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Wild Ducks Flying Backward: The Short Writings of Tom Robbins | [Tom Robbins]

Wild Ducks Flying Backward: The Short Writings of Tom Robbins

A generous sampling, collected here for the first time and including works as diverse as scholarly art criticism and some decidedly untypical country music lyrics, Wild Ducks Flying Backward offers a rare sweeping overview of the eclectic sensibility of an American original.
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Publisher's Summary

Known for his meaty seriocomic novels, expansive works that are simultaneously lowbrow and highbrow, Tom Robbins has also published over the years a number of short pieces, predominantly nonfiction. His travel articles, essays, and tributes to actors, musicians, sex kittens, and thinkers have appeared in publications ranging from Esquire to Harper's, from Playboy to The New York Times, High Times, and Life. A generous sampling, collected here for the first time and including works as diverse as scholarly art criticism and some decidedly untypical country music lyrics, Wild Ducks Flying Backward offers a rare sweeping overview of the eclectic sensibility of an American original.

Whether he is rocking with the Doors, depoliticizing Picasso's Guernica, lamenting the angst-ridden state of contemporary literature, or drooling over tomato sandwiches and a species of womanhood he calls "the genius waitress," Robbins's briefer writings often exhibit the same five traits that perhaps best characterize his novels: an imaginative wit, a cheerfully brash disregard for convention, a sweetly nasty eroticism, amystical but keenly observant eye, and an irrepressible love of language.

Embedded in this primarily journalistic compilation are a couple of short stories, a sheaf of largely unpublished poems, and an off-beat assessment of our divided nation. And wherever we open Wild Ducks Flying Backward, we're apt to encounter examples of the intently serious playfulness that percolates from the mind of a self-described "romantic Zen hedonist" and "stray dog in the banquet halls of culture."

©2005 Tom Robbins; (P)2005 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

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  •  
    Christopher 09-12-05
    Christopher 09-12-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    35
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    "I am in love"

    The audio version of Wild Duck's begins not unlike Michael Prichert reading Brian Greene's ?The Fabric of the Cosmos?. That is to say that Robbins voice initially seems ill suited to the task and doesn't quite spark the imagination at the first word. However, and also like the Greene book, after a short while the voice becomes the book. The voice comes to fit perfectly with the length and depth of the words contained therein.

    To me, the content (regardless of narrator) is absolutely first rate. I have only become familiar with Tom Robbins fictions in the pats few years, but found in them shadows of a kindred spirit in the relentless pursuit of liberty (and all the trimmings). This book offers the Robbins fiction admirer a look into the sources of ideas and themes played upon in his many fiction works. It also offers some new and personal views of the author himself.

    Tom if you are reading, thanks for crafting so many pleasant sentence, and thanks for helping me to read, listen to, and therefore crystallize, ideas that have from time to time clanged around my own soul.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marci portland, OR, United States 05-21-13
    Marci portland, OR, United States 05-21-13 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "So disappointing"

    I really, really love Tom Robbins. I've read everything he's written multiple times. This collection is sloppy. It reads like the house keeper was sweeping up and quickly published whatever ended up in the dust pan.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin two rivers, WI, USA 02-14-08
    Kevin two rivers, WI, USA 02-14-08 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Tom Robbins is the Dream of How America Should Be"

    I love this book and I especially love the narration... who could read and convey the nuances and the blindly obvious better than Tom Robbins himself. Tom Robbins is the spirit America never should have lost. Buy it, read it...listen again, learn to think and wonder!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joshua East Maitland, NSW, Australia 02-09-08
    Joshua East Maitland, NSW, Australia 02-09-08
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    "The Sweet Breeze by Tom Robbins Musical Eze"

    Cover your ears folks because Tom is Back and he's not taking any word for granted. Have you ever lived within the heart beat of a poem? Need a free ride to the Sun Set of dreams? Listen to this Audio Book and get your mental wings back!!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Blane 05-29-12
    Blane 05-29-12
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    "Great stories Why no contents, Audible?"
    If you could sum up Wild Ducks Flying Backward in three words, what would they be?

    Great stories but please Audible: attach titles to chapters! Very frustrating to try and navigate a collection of short stories, essays, etc. without a table of contents...


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tej Cupertino, CA, USA 09-05-07
    Tej Cupertino, CA, USA 09-05-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not a novel"

    Not a novel, just a collection of disparate writings.. some are interesting but hard to find.. Audible should really come up with a visual method to index the books by chapter etc.. just like picking a song from an album.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rodney PEORIA, AZ, United States 06-18-12
    Rodney PEORIA, AZ, United States 06-18-12 Member Since 2012

    rodcat6

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Almost had me hooked..."

    This is the third Tom Robbins book I downloaded. I was quite enjoying his stories and LOVED "Fierce Invalids..." but toward the end of this book he lost me by calling the hard-working people who shop at Walmart "scuzballs." Of course, his opinion is his and I have no problem with that but having come from a family of low to low-middle income people, Walmart has been a lifesaver for my family's budgets. Calling the blue-collar folks who shop there to save a bit of their hard earned money "scuzballs" is a step farther than I'm willing to follow him. Too bad, I was looking forward to listening more.

    So long Tom!

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Arlington, MA, USA 02-28-07
    Robert Arlington, MA, USA 02-28-07
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
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    "Disappointed"

    A disappointment compared to "Still life with Woodpecker". More a mishmash of clever word play. Tom's voice is authentic sounding, but hard to listen to.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
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