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2 Beaverton Literature- A to Z

Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates

by

Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates Cover

ISBN13: 9780553379334
ISBN10: 055337933x
Condition: Standard
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Excerpt

Lima, Peru
October 1997


The naked parrot looked like a human fetus spliced onto a kosher chicken. It was so old it had lost every single one of its feathers, even its pinfeathers, and its bumpy, jaundiced skin was latticed by a network of rubbery blue veins.

"Pathological," muttered Switters, meaning not simply the parrot but the whole scene, including the shrunken old woman in whose footsteps the bird doggedly followed as she moved about the darkened villa. The parrot's scabrous claws made a dry, scraping noise as they fought for purchase on the terra-cotta floor tiles, and when, periodically, the creature lost its footing and skidded an inch or two, it issued a squawk so quavery and feeble that it sounded as if it were being petted by the Boston Strangler. Each time it squawked, the crone clucked, whether in sympathy or disapproval one could not tell, for she never turned to her devoted little companion but wandered aimlessly from one piece of ancient wooden furniture to another in her amorphous black dress.

Switters feigned appreciation, but he was secretly repulsed, all the more so because Juan Carlos, who stood beside him on the patio, also spying in the widow's windows, was beaming with pride and satisfaction. Switters slapped at the mosquitoes that perforated his torso and cursed every hair on that hand of Fate that had snatched him into South too-goddamn-vivid America.


Boquichicos, Peru
November 1997


Attracted by the lamplight that seeped through the louvers, a mammoth moth beat against the shutters like a storm. Switters watched it with some fascination as he waited for the boys to bring his luggage up from the river. That moth was no butterfly, that was certain. It was a night animal, and it had a night animal's mystery.

Butterflies were delicate and gossamer, but this moth possessed strength and weight. Its heavy wings were powdered like the face of an old actress. Butterflies were presumed to be carefree, moths were slaves to a fiery obsession. Butterflies seemed innocuous, moths somehow...erotic. The dust of the moth was a sexual dust. The twitch of the moth was a sexual twitch. Suddenly Switters touched his throat and moaned. He moaned because it occurred to him how much the moth resembled a clitoris with wings.

Vivid.

There were grunts on the path behind him, and Inti emerged from the forest bearing, somewhat apprehensively, Switters's crocodile-skin valise. In a moment the other two boys appeared with the rest of his gear. It was time to review accommodations in the Hotel Boquichicos. He dreaded what he might find behind its shuttered windows, its double-screened doors, but he motioned for the boys to follow him in. "Let's go. This insect--" He nodded at the great moth that, fan though it might, was unable to stir the steaming green broth that in the Amazon often substitutes for air. "This insect is making me feel--" Switters hesitated to utter the word, even though he knew Inti could understand no more than a dozen simple syllables of English. "This insect is making me feel libidinous."

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

Michael Moy, May 12, 2009 (view all comments by Michael Moy)
Religion, the Amazon, marketing, sex, witch-doctors, meditation and a Matisse "Blue Nude" put into the blender that is Tom Robbins and what you get is a cocktail so delicious and potent you can't help going back for more.
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satin worship, July 5, 2008 (view all comments by satin worship)
If you haven't read Tom Robbins, you need to buy this book right now. I've read just about every book by him, and this is still my favorite. Tom Robbins writes like he can read your mind, and pours your every shameful desire into well crafted prose. He writes morals without being preachy, he writes sensuality without being dirty, and he writes some of the best fiction in the world that will never go out of style.
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(6 of 9 readers found this comment helpful)
Marie Angell, August 8, 2007 (view all comments by Marie Angell)
Tom Robbins has quite an imagination. This book, about an eccentric CIA agent and his equally kooky kin and acquaintances, scoots all over the world and hits on a number of contemporary topics.

Robbins has a gift for being glibly ironic without quite going over the cliff into Too Much. While I never laughed aloud, I did find the book amusing.

The premise of the book is deliberately preposterous but somehow manages to be credible within its own little world. Robbins seems to have intended Fierce Invalids to be a romp first, a satire second--at least that's how it turned out.

If you like your spy novels dark and realistic like Graham Greene's, this won't work for you. But if you enjoy just seeing what the heck these guys are going to do, well, it's a pleasant way to spend a few hours reading on the porch (or your preferred equivalent).

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Product Details

ISBN:
9780553379334
Author:
Robbins, Tom
Publisher:
Bantam
Author:
Robbins, Tom
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Adventure and adventurers
Subject:
Adventure stories
Subject:
Satire
Subject:
Adventure fiction
Subject:
Intelligence officers
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
03-11
Publication Date:
20010531
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
464
Dimensions:
8.08 x 5.23 x 1 in 0.74 lb

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Related Subjects


Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture
History and Social Science » Pacific Northwest » Literature Folklore and Memoirs

Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.50 In Stock
Product details 464 pages Libri - English 9780553379334 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Superb."
"Review" by , "Robbins's seventh novel is an incredibly humorous and completely outlandish romp through the world of international intelligence."
"Review" by , "As clever and witty a novel as anyone has written in a long time....The plot is sustained by [Robbins's] usual virtuoso writing and brilliant flashes of insight....Robbins takes readers on a wild, delightful ride....A delight from beginning to end."
"Review" by , "Dangerous? Wicked? Forbidden? You bet....Pour yourself a bowl of chips and dig in."
"Review" by , "Robbins is a great writer...and definitely a provocative rascal."
"Review" by , "Whoever said truth is stranger than fiction never read a Tom Robbins novel....Clever, creative, and witty, Robbins tosses off impassioned observations like handfuls of flower petals."
"Synopsis" by , Now in paperback comes the newest bestseller by the author of Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas and Skinny Legs and All. Robbins explores, challenges, mocks, and celebrates virtually every major aspect of our contemporary era as he brings onstage the most complex and compelling character he's ever created.
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