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Home » Books » Fiction & Literature » Literary Criticsm » American » General

Wild Ducks Flying Backward

By Tom Robbins

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Format: Paperback, 255 pages
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 Embedded in this primarily journalistic compilation are brand-new short stories, a sheaf of largely unpublished poems, and an offbeat assessment of our divided nation.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. "

About the Author

Tom Robbins has been called "a vital natural resource" by The Oregonian, "one of the wildest and most entertaining novelists in the world" by the Financial Times of London, and "the most dangerous writer in the world today" by Fernanda Pivano of Italy's Corriere della Sera. A Southerner by birth, Robbins has lived in and around Seattle since 1962.


A cult novelist turns to nonfiction, some of it published for the first time. There's even an ode to the tomato sandwich. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

The author of Even Cowgirls Get the Blues and Still Life with Woodpecker has regularly published shorter pieces in Esquire, Playboy, the New York Times and elsewhere. The whimsical, quixotic nature of that work comes through in this hit-and-miss affair-one that remains woefully short on fiction, focusing mostly on the author's travel writing, essays, celebrity profiles and poetry. The best travel piece, "The Day the Earth Spit Wart Hogs," finds Robbins traversing a big game park in Tanzania. His commentary on the '60s, the legacy of burger mogul Ray Kroc and the prose of Thomas Pynchon remains trenchant and provocative; other pieces are dated to the point of irrelevance (his foreword to Terrance McKenna's 1992 The Archaic Revival). As a poet, Robbins is obvious and heavy-handed, but occasionally he hits the kind of mystical note that characterizes "Catch 28" and makes his florid imagery work. The fiction is brief and mostly forgettable. But an essay called "In Defiance of Gravity" starts as a riff on an obscure club and winds up being an ode to the combination of unconventionality and humor that define Robbins's career as a writer. Agent, Phoebe Larmore. (Sept. 6) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

"A single sentence from Robbins is worth the price of admission." -Columbus Dispatch (Ohio) "Hilarious."--New York Times Book Review "A treat. Robbins is fearless, original, mind-expanding and funny as hell."--San Diego Union-Tribune A single sentence from Robbins is worth the price of admission. "Columbus Dispatch "(Ohio) Hilarious. "New York Times Book Review " A treat. Robbins is fearless, original, mind-expanding and funny as hell. "San Diego Union-Tribune"" "A single sentence from Robbins is worth the price of admission." -"Columbus Dispatch "(Ohio) "Hilarious."-"New York Times Book Review ""A treat. Robbins is fearless, original, mind-expanding and funny as hell."-"San Diego Union-Tribune"

EAN: 9780553383539
ISBN: 0553383531
Publisher: Random House Inc
Dimensions: 20.9 x 14.1 x 1.45 centimetres (0.20 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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Tom Robbins is one of those writers that i have never really gotten into, even though his work has been recommended to me many a time. Wild Ducks Flying Backward is a collection of short stories, musings, poems and unclassifiable material that is at times incredibly absorbing, incredibly funny and incredibly astute. This collection shows just why he is regarded as a writer of the highest esteem and i would reccomend grabbing this before attempting to read his longer works like even cowgirls get the blues, and still life of the woodpecker.

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