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3 Beaverton Literature- A to Z

Wild Ducks Flying Backward: The Short Writings of Tom Robbins

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Wild Ducks Flying Backward: The Short Writings of Tom Robbins Cover

ISBN13: 9780553383539
ISBN10: 0553383531
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Known for his meaty seriocomic novels — expansive works that are simultaneously lowbrow and highbrow — Tom Robbins has also published over the years a number of short pieces, predominantly nonfiction. His travel articles, essays, and tributes to actors, musicians, sex kittens, and thinkers have appeared in publications ranging from Esquire to Harper's, from Playboy to the New York Times, High Times, and Life. A generous sampling, collected here for the first time and including works as diverse as scholarly art criticism and some decidedly untypical country-music lyrics, Wild Ducks Flying Backward offers a rare sweeping overview of the eclectic sensibility of an American original.

Whether he is 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, Robbins's briefer writings often exhibit the same 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 Embedded in this primarily journalistic compilation are a couple of short stories, a sheaf of largely unpublished poems, and an off-beat assessment of our divided nation. And wherever we open Wild Ducks Flying Backward, we're apt to encounter examples of the intently serious playfulness that percolates from the mind of a self-described romantic Zen hedonist and stray dog in the banquet halls of culture.

Review:

"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)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"[This is] a fan's book, and Robbins' following is among the most loyal and ecstatic in contemporary literature....Wild Ducks Flying Backward provides perspective on what Robbins has already written as well as what he has yet to write." The Oregonian (Portland, OR)

Review:

"Robbins' funny and astute short works shimmer with original and piquant descriptions, sensual delight, and a firm grasp of human nature and history." Booklist

Review:

"The whirling dervish lit-hippie of Seattle fires off a shotgun-full of enthusiasms at whatever strikes his fancy — and occasionally hits." Kirkus Reviews

Synopsis:

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 is the author of eight novels. When not roaming, he lives in the Seattle area.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

theflowers, January 15, 2008 (view all comments by theflowers)
I fell in love with Tom Robbins's prose after reading "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues" this past summer. It stole the spot as my favorite novel, and I knew I wanted to further explore the style of this creative genius. In the bookstore, I happened across this wonderful collection. As an aspiring short story writer myself, I grew excited at the thought of reading my new idol's shorter works. I rate it a four, which, I mean, is quite excellent. I decided against a 5 simply because I was completely bowled over by "Cowgirls," while with these shorter works I was unable to connect as well. A possible explanation is that I am of the younger generation, and I do not pick up upon the generational references and time-restricted persons written about in several of the pieces. [I plan on research, so that I can understand.] There are several gems in here, especially the one on art. With great style and aplomb, Mr. Robbins delves into the apparently-rhetorical question of "What is Art?" He has quite the answer - further developing my opinion of him as one of the more thoughtful writers I have encountered; a mystical, intellectual, philosophical writer who delivers wit that is thoroughly fun to read.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780553383539
Author:
Robbins, Tom
Publisher:
Bantam Books
Author:
Robbins, Tom
Subject:
Essays
Subject:
American - General
Subject:
Anthologies-Essays
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20060831
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
8.23x5.55x.57 in. .49 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » Essays
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Wild Ducks Flying Backward: The Short Writings of Tom Robbins Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.95 In Stock
Product details 272 pages Bantam Books - English 9780553383539 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "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)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "[This is] a fan's book, and Robbins' following is among the most loyal and ecstatic in contemporary literature....Wild Ducks Flying Backward provides perspective on what Robbins has already written as well as what he has yet to write."
"Review" by , "Robbins' funny and astute short works shimmer with original and piquant descriptions, sensual delight, and a firm grasp of human nature and history."
"Review" by , "The whirling dervish lit-hippie of Seattle fires off a shotgun-full of enthusiasms at whatever strikes his fancy — and occasionally hits."
"Synopsis" by , 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.

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