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Another Roadside Attraction [Paperback]

Tom Robbins
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 1990
What if the Second Coming didn’t quite come off as advertised? What if “the Corpse” on display in that funky roadside zoo is really who they say it is—what does that portend for the future f western civilization? And what if a young clairvoyant named Amanda reestablishes the flea circus as popular entertainment and fertility worship as the principal religious form of our high-tech age? Another Roadside Attraction answers those questions and a lot more. It tell us, for example, what the sixties were truly all about, not by reporting on the psychedelic decade but by recreating it, from the inside out. In the process, this stunningly original seriocomic thriller is fully capable of simultaneously eating a literary hot dog and eroding the borders of the mind.

Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group; Reissue edition (April 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553349481
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553349481
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 13.3 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,142,804 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tom Robbins has been called "a vital natural resource" by The Portland Oregonian, "one of the wildest and most entertaining novelists in the world" by the FT, and "the most dangerous writer in the world today" by Fernanda Pivano of Italy's Corriere della Sera. A Southerner by birth, Robbins has lived in and around Seattle since 1962. His novels include Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates, Jitterbug Perfume, Still Life With Woodpecker, Skinny Legs And All and Half Asleep In Frog Pajamas.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourite books 23 July 2004
By A Customer
I first read this book over 20 years ago,when in my early twenties. It turned me into a lifelong Tom Robbins fan, even though some of his later work in my opinion doesn't match up to this little gem of a first novel. I gave my first copy away many years ago and haven't been able to find it again since, I won't make that same mistake once I have a copy of this reprint. To this day, some of the lines in the book are still having a positive effect.
The characters you'll meet within the pages will stay with you long after you finish the story. I fell in love with Amanda, and JP Ziller inspired me to get out in the world and do my own thing. The main joy of T R's writing is brilliant, varied and many metaphors that drip from each page like lovesick tears from a young girls eye, like honey from a psychedelic beehive ( mine not TR's).
So if you want a mad cap story with brilliant characters, some radical philosophy mixed up with sharp and incisive humour, then I strongly suggest that you buy this book and don't give it away.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Despite a slow start owing to its unusual style, Another Roadside Attraction rapidly shapes up to be one of the most relevant and fascinating novels by an American author in the last twenty years. Not much can be said about the story without giving the whole plot away, but it centres around the eventual establishment and short-lived history of a roadside zoo-cum-weenie-stand run by a couple of New Age Travellers who live there with their baby son, their business manager, Marx Marvellous, and a baboon named Mon Cul. It all sounds pretty ridiculous, but great literature has always required a temporary suspension of disbelief since the days of Shakespeare and it's not difficult to comply in this case. Mysticism and sensuality entwine alluringly throughout the intriguing story, which simultaneously slams organised religion - in particular, the Catholic Church - and instead affirms the simple value of living in harmony and peace. Robbins has managed to capture what many "hippies" probably believed in without (of course) trying to write a definitive ideological text, which would be fruitless and dull - the exact antithesis of Another Roadside Attraction. The book has so much to say on matters of spirituality, religion and society that it should probably be on every English literature syllabus going; the only reason it won't appear there is because we remain far too prudish about what our children should be reading, and, it must be said, Robbins isn't (his use of occasional strong language and occasionally graphic sex scenes are a stylistic tendency). This might offend some readers' sensibilities, but I would encourage them to try this great modern masterpiece anyway, and set some of their puritanism aside for the duration of the novel. There are few novels out there that really expand your mind, but this is undisputably one of them. Read it.. and think.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I cannot walk by a bookstore without quickly glancing to see if the next Robbins novel is on the shelf yet. This was his first and mine, too. So often I've had to stop and wonder at how anyone can shape the english language so deftly. Robbins works words the way night replaces day: naturally, lovingly and unashamedly. Another Roadside Attraction and Jitterbug Perfume replace the last trace of prudish blushing about sexuality with the ease and total sense of 'without this I will cease to need to exist' that a bee displays as it participates in the mating of two flowers. Don't miss it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not his best... 17 Jun 2010
This wasn't the first book I read of Tom Robbins, of whom I am a big fan. By the time I got to this, I had already read Fierce Invalids (by far his best in my opinion) and Jitterbug Perfume.

Don't get me wrong the book is definitely worth a read, but....how can I put this....it's a bit self-indulgent. For example, the dialogue between the characters goes on a bit too long, and even when describing the meals that the characters have, the text goes on for ages. Now if you're a Robbins fan, you will accept this as part of his style, and indeed his gift. But to me it just went over the top. Now maybe it was because as his first book, he was letting loose if you like.

I have the utmost respect for Robbins, and the many beautiful and important messages he puts forth in every book he's ever written. I just don't think this was his best. On a positive note to end though, he did get better and better.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is bigger than Carlos Casteneda! 17 May 2000
By A Customer
I went to the States recently and met an amazing guy who introduced me to Tom Robbins. ARTA was my first TR book, and is by no means my last. I have never before come across an author who has captured my attention as dramatically as TR. He has all the answers, and he makes me laugh. If you have any questions about life and what to do with it, read this book. It will send you on a fabulous journey. Thanks Matt, I owe you big time....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A seemingly joyous philosophical ride 18 April 1999
By A Customer
Tom Robbin's first novel hits the essence of a free-for-all ideological society where there are no boundaries in literature. Once you read this novel the poignant, colorful characters will have you screaming for more (run Plucky, run!). Time will pass then you will discover that you have read all of his books and find yourself checking the bookshelf for his next book. Read it! It is a modern literary classsic.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars I re-read it and was puzzled as to why I had ever liked it. so much...
I bought a ciopy of this at the airport on the way to Teach English in Bulgaria and I was impressed. I re-read it and was puzzled as to why I had ever liked it. Read more
Published 8 days ago by J. Nenova
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth a read
Most of this novel takes place in a peculiar zoo in the northwest corner of Washington state.

Much of it is concerned with contrasting the scientific approach to life... Read more
Published on 28 Feb 2012 by ADAM
5.0 out of 5 stars Stellar book
An artist shouldn't be confused with their creation. Frequently the artist at work soars above their mundane self, the emerging creation transcending its creator. Read more
Published on 28 Mar 2005 by R. Altman
5.0 out of 5 stars American Zen on Acid.
This was the first Tom Robbins novel I read, and having since ploughed through the rest of his novels, still love the best. Read more
Published on 10 Aug 2001 by "allavoid"
This is my favorite book of all time. I think that the four main characters are absolutely perfect, the way they are written. You can't get more interesting and original. Read more
Published on 21 April 1999
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring, ridiculous, unnecessary and futile book to read
This book reflects Tom Robbin's psychotic and confused mind by being just that -- psychotic and confusing. Read more
Published on 28 Dec 1998
5.0 out of 5 stars A book I have worn out several copies from rereading.
Tom Robbin's descriptions of the Skagit Valley, the Seattle Public Safety building, and his characters are lavish, pointed, and humourous. Read more
Published on 15 Dec 1998
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