Saturday, May 13, 2006

A short snorter from Tom Robbins

Just finished Tom Robbins' Villa Incognito, and it's a hoot and a half, about an animal spirit who parachutes to earth in an odd manner as he outruns a posse of angry gods, and spends his time here drinking sake and bedding farm girls. The creature learns to assume human form, and in his time and travels winds up in the 20th century, where he, through odd coincidence and circumstance, is upsetting a drug trafficking operation devised by Viet Nam vets who remained MIA.

This isn't all the animal spirit upsets, and Robbins, true to form, includes a goodly amount of other tangents and bits for us to chew on, including his own authorial intrusions. Not his best work, I don't think, it seems rushed, but it's very funny for the most part. I do like the way Robbins is able to mix and max genres, from detective thrillers, folk tales, and what not, weave them with bits of amiable philosophical asides, and not come off as so precious and smart and depressingly self-serious as other post-modernists seem to. It's about the story, and it's about pleasure the story give. A quick, fun read.

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