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Conversations with Tom Robbins [Paperback]

Liam O. Purdon , Beef Torrey

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Book Description

Dec 21 2010 Literary Conversations
This is an illuminating collection of interviews with one of the foremost voices of literary counterculture, Tom Robbins. Since the publication of "Another Roadside Attraction" in 1971, Tom Robbins (b. 1932) has become known as the principal voice of American countercultural fiction. His cult celebrity was further solidified by the success of "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues" (1976) and "Still Life With Woodpecker" (1980). Robbins's mix of vivid language, ribald humour, philosophical musings, controversial commentary on religion and sexuality, and concentration on female protagonists and feminine consciousness has marked almost all of his fiction, as well as his short stories and articles. "Conversations with Tom Robbins" brings together more than 20 interviews with the acclaimed author, from the mid-1970s to the present. Throughout the volume, Robbins discusses his working methods, his fusion of eastern and Western philosophical traditions, the need for wit and humour in serious fiction, and the way in which living in the Pacific Northwest has fuelled his work.

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About the Author

Liam Purdon is professor of English at Doane College, Nebraska. Beef Torrey is a successful editor and literary expert.

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Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tom Robbins: The Man Sept. 30 2011
By Eric Unger - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have read, love and admire every novel by Tom Robbins (many times over). This collection of intimate interviews from the 70s to 2009 gives one a before (for me anyway) unseen insight into who Tom Robbins really is and what makes him tick. His flexibility concerning life in general is nothing short of amazing. He is able to navigate with ease, between all boundaries of time, space, and societal dogmas and rigidness (political, religious, institutional guidelines etc.) with seemingly little or no wasted (negative) energy. He emphasizes HUMOR with intellect and spirituality (Zen,Taoism with Far Eastern "crazy wisdom") for his inner peace and extraordinary balance of mind, body and soul in this escalating insane world in which we are all participants...His wisdom comes from a simple path few dare to take, much less view or even consider (or for that matter,are even aware this option exists)...If we could all clear our minds and hearts of the fog that clouds our tainted judgement, as Robbins has obviously accomplished, we could live in a world of peace and understanding through conversation and dialogue, instead of our present approach of using intentional misunderstanding to justify a world full of WAR, violence and hatred!!!...

In this compilation he is often asked of his writing style and process. His response is, basically, that he despises orhtadoxy and his writing process is extremely unorthadox and doesn't really recommend it to aspiring young writers or anyone for that matter...He begins a novel with no outline, no rough draft and NO PLOT. He works on one sentence at a time, using pen and paper, and somtimes spending hours on a single sentence. He then edits the sentence and moves to the next one, never to rework it again. When a novel is complete (usually 4-5 years) he gives the handwritten manuscript to his editor and he's done. Tom Robbins has never read a one of his finished novels, which I find very cool!!!...Hey, what else can you expect? He is TOM ROBBINS!!!...A true American Hero and the greatest source of my own inspiration...VIVA TOM ROBBINS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Robbins is the Man. Oct. 6 2011
By Jerry M. Hosmer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have read all of Robbins' books and hope for more to come. He opens my mind and brightens my day. I do not often re-read a book, but Tom Robbins is an exception. Each re-reading brings wonderful surprises.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for HardCore fans May 17 2012
By Dru - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
have really been enjoying this book. I have read all of Robbin's works. Gives great perspective into his life and how it has shaped his literary career.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fills in the pieces you always wondered about Feb. 22 2013
By L. J. Zinkand - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a writer, I always want to hear about the success stories of others - how hard it was for them to get attention in the beginning, and what it took for them to keep going even when they got panned by the writing "establishment." Tom Robbins has always been my muse, my inspiration, my unwitting ally. CWTR gives the reader an in-depth, warm look at this fantastically quirky, amazing human being (my apologies to all those wives he divorced... if it gives you any solace, I believe he might be a 7 on the Enneagram and probably can't help himself). But I digress. If you are a true Tom Robbins fan as I am, you will be delightfully entertained with these chronologies, interviews, and stories.
4.0 out of 5 stars A good editor would have found a way to condense this ... July 9 2014
By Smokin' Jones - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What the reviewers who preceded me fail to note is that most of the interviews in this book cover the same ground, re-telling the same story of Robbins' early years, with a few additional details, only some of which are time-dependent on the date the interview was conducted. A good editor would have found a way to condense this stuff.

Not that the stories aren't worth the price of the ticket. Robbins is, here, as witty and off-beat as usual, and there are a wealth of his ideas to enjoy, once you speed read through yet another examination of the events of his early years (like providing Colgate to Mao) and how he came to live in WA.

What does emerge from the interviews are direct versions of Robbin's wonderful socio-political observations and his laser-sharp cultural commentary on modern America. And those alone make the book worth reading.

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