Monday, July 14, 2014

Tibetan Peach Pie

by Tom Robbins
362 pgs

When I first heard that a new Tom Robbins book was coming out, I was excited. When I learned that it was a memoir instead of a novel, I'll admit I was a little disappointed. Now that I've read it, I feel a little guilty for having had such doubts. His novels are the types of books that you need to experience in order to understand. It's impossible to have someone describe one of them to you and do it justice. Chances are it will sound more like an LSD-induced hallucination rather than a book. They're uncategorizable and categorically unique. Tibetan Peach Pie, even though it's not one of his novels, is no exception.

Robbins says in chapter one that Tibetan Peach Pie is not a memoir. But you know what they say about something that walks and quacks like a duck.... To his credit though, Robbins doesn't merely waste time describing his childhood and recounting funny stories from his past. Instead, each of the stories that he tells showcases his one-of-a-kind sense of imagination and curiosity that have been with him from a very early age and that have resulted in his truly imaginative life.

His curiosity has taken him all over the world. He visited Timbuktu, where he was cursed by an old crone and spent the better part of the next year suffering. He politely declined dining with the King of the Cannibals (the only time, according to him, that he turned down a culinary challenge). He was introduced to LSD many years ago and his books and his readers have reaped the benefits of its uninhibiting and mind-freeing effects ever since.

The book is worth reading, but probably only for those who've read and enjoyed his novels.

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

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