Friday, June 10, 2011

Skinny Legs and All

Skinny Legs and All by Tom Robbins

It'd been quite a while since I had read one of Robbins's books. And after finishing Skinny Legs and All I remembered why I space them out like I do - his books take a long time to fully digest. I'll begin by saying his books are not for everyone. To the unaccustomed, his books might come across as wacky or off the wall. But like the dance of the seven veils depicted on this one's cover, his writing consists of many different layers.

To describe the plot would take far too long and more than likely would fall far short of doing it justice. So instead I'll say that Skinny Legs and All is about the Middle East, and the Apocalypse, and an artist, and an Airstream motor home converted into a giant turkey, and Isaac's & Ishmael's - a restaurant co-owned by an Arab and a Jew, and a Baptist minister bent on bringing about the Second Coming, and a can of beans, and a spoon, and a sock, and a conch shell, and a painted stick, and a dancer, who may be able to answer all of life's questions without ever opening her mouth.

It's obvious that Robbins is a believer in a lot of things, and that formalized religion is not one of them. His books seem deeply influence by Eastern philosophies and mysticism. And I loved it. He's not a very prolific writer, he takes in inordinate amount of time between books. But as you read his books you'll see that the time he takes is justified. It's obvious that he thinks long and hard about every sentence he writes. His writing is simultaneously beautiful and absurd which demonstrates a tremendous amount of talent. He's almost 80 years old which at his rate of writing means there may only be one or two more books to come. But I'm sure they'll be brilliant.

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

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