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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the mosaic of life, 13 Oct 2002
By 
This review is from: Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates (Paperback)
I bought a second copy of this book so I could go to work underlining and dog-ear-ing the pages in an attempt to recall, for future use, the hundred or more glittering concepts I discovered here.
Our Hero, Switters, is a walking, talking, breathing, lusting, meditating symbol for the tesserae that make up the mosaic of the sort of life we all either embrace or deny in every moment. He is a pacifist CIA agent, a pragmatic mystic, a part-time adventurer and full-time romantic, and though captivated by the idea of innocence and purity, he lusts after his teenaged stepsister and ultimately finds her affection returned in the most delightful manner imaginable.
In one particularly memorable conversation, he tells her, "The more advertising I see, the less I want to buy..." Sounds simple, but taken in context of the moment, it unfolds like a rose, with just as many layers of beauty.
The freedom of parrots, a pyramid-shaped head on a South American shaman, Matisse's Blue Nude revealed, Finnegan's Wake, government intelligence policies, the art of stilt walking, renegade nuns and the price we fear we must pay for enlightenment...all these seemingly disparate concepts are not only brought together as a whole, but seamlessly dovetailed to offer an enchanting glimpse of one individual celebrating who-he-really-is by realising that the only price to pay for joy is letting go of fear.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tom Robbins in top form, 16 Nov 2002
By 
M. Jones (Port Moresby) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates (Paperback)
Tom Robbins in top form. A former CIA agent travels from the US to the Amazon rainforest where he is the subject of a curse that confines him to a wheelchair. Via a sojourn in a Syrian convent with renegade nuns our former agent gets caught up in the history of two religions whilst grappling with his sexuality. All this amidst the literary gymnastics and wit of Robbins prose. Outstanding.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The spy who loved me..., 21 Mar 2007
By 
This review is from: Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates (Paperback)
... or more acurately, the spy whose story I loved... Robbins has many strong points: philosophically broad, theologically open-minded, able to string 300 storylines together... but i think his strongest point is in character sketching. Sissy Hankshaw, Ellen Cherry Charles, Bernard Mickey Wrangle and now Switters, who has replaced ECC as my favourite. As mentioned in the synopsis, he's a mass of contradictions, and extremely entertaining for it. I hope TR decides to break mold and write a sequel. Bond wishes he was this cool.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 6 Oct 2006
This review is from: Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates (Paperback)
I am a relative newcomer to Tom Robbins, but thank the almighty that I came. i picked this book up, started reading it, and about 24 hours later I put it down again, with a bewildered smile on my face, having read the whole thing. As many Robbins fans will know, reading the "whole thing" actually equates to reading everything once but quite a lot of everything for a second and third time as you try to work out exactly how he does it. Magical.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mr Robbins does it again, 10 Sep 2002
By 
Matthew Salvage (London, Engerland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates (Paperback)
Tom Robbins has such a fantastically rich writing style, no metaphor is left unturned, no adjective unexplored.
We follow Switters on an amazing journey across three continents, meeting a multitude of strange and wonderful characters. The plot twists and turns and unfolds magically as each page turns (although apparently, Mr. Robbins never plans his books in advance, it comes straight out of his head and onto the page, making this story even more extraordinary).
I wanted to grab a pen and highlight all the phrases and sentences that made me chuckle but there were so many, I would have coloured in the whole book :o)
Read and enjoy...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 11 Dec 2001
This review is from: Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates (Paperback)
First off, I have to admit - I am not quite finished Fierce Invalids. In fact I am something short of half way through.
But I can say that this book brilliantly written, hilariously funny and entirely engaging read. Switters, the central character is hapless, intelligent, sorted yet slightly twisted, and altogether eccentric. Other characters Maestro, Case, Putney, and undoubtedly the others I have yet to meet are equally abnormal.
Before I even finish this book, I can recommend you purchase Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The weird and wonderful world of Tom Robbins is back, 9 May 2001
This review is from: Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates (Paperback)
Parrots, pyramid shaped heads on South America gurus, Finegan's Wake - they all feature in this latest offering from Tom Robbins. I've been looking forward to this book since reading 'Half asleep in Frog Pyjamas' and if you want to enter an hilarious acid influenced world then this is definitely worth reading. This book is a gem. I would recommend reading 'Even Cowgirls get the Blues' before this one - better still, read all of them!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ...it's a shame his stories have to end !, 21 Jun 2000
By 
Tom Robbins' differing, yet familiar style of insight into religion, life, the universe and everything, is pulled together from another bizarre set of circumstances.
Why are Tom Robbins stories so addictive ?
Tom, keep writing - I only have 'Skinny legs and all' left to read !
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fierce ride, limp ending, 25 Feb 2001
By A Customer
Some years ago, stuck in a village just north of the Kalahari Desert, I wandered into a school library and chanced upon Tom Robbin's 'Jitterbug Perfume'. I devoured this book by candlelight, in my mud hut (temporary dwellings), in no more than three nights - thus began my lusty affection for his books. I have now read all his books, each filled with: dangerous ideas, delicious insights into theology, sexual playfulness, colourful vocabulary, page-turning plots and more. To read Tom Robbins is to enter a world where you are constantly dazzled, charmed and at times dismayed. You drink deep from the fountain of knowledge - bubbling, frothy, heady gulps. You may not agree with his views, indeed, he can be downright outrageous but once hooked forever smitten. Switters is the man at the centre of 'Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates'. He is a CIA operative, or as he refers to himself, 'an errand boy'. He moves between the Amazon, Seattle, the Middle East, and Italy, later, only with the aid of a wheelchair or stilts! He has a fixation on his teenage step-sister which is liquified somewhat by an entanglement with a virgin nun in the Syrian desert. Those who he briefly comes into contact with include: a similarly cursed British anthropologist, a medicine man with a head the shape of a pyramid, a group of art students with whom he races home-made miniature boats in the gutters of a market, and, oh, a gal in a night club who wants him to, er, '...her up the ass' (he doesn't). However much I relish reading Tom Robbins I must, however, air my grudging disappointments with 'Fierce Invalids'. Like the preceding, 'Half Asleep in Frog Pyjamas', the ending was a smidgen abrupt and easy, like he had constructed a fascinating build- up to a joke only to deflate your excitement with a feeble murmur of a punch-line. Also, some of his minor characters are left at a blurry distance - they are interesting and, I thought, merited more exposition. And lastly, the whole affair may have been too convoluted. Nevertheless, if you're a fan you'll forgive him and love all his usual offerings of wit and insight. If you are new to Tom Robbins I urge you to read this immediately, it may be a bumpy ride but at numerous points along the way you will feel 'wowed'.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another amazing book from Tom Robbins, 13 Feb 2002
This review is from: Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates (Paperback)
Tom Robbins again manages to create a beautifully crafted novel. The characters are very creative as usual. The writers knowledge of various religions, philosophies, cultures (even though contradicting between themselves) blends into a unique view. Just a warning if your native language is not English (like me :)); you might have hard time if you don't keep a dictionary handy while reading this book. Tom Robbins's style of playing with the language is really fun but hard to read time to time and needs concentration.
If you enjoy this book, I advise you to read the equally impressive "Jitterbug Perfume".
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Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates
Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates by Tom Robbins (Paperback - 9 April 2001)
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