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on December 3, 1998
This book isn't for everyone, but anyone who likes a playful author who knows how to write wonderfully and can keep an open mind about life and living... should love this book. Either way you won't put it down being the same. My girlfriend began to read this book and instantly she was hooked. Everyday she would quote to me from it, talk about theories and ideas Robbins brings up that ARE genuine through his humourous and whimsical charachters and plot. They're unrealistic, yes... but that's what makes this delightful genious as opposed to dry theory. I bought this book to try to keep up to the new doors it was opening in my girlfriend's mind and it has just never been the same. His insights on life, religion, truth, time, and perhaps simply BEING ALIVE... are beautifully introduced and made to be entertaining and powerful. Don't get hung up on the sex scenes or the lesbian issues. It's not a porno and it's not about being a lesbian. Read this book with an open and QUESTIONING mind and laugh at the silly people in it and the things they do as the masterful theories explode like fireworks on the page. Anyone who gave this book 1 star simply didn't understand it, and maybe it wasn't for them. But if you let these ideas touch you and learn to question them... you won't just put it down and go pet your cat. You'll want to go make love to the horizon. It's beautiful stuff.
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on October 21, 2000
Simply put, reading Even Cow Girls Get the Blues is fun. Robbin's prose are not only easy to read but a pleasure. While this book has a deeper meaning than the story, and provides many ideas worthy of philosophical reflection, it also provides a comical story that makes the book a pleasant escape from the world. Robbin's humor is undeniable, and created through his masterful use of the language as well as the plot of the novel. While the novel becomes tedious in places, Robbins sometimes discusses his philosophical ideas point blank - directly to the reader - instead of revealing them implicity through the developement of his novel, such digressions are infrequent and rarely last for more than a page. And of course, the idea of Sissy, a maestro in the world of hitchkicking, is so unique and original that it provides a freshness that is both captivating and invigorating. If for no other reason, you should read this book for Sissy's monologues of her experience, and expertise, when it comes to hitch hikking.
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on September 25, 1998
I knew it was a good book, because by the time I had finished it I had experienced every emotion a book could possibly make me feel. I loved some of these characters, hated others, I laughed, I cried, I read on in horror, disappointment, rage, elation, and pure estatic joy. The pure music of Robbins's words carried me out of this world and into a world of magic and poetry. Even after the first few pages, I had learned that all I had to do was toss a thumb in the air and I could hitch a ride to a place where I could learn a little bit more about the world around me and be completely enchanted in the process. I'm glad I was able to find my way to the clockworks. I have run across very few authors that have the same love of language Robbins does. I applaud this book loudly and recommend it to everybody... not just the aspiring cowgirl. It's philisophical content is inspiring.
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Maybe it's just the order I'm reading the books, but after "Still Life With Woodpecker" and "Jitterbug Perfume", this one came up a bit short.

Maybe he just got better with age, like fine wine and aged cheese.

Maybe I just haven't read enough of Tom Robbins' books, and so haven't acquired a complete appreciation for the clever wordplay, but this one seems to be far too wordy at the expense of content and story. There are at least two chapters that unapologetically say absolutely nothing, and do not advance the story in any way.

Maybe I was just too impatient to get to the "meat" of the story, and got frustrated with the rambling.

As I said, maybe it's just me.

The characters are very Tom Robbins, especially Sissy Hanshaw, the super-sized digited ugly duckling who grew up to be a hitchhiker, model and cowgirl, the delightfully named Bonanza Jellybean, ranch boss and all cowgirl, the hygienically challenged Countess with castanets for teeth, Delores del Ruby, whip maestro and forewoman, and the Chink, pecker waving yam lover.

Parts of the story are very similar to "Jitterbug Perfume", especially if you consider the Chink as an oriental Pan, all musky and ready to rut, and compare the Clockworks tribe to the Bandaloop, both of whom possess the wisdom of the ages and are more finely attuned to nature than the rest of us.

Readers of "Still Life" will note that "O O Spaghetti O" makes about as much sense as "Ha ha ho ho and hee hee"

There's a wonderful storyline here, with our thumb-tied heroine struggling to find herself, the all cowgirl ranch, and the interrupted migration of the protected whooping cranes, but alas, it was hidden amongst the rambling passages, and I almost couldn't see the story for the words.

In my opinion, not a good beginner's guide to Tom Robbins - there are better - but still a clever concept teeming with physical and spiritual love, nature and magic, cultural differences, freedom, overcoming handicaps and of course, hitchhiking. It's a three thumbs up, but could have been a five.

Ha ha ho ho and hee hee

Amanda Richards, edited August 30, 2004
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on April 16, 1999
Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (By a genious named Robbins--Tom Robbins)is one of the most interesting books Ive ever read. I think it touched me mostly because I started it in America, and I finished it in Spain. I was there for four months and I was going through the whole "Now that I have another country to compare it to, what is America really like?" thing and this book gave me good points of outlook for my analyzation(which I'm still conducting). I will not mention any part of the plot in my review (and I know that's a tad, uh, different)because I fear I may ruin the experience if you do not read it in full context. If you are interested in thinking "outside of the box" this book will definitly point you towards outward boxliness (I don't suppose I have as wide a vocabulary as Robbins). If you wish to know what a true free spirit is, or what they think about, or how they express themselves freely, than this is your book. Even Cowgirls proves that even when we're close to the year 2000, we can still write things that make congress and a whole bunch of our general society cringe over the whole freedom of speech thing, because this book takes risks. Robbins is a unique writer and he beautifully ties his original sense of humor in with culture, philosophy, and a perfect touch of anarchism. I recommend it for anybody who has decided not to take life too seriously, or anybody who's tired of cliches and\or cheesy sex novels. Word.
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on July 16, 2005
Having just reread Even Cowgirls Get the Blues after about 25 years, I agree with some of its fans and detractors that the narrative does get mired in some pedantic and pondersome navel gazing. Even so, this is still the classic countercultural novel of the 1970s with a rich fabric of comical characters and zany plot twists. The opening dedication to the amoeba lured me in again. Two giant thumbs way up! To quote the story's hermit sage: "Ha ha ho ho and hee hee!"
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on September 7, 2014
Ever since I bought this book,pretty well when it first reached Australia, it's constituted one of the mainstays of my library. That and the other Tom Robbins writings. Some books you can read many times throughout life and each time find something wonderful in them. All of Mr Robbins books are like that. They delight, sadden, make laughter happen or burst forth, turn you on (if you're open to that) and pop your cork. Just what you need in a book.
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on June 10, 2003
This is a book that travels well. It moves from rural Nowhere to New York City to the wide open spaces of the Dakotas. It has the gemmy shine of a South American diamond, the sweetness of a Georgia peach, and the sauciness of a Louisiana chef. Robbins has written many fantastic books, some better than others. This is absolutely one of the best. What sets "Cowgirls" apart--though some will not agree with me--is its irreverent delight in the human being.
The key humans in this case are Sissy Hankshaw (Gitch), a woman born to ride the open roads--literally, and Bonanza Jellybean, a cowgirl so wild and free she makes tumbleweeds nervous. A host of other characters pepper this wonderful tale of how Sissy follows her destiny to find her place in the arms of a New York milquetoast, the bed of a prairie wildman, and the heart of the cowgirls at the Rubber Rose Ranch. No matter which person we are with as a reader, though, we want these people in our lives. We love them, sometimes because we hate them, because they are the extremes of humans just being.
"Cowgirls" is a wild work of fiction. It is highly unprobable. It is sinfully decadent. Oh, and the author writes a version of himself into the story while simultaneously carrying on conversations with his reader. It breaks all the rules of storytelling. But So What? The charm and style of this novel make its fanciful tangents all the more delectible. If this novel is a Georgia peach, may the world never leave the hedonic Eden of Tom Robbins' delightful brain.
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on July 16, 2016
Tom Robbins' masterful descriptive writing and the depth of his development of the main characters commend the novel, but the story, itself, borders on fantasy. Fantasy. Science Fiction. Surrealism. Whatever label I think of doesn't quite fit, but it clearly lacks the realism of, say, a Cormac McCarthy novel. Since I prefer realism these days, the book only merits an average rating for purely reasons of personal taste. Robbins' descriptive prowess deserves a higher score, however, so if you enjoy skilled word craft, I can recommend it.
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on July 28, 2003
Calling "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues" an interesting book wouldn't do Tom Robbins justice. It is strange, unique, surprising, poetic, philosophical, and lots of fun. The star of Robbins' production is Sissy Hankshaw, a woman born with over-sized thumbs. Sissy turns her "deformity" into a tool that gives her live meaning, i.e. through hitchhiking. After living a life of constant motion, she is introduced to Julian Gitche, a man crazy in love with her who wants her to settle down and give up her extraordinary gift of hitchhiking. But she soon finds out that she is not destined to live an ordinary life. The descriptions Robbins uses are quite amazing and original. He also goes into great depth about philosophical issues that one might think are completely irrelevant to the plot of this novel. Sissy is on a quest to find the meaning and purpose of life, and I think that by pondering on different issues Robbins is allowing us to be a part of her quest. He says some fascinating things (e.g. one of his characters, interestingly called "Dr. Robbins," calls in well at work... how brilliant! Someday I should call in well!), and even though I am far from philosophical Robbins has made me re-think some ideas I had about many things. There are some sex scenes in the book, including lesbian ones, which may offend some people. I don't think that they are inappropriate or offensive - I think that they focus more on the joy and freedom of human interaction. While I prefer the plot of "Skinny Legs and All," "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues" is a must-read just for its bizarre descriptions, interesting takes on life, and just for having fun.
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