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Even Cowgirls Get the Blues [Paperback]

Tom Robbins
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 18.95
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Book Description

April 1 1990
The whooping crane rustlers are girls. Young girls. Cowgirls, as a matter of fact, all “bursting with dimples and hormones”—and the FBI has never seen anything quite like them. Yet their rebellion at the Rubber Rose Ranch is almost overshadowed by the arrival of the legendary Sissy Hankshaw, a white-trash goddess literally born to hitchhike, and the freest female of them all.

Freedom, its prizes and its prices, is a major theme of Tom Robbins’s classic tale of eccentric adventure. As his robust characters attempt to turn the tables on fate, the reader is drawn along on a tragicomic joyride across the badlands of sexuality, wild rivers of language, and the frontiers of the mind.

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Review

"This is  one of those special novels--a piece of working  magic, warm, funny, and san--that you just want to  ride off into the sunset with."–Thomas  Pynchon

"The best fiction, so far,  to come out of the American  counterculture."—Chicago Tribune Book World

Even Cowgirls Get the Blues comes as a magical gift, a brilliant affirmation of private visions and private wishes and their power to transform life and death.” —The Nation

From the Back Cover

"This is  one of those special novels--a piece of working  magic, warm, funny, and san--that you just want to  ride off into the sunset with."--Thomas  Pynchon

"The best fiction, so far,  to come out of the American  counterculture."--Chicago Tribune Book World

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, great book! May 22 2005
Format:Paperback
Even Cowgirls Get The Blues" by Tom Robbins is at first a bit hard to follow, a trademark of Robbins' work, but well worth the effort. The main character is Sissy Hankshaw, a young beauty with one minor, or maybe major flaw, her huge thumbs. Instead of letting the size of her thumbs hinder her, she uses them to her advantage, and becomes the best hitchhiker in the country, perhaps the world. Hitchhiking takes Sissy to a number of diverse and interesting places, where she meets many distinct and different people. Among the people Sissy meets is the "Countess", a gay, cross dressing owner of a douche company which Sissy becomes a part time model for. Through the Countess Sissy meets Julian Gitche, who becomes her husband. She also meets Bonanza Jelly Bean, "the cutest cowgirl in the world" who dreams that someday every little girl that dreams of becoming a cowgirl will be able to and not be told that it is a silly dream like she was told by her parents. Among the people that Sissy meets the Chink would have to be one of considerable significance, although he would not say that he "taught" Sissy anything, she learned a lot from him, and he gave the reader a lot to think about too. "Even Cowgirls Get The Blues" was both entertaining and witty, coming as much from the crazy antics of the characters as from the frequent interjections from the author. "Cowgirls" is one of Robbins' best work both in imaginative characters and wild themes. It has the "stuff" to keep the reader interested to the end. Also highly recommend for its humor, insight, and disturbing qualities, would be BARK OF THE DOGWOOD-A Tour of Southern Homes and Gardens.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good, not "Robbins" good Oct. 31 2003
Format:Paperback
When Tom Robbins writes a novel you can be assured of a few things:
1. It will be quirky and full of great imagery and analogies.
2. It will be well-researched.
3. The plot will be tight and come together well.
4. It will be funny.
5. It will be pretty sexy.
This book is all of these, and will not disappoint Robbins fans. As a fan of his, and after reading all of his books, I would place this near the bottom, if not at the bottom, of his books. Other books of Robbins have been profound teeming with ideas and beautifully written. While this book is well-written, it seems many of the ideas Robbins tries to explain don't pan out well and are lost in analogies that don't come of explaining them fully. Many times in the book, Robbins even apologizes for stretching an analogy too far. In "Cowgirls" Robbins wants his readers to embrace the natural beauty of women, and his characters are written well enough that this idea is developed clearly. However, the for me, when Robbins novels are refreshing and thought-provoking, "Cowgirls" was at points tiresome and disappointing only on the level that Robbins had risen himself too with his other novels. It IS a good book, just not "Robbins" good.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Prepare to be Surprised and Amazed July 28 2003
Format:Paperback
Calling "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues" an interesting book wouldn't do Tom Robbins justice. It is strange, unique, surprising, poetic, philosophical, and lots of fun. The star of Robbins' production is Sissy Hankshaw, a woman born with over-sized thumbs. Sissy turns her "deformity" into a tool that gives her live meaning, i.e. through hitchhiking. After living a life of constant motion, she is introduced to Julian Gitche, a man crazy in love with her who wants her to settle down and give up her extraordinary gift of hitchhiking. But she soon finds out that she is not destined to live an ordinary life. The descriptions Robbins uses are quite amazing and original. He also goes into great depth about philosophical issues that one might think are completely irrelevant to the plot of this novel. Sissy is on a quest to find the meaning and purpose of life, and I think that by pondering on different issues Robbins is allowing us to be a part of her quest. He says some fascinating things (e.g. one of his characters, interestingly called "Dr. Robbins," calls in well at work... how brilliant! Someday I should call in well!), and even though I am far from philosophical Robbins has made me re-think some ideas I had about many things. There are some sex scenes in the book, including lesbian ones, which may offend some people. I don't think that they are inappropriate or offensive - I think that they focus more on the joy and freedom of human interaction. While I prefer the plot of "Skinny Legs and All," "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues" is a must-read just for its bizarre descriptions, interesting takes on life, and just for having fun.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Enough analogies to make your head explode June 16 2003
Format:Paperback
Of Robbins' work, I have only read "Skinny Legs and All" and "Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates," in addition to this book, and I must say that this is my least favorite of his books so far. What I like about Robbins is that his plots are unusual, and this is no exception: a girl is born with thumbs the size of cucumbers, and uses them to spend the majority of her life hitchhiking. However, this (I think) is one of his earlier works, and it definitely shows in the style. The writing has no subtlety at all; he has a message, but rather than hint at it with storyline (as usually happens in great literature), or even put things into the mouths of his characters (as Ayn Rand loves to do), he simply writes for pages as a person talking to you.
Sometimes, it seems like he thought of too many clever things to cram into one book, but decided he would cram them in anyway; it can be daunting to get through all of these things to get at what is actually happening in the story. He also likes to say things which run contrary to popular belief and opinion; the problem is that, while he probably does have the sources to back it up, he doesn't print anything like a bibliography. Hell, I'd even like a bibliography so I could read more about the things he introduces, because it's some pretty cool stuff.
As you might expect, there's also lots of sex. It gets pretty racey, on par with most erotica in terms of being explicit, which I feel to be a bit unnecessary.
I feel somehow obligated to say some good things about the book. After all, I had to have *some* reason for giving it 3 stars. Well, the book is usually entertaining to read, and Robbins has some good things to say about love, religion, and "getting back to your roots," providing a very good explanation/defense for the current neo-paganism trend. Really, though, I'd suggest you go read, uh, some other book by him. Like "Skinny Legs and All."
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars WITTY AND SANE
I really loved this book. I think that Tom Robbins is quite a weirdo himself to have written something about the odd and not-so-normal people we normally push away from our... Read more
Published on Aug. 21 2004 by carmellimorgaine
1.0 out of 5 stars silly throwaway entertainment
Maybe my expectations are too high or I am a snob, but I thought this was a truly lousy novel. It is a typical frivolous 70s-style story, posturing as a more genuine 1960s... Read more
Published on May 19 2004 by Robert J. Crawford
4.0 out of 5 stars Not his best, but still pretty great
I love the language! I think it's so sexy! How does he make sentances like that! I want to be loved by someone who talks like that. Read more
Published on Feb. 11 2004 by "birdygirl74"
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, unusual, captivating, and everything else
Tom Robbins is one of my all-time favorite authors. There are three I couldn't live without: David Sedaris, Jackson McCrae, and Robbins. Read more
Published on Feb. 6 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars OFFICIAL TRUTH!!
EVEN COWGIRLS GET THE BLUES IS ABOUT THIS CHICK AND SHE HAS REAL
BIG THUMZ
Published on Jan. 13 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars A Review... a short one...
This book is one of the best books I have read. An avid fan of Kerouac and Hunter S. Thompson, Tom Robbins brings on something else. Read more
Published on Aug. 22 2003 by James R Hanson
5.0 out of 5 stars Woohoo! Makes me want to hitchhike around the globe!
Sissy Hankshaw is something else in this book. The movie does not give this book any justice. Although it is worth checking out also. Read more
Published on July 30 2003 by Amy Newtz
1.0 out of 5 stars hated it
made no sense. stupid plot and story line. don't waste your money if you're looking for anything of value in this authors works, you won't find it if this is indicative.
Published on July 28 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Peaches and Dreams
This is a book that travels well. It moves from rural Nowhere to New York City to the wide open spaces of the Dakotas. Read more
Published on June 10 2003 by Cory Thomas
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