Day 98 | kidsaregifts
("Meet me incognito, baby. the fact that Tom Robbins is one of them is somehow rather weird, almost disconcerting and definitely liberating. Meet Me in Cognito: That trademark Robbinsian flair and flamboyance is on parade in his new novel. Too Much Robbins. 'Villa Incognito' out-Robbins Tom. Meet me in Cognito, baby, Of course we'll have to color our hair. The best Let's go incognito honey, From Villa Incognito by Tom Robbins.
Be it from the point of view of a lusty spoon or perhaps a lowly cigarette box, altered perspective is something else on which Robbins's particular style of writing thrives. To him, it's what makes the great race so darn interesting. Robbins's latest novel, Villa Incognito continues this tradition, taking an odd groups of characters and throwing them into a situation that on the surface might seem entirely implausible, but when told with Robbins's delicate and deliberate phrasing and exquisite character development, suddenly feels not only believable, but somewhat familiar as well.
Meet me incognito, in cognito we'll have nothing to hide. Tom robbins - Imgur
The book begins where so many of Robbins's tales do -- with the introduction of a character to eventually become the story's centerpiece. In this case, it's Tanuki -- a Japanese badger-like creature with a scrotum like a hot-air balloon, shape-shifting abilities and penchant for sake. Tanuki's affair with a Japanese farm-girl sets in motion this story of philosophy-spewing American MIA soldiers, a famed traveling circus, an Autumn-loving romantic and her clown-obsessed sister, a drug-smuggling priest, and the most death-defying high-wire act you've ever seen.
Such is the way with Tom Robbins.
Nothing is even simple and nothing is ever normal. Robbins's patience and preciseness -- not to mention his unique perspective -- is exactly why the world needs him and his wildly elaborate tales. Robbins's style of writing may have been slightly more prevalent in the '60s, when the likes of Tom Wolfe, Ken Kesey and Kurt Vonnegut were at the top of their respective games, but now, these latter-day great thinkers have been replaced on bookstore shelves by yet another written-in-his-sleep "thriller" from James Patterson.
These authors took and in Wolfe and Vonnegut's cases, still take the issues of the day from political restlessness to ideas of individual freedom within the corporate construct and built engaging stories littered with theories and philosophies on these particular topics.
badz.info: Villa Incognito: A Novel (): Tom Robbins: Books
In Villa, for example, Robbins places his Vietnam War MIAs in a situation seemingly unthinkable -- that of soldiers missing in action who decided to stay lost -- using them to challenge the American government's stance on warfare, the soldier's commitment and the eventual treatment of veterans. And, again, it's all about perspective.
MIA Stubblefield, for example, has this to say about his situation: It's right up front. So what happens when you get shot at? I admit that, just like the adoring hordes who crowd his readings, I am drawn to Tom Robbins by a force I can't fully comprehend.
Robbins manages to wrap surprising slices of truth inside tightly wrought plots.
At the end of a Robbins book, it's easy to feel like one has received a special spiritual care package with that unique Robbins recipe for making us wiser, kinder, and more thoughtful about the big mysteries of life.
It would have been a surprise to find anything but the same gurulike figures spewing whimsical advice, having great sex, and living comfortably off the grid. Despite being very well prepared, I commenced to plunge in, as they say in AA, "doing the same thing expecting different results.
From its very first paragraph Robbins seems to dare the reader to keep reading. The successive few sentences proceed to describe Tanuki's scrotum in four or five too many ways. Does Robbins then reward further page-turning with the luscious prose morsels and exultant witticisms that we Tom Robbins lovers jones for?
It's difficult to be charmed by a talking, bawdy badger. Or more specifically, a tanuki--a real badgerlike animal found mainly in Asia--who loves sake, seduces young women, and is to Japanese mythology what Coyote is to Native Americans, the quintessential hedonistic trickster.
While many a novel suffers the sin of lack of plot, Villa Incognito has more than its fair share. They have taken up producing opium for centers that help the sick die peacefully.