Tom Robbins


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as an avid reader, I am actually dissapointed with Tom Robbins. I find him tedious. I have tried to read half asleep, still life, and even cowgirls get the blues. I find him self-indulgent. But if you do like self-indulgence read A heart-breaking work of staggering genius. Another huge yawn for me that has a huge fan base.

>>By iwishiwereabondgirl   (Wednesday, 14 Apr 2004 11:00)

i think the trick to reading robbins is just to have fun with it. i don't really see the indulgence bit, but i did find the books i've read to be exceedingly creative, which is something that a lot of authors have forgotten about

>>By skinnyarms   (Tuesday, 27 Apr 2004 20:03)

Tom Robbins is wonderful and I look forward to each addition to his life's work.

Jitterbug Perfume is perhaps the most accessible, but Fierce Invalids was a hoot! Maybe if Switters was actually with the CIA, we would have made more progess against Al Qaeda.

skinnyarms is right - you just have to have fun with Robbins. Of course, if you have no understanding of drug culture, some of his references will go right, uh, under your head.

>>By RedReader   (Thursday, 29 Apr 2004 20:24)

last summer, while packing for my vacation, i chose to bring "still life....." for obvious reasons...and read some to my friend in the hotel... i have red hair, so it all hits home... i'm in the middle of "even cowgirls...."... right before "villa..." came out, my horoscope said one of my favourite authors had a new one coming out... what are the odds? i just love him and must read more....

>>By bEATGirl   (Friday, 30 Apr 2004 13:34)

Tedious? Yup. Self-indulgent? Oh yeah. Reading anything by him is like seeing someone openly masturbate on a park bench. It's great if you like books that make you feel clever for reading them, or if you enjoy someone writing solely for the sake of showing what they can do with a metaphor, but beyond that it's pretty banale. Not to rock the boat here...

>>By Herbtrane   (Thursday, 13 May 2004 10:02)

Speaking of clever metaphors, that one about the park bench is kind of a turn-off. I used to love Tom Robbins (and I'm a Catholic) but I think I've outgrown him. Maybe he's worth a second look.

>>By Westphalia   (Wednesday, 8 Dec 2004 06:08)

I just LOVE his books!!! They are a "must" to read.... over and over again!

>>By Helene   (Sunday, 12 Dec 2004 18:00)

the self indulgent crowd needs to explain more of what they mean. i feel the same way but love the books, heartbreaking work included.
so, some explanation and extrapolation please.

>>By kerryoco   (Wednesday, 29 Dec 2004 00:20)

and by 'self indulgent crowd' i meant the people who think tom robbins is self indulgent and masturbatory, not the people who are self indulgent (of which i'm sure there are none)

>>By kerryoco   (Wednesday, 29 Dec 2004 00:22)

perhaps all fiction is masturbatory? please list some non-masturbatory fiction.

>>By kerryoco   (Wednesday, 29 Dec 2004 00:23)

If you'd like to step over the edge of Robbins-land, venture a look at

>>By Hotshoe   (Sunday, 9 Jan 2005 16:34)

i really like tom robbins. i find his plot structures unique. i like his language. also his subtle hint of mysticism.

>>By styles   (Monday, 17 Jan 2005 23:15)

tom robbins tedious? self indulgent? <scoffs> he's one of the most talented writers around. yeah, maybe he overdoes the metaphors sometimes but when he gets them right, which is frequently, he really nails the story with them. reading tom robbins' metaphors is like watching a great chef mix the ingredients for a bouquet dinner...enlightening and mouthwatering! as for his talent for writing sex scenes, he has no equal. robbins injects more eroticism in two lines than most writers can manage in two books.

i think the reason a lot of people don't get him, is that he writes from a very informed, esoteric, spiritual vantage point (not "religious" SPIRITUAL), he is a guy who has a finger on the pulse of this planet and its anthorpological history (eh? know what i mean!)

just finished reading "jitterbug perfume" again and i'd heartily recommend it to fact, i frequently for those of you who just don't get it.......fergawdsakes......ERLEICHDA!!!

>>By Jimaldo   (Wednesday, 17 Oct 2007 02:31)

I read "Jitterbug," "Still life," and "Cowgirls" a long time ago but haven't read anything by him lately. Any recommendations to see where he is now?

>>By crazyhorse   (Thursday, 3 Jan 2008 16:52)

As the great man said; "...people of ze world relax!". Tom's books are plates for him to load and serve up and share what he's currently digesting. his "novels" are meaningless to the intellectual and revolutionary to the lover. he's not interested in the parameters of being liked or disliked. he's kickin' back and cooking up a stew of the incredulous from the stock of the chaotic. get it, don't get it. over your head or below your moral plimsol line. he is testament to being yourself and awake. a rare quality. if your used to the mainstream tom is a mud bath for the queasy cottonwooled mind. let yourself be stretched. try and just follow plot you'll loose the flavour. chase his artisan prose and you'll find yourself starin out the window looking for ufo's just roll around with it and take your time. these books were written slowly and carefully read them that way. these aren't junk food but you might want to equipe yourself wit hsome chopsticks....relax people, relax.

>>By nagacot   (Thursday, 25 Dec 2008 16:34)

I think of Tom as a mad literary research scientist sitting in a corner and tossing out nonlinear pearls of wisdom. If you're looking for easily-digested and self-contained traditional story arcs, then you're asking the wrong questions and expecting the wrong answers. He's creative and playful and interesting. That's enough for me. He lives nearby and recently I spotted him in the hallway of the building I work in. I invited him to take a look at my lab and he looked a little overwhelmed. I wouldn't know what to do with any of this stuff, he said. Heh.

>>By Ken Coffman   (Monday, 29 Dec 2008 15:09)

I was exposed to "Still Life with Woodpecker" when I was 20 years old. Wow! It blew me away. I bought and gave copies of that book to people as gifts for years! It seems to me that men enjoyed the book more than women (that I gifted it to).

I have read most of his books, preferring the earlier ones to the most recent releases.

>>By Mawgojzeta   (Thursday, 16 Jun 2011 15:41)

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