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Still Life with Woodpecker Paperback – April 1, 1990
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Top Customer Reviews
This is a story about a tarnished princess, an outlaw bomber with bad teeth, a scene stealing if somewhat undomesticated loyal servant, toads - both real and plastic, an exiled King and his "Oh-Oh, spaghetti-o" Queen, a CIA not-so-secret agent, an outraged Middle Eastern playboy, blackberries, Camels, Ralph Nader, pyramids and aliens from Argon.
What more could you possibly want in a book?
Tom Robbins has a genuine talent for words and puns, and those with active funny bones will be tickled throughout. His casual use of words like "slishy" and phrases like "I have a black belt in haiku" abound, to be discovered with unbridled delight.
This is a book to be enjoyed within one lunar cycle without fear of repercussions.
Robbins reminds me of Jonathan Lethem--a world-class author with a visionary imagination, a densely intellectual approach to writing, and a skewed worldview of epic proportions. Still Life is in reality pretty much an "average" Robbins novel, but that is in fact sort of like saying that the Hope Diamond is your "average" 80-carat diamond.
What sets Still Life apart for me is that, though written many years ago, it's totally contemporary. Ralph Nader is a major minor character--and what you see here about him is as relevant as it was when the book was written. The Woodpecker is essentially a professional bomber--but is he merely a criminal (terrorist?)or an outlaw (freedom fighter?)? There are Arabs as major characters--all in a state of internecine hostility. And the symbolic hooey--and there's plenty of it here--is as New Age as New Age gets, even though it predates New Age by an eon.
I'd read the book years ago and recently reread it and found it as engaging, thought provoking and quirkily amusing as ever. It's not many novels that can be a contemporary masterpiece of different decades. So, though there are better Robbins books out there, I definitely think Still Life with Woodpecker is a "must read" even today.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
After 20 years this remains my favorite book by this remarkably oddball author.Published 5 days ago by Christopher S. Cornette
I finally found Sarah Palins speech writer . What absolute gibberish . A waste of time and money !Published 13 days ago by RR
Great book but the copy I received was rotted and fell apart....it was only a dollar though so didn't expect much!Published 1 month ago by SuzyQ
Let me just get to it.. I EFFING LOVE THIS BOOK. After the first time I read it, I found myself flipping through it's pages like as if it was an almanac, so I could pass off quotes... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Danny
Tom Robbins never fails to amaze me. Still Life with Woodpecker is absurd, eccentric, eclectic, quirky, and unique. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Mei-Zhen