Book description

Book info

Author
Title
eBook formatPaperback, (torrent)En
PublisherNo Exit
File size2.9 Mb
GanreFiction
Release date 01.03.2002
ISBN9781842430347
Pages count422
Book rating4.01 (31315 votes)
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I can't think of any other book I've read very recently that left my mind as thoroughly blown as Skinny Legs and All. I'd only read one other Tom Robbins book — Still Life With Woodpecker — so I was prepared for his playfulness, humor, intricate (but goofy) language, and overall trippy feel that all come with just about everything he rights.

But I was not prepared for Skinny Legs. This book is so dense with literary magnificence that you could chew it like you had a whole mouth full of sticky bubble gum. I dog-eared more pages and marked more passages in this book than any other I've ever read by a long shot.

Skinny Legs deals with so many topics, many of which are classical in nature: love, sex, family, art, compassion, work, religion. But it all revolves around a more specific point of the conflicts in the Middle East, primarily between Jews and Arabs. There's lots of history, spirituality, and ridiculousness all spun together — about the Middle East especially but also about everything else surrounding it (both geographically and more abstractly). Were I a teacher of Middle East studies or any subject that dealt with the Judaism/Islam conflict specifically, this book would be required reading if for no other reason than to lighten the tension — but hopefully also to open some minds and spark a more creative and intelligent dialogue built not on dogma but on critical thinking and compassion.

The book says great things about all the topics it touches on, but to the topic of the Middle East specifically it is blazingly relevant and even prophetic in its own right. Even now, with the book being 18 years old, it hasn't lost a lick of power or shown its age. Nothing in the writing itself ever gave me the impression that the book was written any earlier than yesterday.

Anyway, I'm mostly just spitting out tidbits — let me try to formulate something more concrete. It was very, very good. Long and complex, but good. Robbins is a master of language and imagery. He gives the impression of writing with very reckless abandon. It's like he scribbled down every single thing that came to his mind while writing the story, omitting nothing and not even considering apologizing for such craziness. And yet, it works. The madness all comes together without ever seeming structured hardly at all. As if there's not a method to the madness, but that the method IS the madness.

In fact I wish my review of the book could be half as perfectly cohesive as the novel itself managed to be in the end. I could rant and ramble about this fantastic book for hours on end (and probably will to my poor unfortunate friends and acquaintances), but I'll just start wrapping up and say that this one is indeed highly recommended. It's not the quickest read in the world because you have to use your brain, sense of humor, and imagination rather extensively and mostly constantly — but it's very, very worth it.

I'm not normally quite this scatterbrained in my reviewing of a book, but it really was that good!

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