strangely elevated heels across four continents, in and out of love and danger, discovering in the process the "true" Third Secret of Fatima, we experience Tom Robbins -- that fearless storyteller, spiritual renegade, and verbal break dancer -- at the top of his game.

On one level this is a fast-paced CIA adventure story with comic overtones; on another it's a serious novel of ideas that brings the Big Picture into unexpected focus; but perhaps more than anything else, Fierce Invalids is a sexy celebration of language and life.Amazon.com Review
The fierce invalid in Tom Robbins's seventh novel is a philosophical,hedonistic U.S. operative very loosely inspired by a friend of the author."Sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll are enormously popular in the CIA," claimsSwitters. "Not with all the agents in the field, but with the goodones, the brightest and the best." Switters isn't really an invalid, butduring his first mission (to set free his ornery grandma's parrot,Sailor, in the Amazon jungle), he gets zapped by a spell cast by a"misshapen shaman" of the Kandakandero tribe named End of Time. The shamanis reminiscent of Carlos Castaneda's giggly guru, but his head ispyramid-shaped. In return for a mind-bending trip into cosmic truth--"theHallways of Always"--Switters must not let his foot touch the earth, orhe'll die.

Not that a little death threat can slow him down. Switters simply hops intoa wheelchair and rolls off to further footloose adventures, occasionallyswitching to stilts. For a Robbins hero, to be just a bit high, notearthbound, facilitates enlightenment. He bops from Peru to Seattle, wherehe's beguiled by the Art Girls of the Pike Place Market and his 16-year-oldstepsister, and then off to Syria, where he falls in with a pack ofrenegade nuns bearing names like Mustang Sally and Domino Thirry. WillSwitters see Domino tumble and solve the mystery of the Virgin Mary? Canthe nuns convince the Pope to favor birth control--to "zonk the zygoticzillions and mitigate the multitudinous milt" and "wrest free from awoman's shoulders the boa of spermatozoa?" Can the author ever resist ashameless pun or a mutant metaphor?

The tangly plot is almost beside the point. Switters is a colorfulundercover agent, and a Robbins novel is really a colorful undercover essaycelebrating sex and innocence, drugs and a firm wariness of anything thattries to rewire the mind, and Broadway tunes, especially "Send in theClowns." Some readers will be intensely offended by Switters's yen foryouth and idiosyncratic views on vice. But fans will feel that extremism inthe pursuit of serious fun is virtue incarnate. Fierce Invalids Homefrom Hot Climates is classic Tom Robbins: all smiles, similes, andsubversion. --Tim Appelo ... Read more

Customer Reviews (212)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fierce it is!
Fiercely funny, fiercely wise, and the most unusual characters and plot you can imagine.If you love things off the beaten path, mixed with a little sex, a little libation, and a lot of humor this book is for you!And somehow world religion is involved. Tom Robbins is a philosopher/theologian that sees the world from a different angle than the rest of us.And he never misses a chance to laugh at how serious we take ourselves.People of the world...relax!

5-0 out of 5 stars "Fierce Invalids" as religion
I love this book. I listen to it on TAPE as I drive from job to job on the freeways of Southern California. I rewind constantly to enjoy again and again the insightful, articulate and often hilarious ruminations of Tom Robbins. I purchased copies for all of my friends. Read "Fierce Invalids from Hot Climates". It will change your life...or at least the way you LOOK at life.

2-0 out of 5 stars in love with himself
I wish the author loved himself a little less and loved his readers a little more.I found myself skimming over pages of fat, looking for the meat.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not What I Was Expecting
Wow!This book is quite bad.

I have wrestled with ways to describe it to my friends, and the best I've settled on is to call Robbins a talented wordsmith who uses language like a middle-schooler.Imagine giving a young child a huge vocabulary and then asking him to write a crazy story: this is EXACTLY how the book reads.He uses five adjectives when one would do.He clutters his sentences when a simple declaration would suffice.He name-drops authors, poets, and singers as if in college and trying to impress a girl.All in all, the book is an exercise in overcompensation that makes for difficult reading.

I consider myself a "serious" reader in that I strive for quality in my reading list.I am not so quick to judge as to call Robbins a bad writer, but he is not exactly refined in the sense that I need.The good news is that you can do an easy litmus test yourself: read the first page of the book.If you can stand it - indeed, if you can even enjoy it - then you might have what it takes to tackle this one.I didn't.

5-0 out of 5 stars perfection
this is the book of books. if you read the one star reviews on this page you'll see people who have read every other tom robbins book and hated this one. that says it all. if you really understand robbins you will not be disappointed. ... Read more

10. Villa Incognito
by Tom Robbins
Paperback: 256 Pages (2004-04-27)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$2.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553382195
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Imagine there are American MIAs who chose to remain missing after the Vietnam War. Imagine a family in which four generations of strong, alluring women share a mysterious connection to an outlandish figure from Japanese folklore. Imagine them part of a novel that only Tom Robbins could create—a magically crafted work as timeless as myth yet as topical as the latest international threat. But no matter how hard you try, you’ll never imagine what you’ll find inside the Villa Incognito: a tilt-a-whirl of identity, masquerade, and disguise that dares to pull off “the false mustache of the world” and reveal the even greater mystery underneath. For neither the mists of Laos nor the Bangkok smog, neither the overcast of Seattle nor the fog of San Francisco, neither the murk of the intelligence community nor the mummery of the circus can obscure the pure linguistic phosphor that illuminates every page of one of America’s most consistently surprising and inventive writers. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (101)

2-0 out of 5 stars Great start, crap finish
Villa Incognito starts with a bang, packing the explosive humor of a Woody Allen essay. In the second half, it all disappears. After the plot falls apart by page 180 or so, the punch and verve is replaced with the sort of metaphysical whining you would expect from a tenured anthropology professor.

Agreeing with several of Tom Robbins' critiques made the book all the worse because it felt like he was preaching to the choir. Americans are unhappy, too much advertising in America, liberties were curtailed after 9-11, military is bad, ho hum. His commentary is too facile, too "safe" for libertarian types or indeed anyone who reads cultural criticism. Someone forgot to tell the author that Sarah Palin was not planning to read this book.

As the novel slowly draws to a close, all the characters blend into one. Even the Lao (not Laotian) characters suddenly take on the Chomskian voice of Stubblefield, one of the story's more grating characters. It all becomes an overdone polical cartoon but more tedious.

Robbins' knowledge of Asian culture, history, behaviors--or anything else, for that matter--are so laughably off the mark it was very challenging to finish this novel. The author thanks three people who answered his questions on Asia: His 'fellow Southeast Asia enthusiast,' a 'Tanuki fancier,' and a 'Zen Maestro.' I can just imagine Robbins asking them, "quick, Zen Maestro, how can I make this passage more Asian-like?" as he wrote Villa Incognito.

1-0 out of 5 stars Easily Tom Robbins' worst.

All right, so, let's flash back to eighth grade English class.In that class, we learned a few things about stories: a story has a protagonist (a main character) and an antagonist (something the protagonist is struggling against, whether that be a "bad guy," a circumstance, his own mind, whatever).The struggle between the protagonist and the antagonist is known as "conflict."The conflict builds and escalates until it reaches a "climax" where it is resolved.After that, there is often a brief "denouement" where the author winds down the story.

Does every story have to follow this formula?No, of course not.But the majority of great stories do.

Villa Incognito completely ignores these concepts and just blathers.Is there a protagonist?Not really - for a while, it seems like it's going to be Tanuki, and then it seems like it's going to be Dickie, and then it seems like it's going to be Lisa Ko, but then we realize that there's no character driving the plot forward.There's no focal point to this story; it just wanders almost randomly from character to character.

Is there an antagonist?Not really.We've got Mayflower Fitzgerald, who's more-or-less unlikeable, but he's not really in conflict with any of the protagonist candidates.I guess if you read between the lines, you could identify the antagonist as "uptight conservative Christian values," but even though Robbins finds a dozen ways to say "uptight conservative Christian values suck," none of them actually appear in the story, making them a particularly ineffectual antagonist.

Is there any conflict?I couldn't find one.When Lisa's tanukis escaped, I thought we might be looking at a conflict, but she quickly decided she didn't mind.I suppose the overarching conflict is supposed to be Dern's arrest, but it's about the weakest conflict I've ever seen.It causes no real problems for anyone.The U.S. government frets that it would put them in a bind to have to arrest "war heroes," but that never happens, and eventually it's resolved when Dern basically walks away and no one cares.

Is there a climax?Nope.The scene where Stubblefield falls off the rope seems to be masquerading as a climax, but nothing really leads to it, and when it happens, it affects nothing about the plot, and no one (including the reader) seems to care.Not to mention that Robbins basically tells us that Stubblefield probably survived, so it wouldn't have mattered anyway.

All in all, this is not a story with a beginning, a middle, or an end.It's more like a bedtime story that a very stoned hippie would tell to his kid, just wandering from weird topic to weird topic until the kid falls asleep.

But even all this could be forgiven if Robbins didn't seem so damn angry and bitter in this one.The tone in many of his earlier works was decidedly positive, mystical, even transcendent: the message was sort of "There are marvelous things in life, and if you shed some of your hangups, you might see them."The tone of this one is just, well, angry and bitter.The message seems to be "The man's always keeping us down, but the man is an idiot."Of course, "the man" doesn't really make an appearance in the book, except maybe in the very brief, two-page appearance of the soldiers who Christened Dern and Stubblefield's plane "Smarty Pants."

Early Robbins works, like Skinny Legs and All, felt like Robbins was trying to open our eyes to a magical world lurking just beneath the skin of this one.Villa Incognito feels like Robbins is shaking his cane at us and telling us that anyone who's an uptight square needs to get off his damn lawn.

4-0 out of 5 stars A fun romp for Robbins' fans
This is an easy read that goes quickly. It covers themes of Vietnam war, but not really. It kinda reveals that all we did there is not finished. I know it is easy to forget the past -- heck we've already jumped into another Vietnam type war in the same generation. This is not about the war, nor foreigners really. It is about Americans who adapted in an entertaining way to the crazy world the leaders built for them. Expect the usual Robbins zaniness. A fun read.

4-0 out of 5 stars A polarizing book.
It seems to me that Tom Robbins books are hit or miss.This book is one of the more polarizing titles.However, I think its gotten a bad rap.Considerably shroter than most of his books, I think its enjoyable as a quick read.I guess some people want and expect something longer from Robbins.

I was a little set-off by the beastiality scenes early in the story.But you really have to check a lot of things at the door when reading a Robbins novel, because he always has weird things abound.

This book is best enjoyed as a summer read.Perhaps its not the best introduction to Tom Robbins.

3-0 out of 5 stars KNOCK! KNOCK! "who's there?"LOTS OF PADDING!
Tom Robbins is a decent writer: his prose is enjoyable and frequently witty, and he has a knack for working in interesting trivia as he explores the dynamics of the human condition. I liked "Still Life" and "Jitterbug Perfume" for these reasons. "Villa Incognito" was a decent attempt to continue this tradition, but sadly falls short on several levels, and for several reasons.

It seems as if he had a nub of a decent idea to start with, but creatively ran out of steam near the end and just forced a contrived "everything works out for the best" ending on it.

VI would probably have worked as a short story, but it feels fluffed out to near-book-length. There are several characters which do absolutely nothing to advance the plot, and quite a bit of detail about the setting that, ultimately, serves no purpose. It's almost as if Robbins submitted a 200-page manuscript to the publisher, and got the response back "sorry, but minimum length needs to be 250 pages" so he threw in his research notes and whipped up a couple of extra characters just for filler. Filler which is OBVIOUSLY filler is bad, and there's just too much of it in this book for my tastes.

Ultimately, this was a let-down, but only because I've seen that Robbins has done better. That said, it's a quick read and still offers a few chuckles, so if you have a long plane trip to kill, keep your expectations reasonable and give it a go. ... Read more

11. Conversations with Tom Robbins (Literary Conversations Series)
Paperback: 240 Pages (2011-01-15)
list price: US$22.00 -- used & new: US$14.85
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Asin: 1604738278
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Since the publication of Another Roadside Attraction in 1971, Tom Robbins (b. 1932) has become known as the principal voice of American countercultural fiction.His cult celebrity was further solidified by the success of Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (1976) and Still Life With Woodpecker (1980). RobbinsÂ's mix of vivid language, ribald humor, philosophical musings, controversial commentary on religion and sexuality, and concentration on female protagonists and feminine consciousness has marked almost all of his fiction, as well as his short writings.

Despite his undeserved reputation as 1960s hippie icon, all of RobbinsÂ's work remains popular and in print, and his later novelsÂ--including Jitterbug Perfume (1984), Skinny Legs and All (1990), Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas (1994), Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates(2000), Villa Incognito (2003), and B Is for Beer (2009)Â--engage thoroughly with current politics, mores, and trends.

Conversations with Tom Robbins brings together more than twenty interviews with the acclaimed author, from the mid-1970s to the present.Throughout the volume, Robbins discusses his working methods, his fusion of Eastern and Western philosophical traditions, the need for wit and humor in serious fiction, and the ways living in the Pacific Northwest has fueled his work.

... Read more

12. The Quiet Center: Isolation and Spirit
by John C., Md. Lilly, Phillip Bailey Lilly, Tom Robbins
Paperback: 144 Pages (2003-05-09)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$7.49
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Asin: 1579510590
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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In today’s world, many people seek shelter from the stresses and stimuli of everyday life as a way to reconnect with their inner reality. Scientist John C. Lill, whose work inspired the films Day of the Dolphin and Altered States, devised the perfect means of finding serene self-awareness: the isolation experience. The Quiet Center presents the core of Lilly’s groundbreaking isolation experiments and the path to higher consciousness. As a leader in consciousness research, Lilly, like his peers Timothy Leary, Alan Watts, and Carlos Castaneda, should be read by a new generation seeking to discover truth about themselves. By learning to create their own isolation space, readers will discover the healing powers of the "quiet center." Photos and illustrations are included. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

3-0 out of 5 stars One of the great pioneers in the study of mind

Lilly was one of the greatest scientists and pioneers on the limits of human possibility of modern times but after his death a collective amnesia has descended and his is now almost forgotten.

Lilly was a generation (or more) ahead of his time. He is almost single-handedly responsible for the great interest in dolphins (which led to the Marine Mammal Protection Act in the USA and helped to found the animal rights movement). In 1958 he noted that the brains of elephants and cetaceans were larger than ours, that we should not abuse them and that it was one our most important projects to communicate with them. He invented sensory isolation tanks (at NIMH in 1954) and used them extensively with and without powerful psychoactive drugs at a time when it was thought that either the brain would shut down or one would go insane if external stimuli were eliminated.

He created methods for implanting electrodes in mammal brains and was planning to do it to himself. He was one of the first to make serious use of computers in bioscience research and created the hardware and software to make the first attempts to communicate with dolphins. He self experimented with dangerous physiological investigations in high altitude medicine for the military during WW2, took LSD with dolphins and movie stars, submitted himself to the rigors of Arica training, and taught classes at Esalen.

He was the first one to investigate the bizarre psychedelic ketamine, and his results (published in the two last chapters of his book `The Scientist`) are still the best data on the dose/effect relation of any psychedelic on one person. And all this happened before most of us were born!

He had courage,honesty and integrity that is rare anywhere and almost nonexistent in science. His goal was to find the ultimate truth about everything and he went about as far as anyone ever has. He had little patience with the stupid and hypocritical games one has to play to fit into monkey society. Of course the reaction of the establishment was predictable. He left the NIMH and was never given any government or academic support for the last 35 years of his life. His paper and comments at a conference on sensory deprivation were removed from the published version. He was not invited to government sponsored symposia on dolphins(he had refused to help develop them as weapons), though he clearly knew more about them than anyone in the world.

He liked to live and work on the edge and few could keep up with him, as this books make clear. If you have read some of his other books it will be much easier going. He was a pioneer in consciousness research and pushed the boundaries of our understanding of who we are and what we might become. Among other things he catalogs the various states reached by drugs, meditation, and isolation, tries to determine their significance, and suggests how to use them.

As a result of all his research, especially his months of continuous hourly injections of ketamine, he became convinced that our ordinary reality was not the only one. During his trips he was often in communication with members of a civilization a 1000 years in the future. We all allow ourselves such experiences every time we watch a sci fi movie and sometimes it leaves us more than just amused, but when anyone meditates or takes a drug to do it we tend to discount the results. Lilly however, took it all seriously, and parts of his book explain why. Whatever our mind produces --by any means --only happens because our brains are programmed by our genes to make it possible. So it's at least plausible that any of these routes inward reveal fundamental aspects of what's possible for us in the future, or even for some other species elsewhere in the universe.

If you find his scientifically based viewpoints irrational, consider that most people believe without evidence (really with abundant evidence to the contrary) in good and bad luck, in super beings living in space who rule the earth, in a place in spacetime where dead people go, in stars millions of light years away influencing their lives, and in ghosts, angels, witches, and gods that come to earth to inhabit statues that read our thoughts and violate all the laws of physics, chemistry and biology in order to help us personally.

He describes his tank work (and lots more) in The Dyadic Cyclone, The Center of the Cyclone, and in Programming and Metaprogramming in the Human Biocomputer (1967) and other books and papers.

This and his other books are pleas to examine your beliefs with an open mind.

He defines metabeliefs as those about belief systems. He says that our simulations of reality (with meditation, isolation, drugs, computers) can provide access to other realities which may include the future, the past, or extraterrestrial. He refers to metaprograms as learning tools (symbols, programs, languages, ideas, models) which our central programs (mind or part of it) run all the time. Cognitive psychology did not really exist at the time he was most active and now we would likely call the central programs cognitive templates, modules or inference engines.
He refers to self-metaprograms (or essences) as parts of the mind that program our experiences.

Though he carried out an exhausting and dangerous program of self experimentation with psychedelics (what many now call entheogens), he did not believe they are a final or complete path to higher consciousness.
However, as I reflect on this, I note that tens of millions have successfully explored their cognitive templates with psychedelics while meditation alone may have generated a few hundred thousand satoris and probably less than 1000 mystics of whom we know. It is also clear that psychedelics have led millions to meditation.

He mentions the very psychedelic Revelations of St. John and understands that Jesus taught revelation from within-- ie, the same sort of self transcendence as Taoism and Buddhism. He discusses how we use drugs, sex, money, groups, war etc as substitutes for God. God as compassion, science, consciousness or superspace (the then current concepts of cosmology are explained and he imagines the universe collapsing and being reborn--very contemporary!). He discusses god in here vs god out there but notes that if it's out there then its a puzzle where math comes from. His experiences make him doubt that death is the end.

He was very open to all ideas and his desire to consider all points of view makes some parts of his books rambling and a bit incoherent. He crams so many ideas on each page that there is easily enough in each to form the core of ten books or a lifetime of research and personal exploration. Among the blizzard of mind boggling ideas are: war is the resultof a future civilization using us for war games; we are god simulating himself, our interstellar rockets find intelligent machines that follow us back to earth and take over; government sponsored meditation classes, computers that control and monitor all communication and take control of civilization, our genes generate the illusion that we live in a certain and determinate universe; we are simulated by God or vice versa.

Though he must have crossed paths countless times with Indian mystics and Buddhists,strangely, he was most influenced by an obscure American mystic named Franklin Merrell-Wolff--another remarkable figure now almost totally lost in time.

Lilly was an extremely bright and highly rational person yet he became convinced of the reality of his extraterrestrial membership in a future civilization and he went into a 6 week depression after a ketamine trip in which they showed him the collapse of the universe.

It was clear to him that the phenomena of the mind were capable of scientific study but this was quite heretical 40 years ago. What a great pity that he never delved into Wittgenstein's philosophy nor became acquainted with Osho!

Some of his books like "The Scientist" end with reprints of some of his papers and poems.

Someone should put all his writings plus photos and other memorabilia on a DVD!

5-0 out of 5 stars Altered States Of Perception
A great overview of Dr. John C. Lilly's work and ideas. The book includes practical advice on how to create your own void space, an environment isolated from sensations, without investing a lot of money in a floatation tank. However, I don't think it is really necessary to isolate oneself from sensation in order to find one's inmost self. This can be done in sensation rich environments where there is something to experience on all levels. But sensory deprivation in a floatation tank is probably a good way to exerience an altered state of perception without the use of psychoactive drugs or a lifetime of meditation practice. Dr. Lilly also had interesting ideas about how to liberate ourselves from our belief systems in order to expand our mental horizons. It is amusing to find such "thinking outside the box" advice coming from someone who pioneered research into a sort of isolation box but that is precisely what the floatation tank experience is meant to be, sending the mind on a journey outside the tank. Unfortunately, this book has many annoying typos and gives the impression of being a self-published title by his surviving relatives. ... Read more

13. Tom Robbins: A Critical Companion (Critical Companions to Popular Contemporary Writers)
by Catherine E. Hoyser, Lorena Laura Stookey
Hardcover: 192 Pages (1997-10-30)
list price: US$46.95 -- used & new: US$23.48
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0313294186
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This is the first book-length study of the popular novelist Tom Robbins. Whimsy and humor characterize Robbins' work, but style and language are the keystones. Hoyser and Stookey show how Robbins deftly uses style and humor to depict the absurdities and injustices of our world. His novels constantly challenge perceptions of the world that people automatically label as "normal." His fiction criticizes the complacency of humans in a world becoming increasingly alienated from nature and the joy of life. In addition to a critical analysis of each of his novels, the study contains biographical material never before published and the first full-length bibliography on Robbins, including a bibliography of reviews of his fiction. ... Read more

14. B Is for Beer (Hardcover)
by Tom Robbins (Author)
Unknown Binding: Pages (2009)
-- used & new: US$14.99
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Asin: B002VLHM98
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15. The Annotated Uncle Tom's Cabin
by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Hardcover: 528 Pages (2006-09-01)
list price: US$39.95 -- used & new: US$25.03
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Asin: 0393059464
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Henry Louis Gates Jr. redefines Uncle Tom's Cabin with this seminal interpretation of the great American novel.Declared worthless and dehumanizing by James Baldwin in 1949, Uncle Tom's Cabin has lacked literary credibility for fifty years. Now, in a ringing refutation of Baldwin, Henry Louis Gates Jr. demonstrates the literary transcendence of Harriet Beecher Stowe's masterpiece. Uncle Tom's Cabin, first published in 1852, galvanized the American public as no other work of fiction has ever done. The editors animate pre-Civil War life with rich insights into the lives of slaves, abolitionists, and the American reading public. Examining the lingering effects of the novel, they provide new insights into emerging race-relation, women's, gay, and gender issues. With reproductions of rare prints, posters, and photographs, this book is also one of the most thorough anthologies of Uncle Tom images up to the present day. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

2-0 out of 5 stars Annotations Unnecessary
I rated this specifically on the annotations, since the novel itself is widely available without them.

I liked the overall package - it's a truly beautiful book with many illustrations and pictures showing the way that Uncle Tom has been understood and portrayed in the United States since it's initial publication.

On the other hand, I found the annotations to be irritatingly most unhelpful.There were a handful of comments that truly brought insight, but most seemed to be commentary on style (see other reviews for examples), or definitions for obscure words, some of which I found to be, if not inaccurate, not really providing the nuances of the term.More often than not, I found the annotations to be irritating and to detract from my enjoyment of the novel.I had hoped that Skip Gates would share the depth of his academic and intellectual talents, but found a rather cursory approach was used instead.

3-0 out of 5 stars Read the Story - Avoid the Notes
I side with the earlier reviewers who found many of the annotations immaterial at best, distracting and offensive at worst. The novel has stood the test of time and needs no further accolades. It remains a classic and the uneven editors notes cannot detract from it. I heartily edorse an earlier recommendation...if you have not read "Uncle Tom's Cabin", read the novel on its own. Then if you want some nit-picking and innane comments on the story come back to this edition.

4-0 out of 5 stars What a Surprise!
For so long I thought of Uncle Tom's Cabin as of great historical significance but of little literary value.Now, at age 50, I'm finding out that Harriet Beecher Stowe has written a wonderful book.I laughed so at the burlesque she writes, a la Shakespeare, when Mr. Haley orders his slaves to prepare the horses so that they can all search for Eliza.Unfortunately, the editors' notes missed a golden opportunity to comment on Beecher's skills.Instead, of course, they are quick to point out the stereotypes Beecher harks to.I do appreciate, however, that they note the themes of family and hearth.All in all, despite various disagreements I have with the columnal critics,I loved the format and the opportunity to compare artists' renderings in the historical illustrations.What a wonderful experience to discover this novel!How remarkable Harriet Stowe's accomplishment.

3-0 out of 5 stars Too many notes
This is a moving, important, and captivating novel that easily stands on its own. The annotations, while helpful when expounding upon literal and historical references, are otherwise largely uninformative. As a previous reviewer noted, the tone is often quite personal and immaterial ( "my eyes glazed over" etc.) One passage being referred to as being eye-glazingly boring and superfluous was in fact quite brilliant and necessary for insight into one of the more complex and fully realized characters in the novel ( Augustine St. Clare). I don't feel the editors' job is to instruct the reader when to be disinterested. The editors also have a tendency to give away key plot points throughout, which did not endear them to this reader. They also fixate on odd themes that seem overindulgent, such as what they consider to be Shelby's oral fixations, which seem to me to be nothing more than the daily pastimes of a southern gentleman of leisure, i.e. eating and smoking. They can go out of their way to belabor points such as these.
The tone of some of the comments are also startlingly informal, as in "George is a little too talky here." Talky???????? That wouldn't even pass in an eighth grade English paper. Not to mention that George, at this point in the novel, is under great duress and making an impassioned stand for his belief and his survival. Talky. Harumph.
So skip the notes, but by all means devour the story. It is worth it.

4-0 out of 5 stars excellent background but read the novel first
John Updike reviews this new edition in the Nov 6 New Yorker, which is available online and well worth looking up. With 100 pages to go, Updike tired of the "irritable sniping from the sidelines" and switched to the standard Library of America edition.

A few months ago I reviewed the Penguin edition of Uncle Tom's Cabin here in Amazon. I suggested that if you decide to read the novel, skip the Introduction until you are done reading, because it gives away several plot points that you are better off encountering for yourself directly.

The same applies to this new annotated edition I think. The novel is not so difficult that you can't simply read it through on your own. I suggest doing that first, in a standard edition, then going through this edition. Otherwise you are having only a mediated experience of the work. In other words, let the work stand or fall on its own merits first, before exposing yourself to the opinions of others about it.

Having read the standard edition earlier I then read this annotated edition "inside out". That is, I read the introductory chapters and the annotations themselves straight through and used Stowe's text as the reference. This is a better approach I think than trying to read the text for the first time with the annotations nearby, where they do intrude and interrupt the flow of the story.

When reading the annotations this way though you do notice the inconsistency in voice that Updike mentions. Most are carefully neutral but you get an occasional first-person remark like "I confess my eyes glazed over" (gee that's helpful), then "again, our eyes glaze over" or "I recall Baldwin's...". Or "I am close to turning the page." then "...bore us silly", in the same annotation. As if the two editors read, and experienced eye-glaze, in unison? Since there seems to be two distinct voices at play it would have been useful for each annotation to have been initialed by its author, Gates or Robbins. I started trying to guess which editor wrote which annotation--I suspect Robbins provided the majority of the historical background while Gates did the Baldwins, the "I"s, and the trendier ones ("To the modern reader, Adolph is unmistakably 'metrosexual'"). This disparity in tone is also obvious between Gates' public interview (Boston Globe, Nov 12) in which he too-casually terms the work racist, and the less judgmental and more nuanced approach of the majority of the annotations themselves.

Getting past that though the annotations contain a wealth of useful background. The Biblical references, the distinctions among the slaves, the nuances of hypocrisy, the literary conventions, the sheer mechanics of the business, the conventional wisdom of the time about the races, all are excellent and thorough.

So, if you are going to read Uncle Tom's Cabin, do so first, then get this edition. It's an indispensable addition to the work.
... Read more

16. Chop Suey (German)
by Tom Robbins
Paperback: 304 Pages (2007-06-30)

Isbn: 3499242958
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars "Wild Ducks" In German
Chop Suey is merely Wild Ducks Flying Backward in German. They changed the title for the translation.

1-0 out of 5 stars Also seeking English version
I also purchased this book thinking it was in English. Why can't I find an English version? Tom Robbins isn't a German writer....it has to be in English some where. Just not on Amazon I guess.

3-0 out of 5 stars Yes, it says it's in German
Right under Details

"Language: German"

I love Tom Robbins and have never even heard of this!

1-0 out of 5 stars In English Please!
I would love to review this book but the copy they sent me is in German & nowhere on this product page does it say it is. ... Read more

17. PanAroma. Jitterbug Perfume.
by Tom Robbins
Paperback: 448 Pages (1985-01-01)
-- used & new: US$12.07
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Asin: 3499156717
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18. Another Roadside Attraction
by tom robbins
 Paperback: Pages (1971)

Asin: B002ZBBC4U
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19. Salomes siebter Schleier.
by Tom Robbins
 Paperback: 560 Pages (1995-01-01)
-- used & new: US$12.42
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Asin: 3499134977
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20. Skinny Legs & All 1ST Edition
by Tom Robbins
 Hardcover: Pages (1990)

Asin: B0015U15T4
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