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Maybe it's just me...
on August 25, 2004
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