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Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates


Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates Cover

ISBN13: 9780553379334
ISBN10: 055337933x
Condition: Standard
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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.


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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corylkilpatrick71, April 21, 2015 (view all comments by corylkilpatrick71)
Tom Robbins for president!
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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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Product Details

Robbins, Tom
Robbins, Tom
New York
Adventure and adventurers
Adventure stories
Adventure fiction
Intelligence officers
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8.08 x 5.23 x 1 in 0.74 lb

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » General
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
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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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