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Villa Incognito Paperback – 1 Oct 2004

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: No Exit Press (1 Oct. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1842431021
  • ISBN-13: 978-1842431023
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 162,748 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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Review

Ebullient, irreverent, hilarious...ribald fairytale meets Apocalypse Now -- St Louis Post Dispatch

Impossibly imaginative -- Vanity Fair --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 25 Aug. 2005
Format: Paperback
Tom Robbins is the absolute master of the mind tickling metaphor and of rolling up philosophy into the guise of a fun, sexy romp. At least usually. In this book, however, it's as though he has lost patience with being too clever or has forgotten that Buddhist life-flow style which allowed it to roll out as an underlying message. Here you'll get the philosophy spelt out by one of the heroes very directly. It's as if Robbins is leaving a simplified decoder for readers who lacked the sensitivity to find the same messages more subtly layered beneath the apparent action in more deeply satisfying previous works (most magnificently Jitterbug Perfume). It's Robbins for beginners - and given the backward forms of formula religious dullardism sweeping the western world he's probably wise to do this - and maybe open a few eyes for whom the 'real' Robbins is simply a whole quantum beyond their experience.

If, on the other hand you were already in tune with the mind-bendingly brilliant thoughts behind Jitterbug Perfume, this is not going to appeal quite as much.... and you might ask for those beetroots over old Tanuki.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Raymond P. Booth on 2 April 2010
Format: Paperback
They say there is a novelist in all of us..well the one that has always been struggling to get out of me is Tom Robbins...a guy who can write serious novels in an off the wall style that will have you laughing out loud while pondering the meaning of life at the same time.
This is not Robbins' best novel but there is still a great deal to enjoy.
Oh and by the way Robbins wrote my favourite quote of all time....
" It is never too late to have a happy childhood'..(Still Life with Woodpecker)
Treat the child in you to all of Tom Robbins' work... and inspire the adult in you too.
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Once you've read all Tom Robbins' excellent eight novels, you sense he thrives on variety and loves to travel, setting his latest tales in recently-visited locations using a blend of close research, memorable, first-hand experiences and an outrageous, kinky imagination. Vicariously, you feel like a well-seasoned traveller as 'Woodpecker' takes you to Egypt and Hawaii, 'Jitterbug' - Bohemia, New Orleans and Paris, 'Skinny Legs' - Israel & Palestine, 'Fierce Invalids' - South America & Syria, 'Roadside' - the Pacific Northwest, 'Cowgirls' - Native American Badlands of Dakota and 'Half-Asleep' - Africa and NYC. Using this formula, 'Villa Incognito' could be paraphrased as Robbins' Asian Adventure as we witness Bangkok, Laos and its environs through his kaleidoscopic inkwell.

I'm surprised to find lukewarm reviews here; for my money, 'Villa Incognito' has some of Robbins' best humour on display. He hits the ground running with an opening sentence which, if nothing else, provokes scientific curiosity if not wild amusement: 'It has been reported that Tanuki fell from the sky using his scrotum as a parachute.' I enjoy the fact that while Robbins is clearly well-read, he never allows his authorial voice to stagnate into humourless, dry-as-dust pedantry.

But it's not all just for laughs. Through the wisdom of Mars Stubblefield, among others, we are treated to some blissfully profound insights such as: 'in the life of an individual, an aesthetic sensibility is both more authentic and more commendable than a political or religious one.' This reads to me like a warmer, improved version of Nietzsche's deeply intriguing but chilly aphorism from 'The Birth of Tragedy': 'Only as an aesthetic phenomenon are existence and the world justified.' Like Dickie Goldwire, hero of the piece, I want to interject: "What about love?"
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