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Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas by [Robbins, Tom]
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Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas Kindle Edition

3.7 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews

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Length: 400 pages

99 by Wayne Gretzky 99 by Wayne Gretzky

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Robbins's latest tells of a Seattle commodities broker whose life is abruptly changed by a wild weekend with a handful of eccentrics.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Robbins offers a wild and wacky trip featuring, among other things, a stock market crash and various philosophies about meaning and the origins of cultures. Gwen, an endangered stockbroker, is involved with strait-laced Belford and his born-again monkey. When she is attracted to Larry-who has cancer and is currently between trips to Timbuktu-she must choose among the American dream, the Timbuktu alternate, and something else. The book is a whirlwind of mad incidents, semiprofound observations, and an endless supply of great lines. The author of Skinny Legs and All (LJ 3/1/90) has come up with a very funny book that might incite a bit of thinking as well as laughter.
--Robert H. Donahugh, formerly with Youngstown & Mahoning Cty. P.L., Ohio
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1260 KB
  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0553377876
  • Publisher: Bantam (June 17 2003)
  • Sold by: Random House Canada, Incorp.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FBFNY2
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #352,277 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is classic Tom Robbins in the sense that almost every page has some hilariously humorous play on words, or unreal observation about real events, including a lot of incisive commentary on the subject of Washington's allegedly wooden teeth. (I kept wondering if he got knot holes instead of cavities, and whether he used Terminix for dental services*)

That said, this is not one of his best books by a long shot. It starts slowly, works up to a purple passion and then lands flat on its squatty Buddha-esque rear end. The tortuous tale twists around a feckless female Filipino stock broker, facing the fall of the fickle stock market over the Good Friday weekend, frantically forming far-fetched formulae to foil her forthcoming firing. Her acquaintances include a traditionally built psychic, whose fall-back occupation is watching home movies of the lonely and attention-deficient, a philanthropic Lutheran real estate broker who desperately wants to marry her, and last of all, a born again Barbary ape with a yen for banana popsicles and larceny.

While living through the worst days of her lives, she meets a tattooed ex-broker recently back from Timbuktu, and tracks him to his den of decadence beneath a bowling alley. Through this earth shaking incident, not all of which could be blamed on the rise and fall of the bowling pins, she has an Alice in Wonderland experience involving a distant planet, a toothy Japanese doctor who is said to have found a cure for cancer, an inscrutable Indian and a whole lot of amphibians.

Highly pseudo-philosophic, with unlikeable characters and flimsy plot, the main thing this has going for it is the dry humor of the word play, and all the rain in Seattle can't wash that away.

Amanda Richards

*Not a Tom Robbins quote, but it might have been if I didn't write it first
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Format: Paperback
Spoiler alert -- the book's purpose is to help you understand that " thoughtlessly presumed that evolution was over with, that it had achieved its goals, then petered out. You, like millions of other arrogant chauvinists, had taken it for granted that the human species was the end product of the evolutionary process, its culminating and crowning glory. How could you have held that notion for an instant?" (Quoted from the book.)

I read this in my mid-20s and it (I mean this sincerely) changed the path of my life forever. This book has become an important aspect of the lens through which I perceive new experiences and make choices.
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Format: Paperback
I am wrapped in unfathomable disappointment, having just finished Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas. I don't know whether this is simply the worst novel Tom Robbins has written, or whether I grew up while waiting around for him to write another book. Perhaps the disappointment is not so much with Robbins, but with the realization that I might have really remained so naïve into my 20's as to accept these rambling philosophies at face value without seeing through the tired old agenda of attacking everything about the culture that produced me. It's like brutally exposing all of your own family's flaws without regard to the fact that the family across the street is no more hip and enlightened than your own....or worse, because Robbins does seem to acknowledge that other cultures are just as flawed, which leads him to either idolize fictional peoples from bygone eras or sink into full-blown misanthropy.
It is ironic that a Google search for the title of this novel, with its central theme of "don't buy, get high", returns only websites selling the novel. No enlightened debates about the theme, no additional information about the factoids he cites, no search for truth and purpose. Just book sales.
Nonetheless, I'm not an aging hippie so this is not central to my disappointment. I was with him until the last 15 pages, where I found myself saying out loud, "WHAT is she DOING?" Perhaps he thought the twist (or lack thereof) at the end was a brilliant device for subverting the reader's expectations and adding a skin of cynicism to the entire theme, but I felt cheated, made worse by the second person voice which insinuated insult as well. The reader is set up to believe this is a story about redemption. After all, the whole thing takes place during Easter weekend, what could be more obvious?
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Format: Paperback
This is the fourth Tom Robbins book I've read, and even though I enjoyed it, _Half Asleep In Frog Pajamas_ is my least favorite so far (the best being _Still LIfe With Woodpecker_). One of the things I adore about Robbins is that it's wonderful fun to discover who his characters are going to be: in _Skinny Legs and All_ an anthropomorphised can of beans, dirty sock, and spoon are featured; in _Frog Pajamas_ we get to experience life with a 300 pound psychic, a former jewel thief monkey, and an unscrupulous, materialistic stockbroker after a market crash.
One of the problems I had with this particular novel involved Gwen, the stockbroker. I just couldn't like her. I realize that her obsession with money and material objects was part of Robbins' point, but I just didn't enjoy reading almost 400 pages about someone I could not respect. I also found that as the book got closer to its conclusion, Robbins became more and more preachy (through the voice of Larry, the other main character). I know that it was necessary at that point for the reader to understand the theme of the novel (it happens with his other books as well), but Larry's explanations are pages long and I found myself skimming them.
As with the other Robbins novels I've read, _Half Asleep In Frog Pajamas_ is extremely interesting and creative; the reader never has any idea what he will come up with next. In this case, the reader learns more about amphibians, Sirius A, B, and C, and rectal cancer than she would ever think possible. I still recommend this book, but if you've never read Tom Robbins before, don't start with this one.
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