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Another Roadside Attraction

3.97  ·  Rating Details  ·  25,879 Ratings  ·  788 Reviews
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 h ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 337 pages
Published August 12th 1975 by Ballantine Books (first published 1971)
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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas AdamsWatership Down by Richard AdamsThe Stand by Stephen KingThe Princess Bride by William GoldmanInterview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
Best Books of the Decade: 1970's
267th out of 971 books — 1,046 voters
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Books my parents gave me
11th out of 15 books — 3 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jonathan Ashleigh
I enjoyed parts of this book and it did refrain from long tangents unlike many Tom Robbins books, but there was just too much silliness. Because of the content, I was hoping for a ridiculously cool ending and, because I am an atheist, I felt sort of let down.
Bryon
Mar 20, 2008 Bryon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tom Robbins writes one sentence at a time. I read that in an interview once. He has a general outline or story arc for his books but he starts out by writing the first sentence, and then perfecting it. Once he is totally satisfied, he moves on to the second sentence and then perfects that one... and so on. I'm not sure if it's 100% true but reading his work certainly makes me believe it.

Another Roadside Attraction has always been in my top 5 of all time. Is there a way to mark that? Guess not. O
...more
MJ Nicholls
Sep 03, 2010 MJ Nicholls rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels, merkins
Tom Robbins was recommended to me aeons ago by a friend (now an occasional friend). I confess a little disappointment with Another Roadside Attraction, but the depth and range of ideas explored in the book is amazing.

I loved the ludicrous metaphors, the freewheeling insanity of language, the satirical humour and the intelligently argued discourses on the death of religion.

On a craft level, I felt the plot could have used a huge pair of scissors, and many of the characters suffered from having th
...more
Meri
Jan 14, 2008 Meri rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't a fan of this one. I love Tom Robbins' writing, but I can't stand Amanda, who Robbins idolizes. I just wanted to tell her that condoms are cheap and easily accessible.
Dustin Reade
three stars might be a bit harsh. I really liked this book, and wanted to give it four, but I just couldn't do it.
For you see, I have discovered something terrible: Tom Robbins has almost no re-read value.
Seriously. It is almost nonexistent.
While reading his books for the first time can be an eye-opening, hyper-enjoyable experience, trying to go through them a second time proves taxing, irritating, and slow-going. All of the surprises have been used up. THe joy of language has been dulled. In e
...more
Tracey
Sep 25, 2007 Tracey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: interested in discussions of faith & science
A couple of "flower children" types open a hot dog stand in the Pacific Northwest and correspond with a friend who has inadvertently joined an order of assassin monks. They are joined by Marx Marvelous, a self-proclaimed scientist who believes that Christianity is drawing to a close. And about that mysterious Corpse that shows up at one point....

Written in 1971, aspects of this novel seem awfully dated (drug & counter-culture references abound - plenty of sex, too!), but the underlying philo
...more
Paloma
Feb 16, 2012 Paloma rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is all over the place, simply put. I could probably not tell you what it was about even if I were on the strongest of hallucinogenic drugs that it probably took to write this book. Sorry Tom Robbins, but I personally prefer books in which I can actually understand what’s going on.

This book follows a reckless, sexually loose girl named Amanda and her husband, as they open a roadside stand and meet many eccentric characters along the way as they discover many of life’s lessons. Don’t be
...more
Nora
Apr 07, 2008 Nora rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"There are three mental states that interest me. These are: one, amnesia; two, euphoria; three, ecstasy. Amnesia is not knowing who one is and wanting desperately to find out. Euphoria is not knowing who one is and not caring. Ecstasy is knowing exactly who one is - and still not caring."
Doğukan Şık
Tom Robbins inanılmaz merak ettiğim bir yazardı. Yazdığı ilk kitapla başlayayım dedim ama hayal kırıklığına uğradım. Başlarda ilgi çekici gitse de ilerledikçe sıkılmaya başladım. Çoğu yerde kitaptan koptum bu yüzden ne okuduğumu doğru düzgün anlayadım. Yinede kitapta beğendiğim kısımlar oldu. Öncelikle esprilere deli gibi güldüm. Bana aşırı komik geldiler. Ayrıca yasaları, hayvan haklarını ve birçok konuyu eleştirmiş yazar. Bunlar kurgunun içinde sırıtıyordu ama hoşuma gitti.
Yazarın diğer kitap
...more
David
Jan 28, 2009 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a book! I honestly can’t believe it myself, but this will be my third five-star rated book in a row. A cousin of mine sent me Robbins’ Jitterbug Perfume for Christmas, and then a co-worker advised me to read Another Roadside Attraction, describing Robbins as “C.S. Lewis on mushrooms.” That seemed interesting, so I picked up the book and started reading it. Immediately, it seemed reminiscent of the works of Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea (most notably, The Illuminatus Trilogy). And it t ...more
Shannon
My first Tom Robbins (and his)... This book taught me that he is indeed the literary guru that he and all the coffeehouse cave-dwellers who can't pry their cigs away from their rot stained teeth long enough to save their lives... save 9$!... save my airspace... think he is... and like most egomaniacal freaks who are sure that their spiritual dick is bigger than everyone else's this work is fairly masturbatory-did he not have an editor, a friend, someone to help curtail the gluttony? Did he have ...more
Ms.pegasus
Mar 04, 2016 Ms.pegasus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in the craft of writing
Recommended to Ms.pegasus by: Robert B
Shelves: fiction
Robbins resists convention in this improbable story told through the multiple voices and expository styles of his characters. He opens in the present with a straight-forward description of events. The narrator is a fictional writer oscillating between third person objectivity and the confiding first person plural of “we.” The narrative shifts between past and present scenes, interspersed with biographical notes, journal excerpts, reconstructed conversations, unspoken thoughts, emotions of the ch ...more
Jenn(ifer)
Jan 15, 2008 Jenn(ifer) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: hippies of all ages
this book made me want to make all kinds of meals with mushrooms... no, not the hallucinogenic kind silly
Katherine Furman
The best word for this book is choppy. It is flashes of brilliance surrounded by a multitude of metaphors that are sometimes poignant and touching, but often flat and feel as if they're there for shock value. But being that this is only Tom Robbins' first novel, you can tell how he would grow to become brilliant.
The characters are intriguing and captivating, but there were many, many times when I found myself wishing the author would stop describing their minute nuances and just get on with it a
...more
Rich
Feb 12, 2010 Rich rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Robbins is a mad genius. All of his books are uniquely his; there isn't another author out there mad enough or genius enough to even try to emulate his voice.
I read this many years ago. Most of the details have faded, but he central plot remains clear: some friends discover the body of Christ, thereby disproving the resurrection and making pretty much all of Christianity a lie. What else to do but to set it up in a roadside attraction (like the giant ball of twine, or the two-headed baby) in Wa
...more
Patrick Gibson
The story of how a gypsy princess, a free-spirited giant with a bone through his nose, a drug dealer, and a baboon come to possess the mummified body of Jesus Christ at their small roadside hot dog stand and zoo is nothing short of brilliant. Like other Robbins novels, the storyline often derails into monologues, flashbacks, and especially fables or twisted fairy tales. It's always astonishing how close he can come to skirting dated 60's rhetoric without losing his edginess.
Despite all of its p
...more
Sean Keogh
In my development as a reader I believe that only J.D. Salinger was more important than Tom Robbins. I was given a copy of "Still Life With Woodpecker" for High School graduation and I remember laughing out loud on my bottom bunk during those first hot weeks of college as I read it. I signed up for a "Contemporary American Authors" class simply because I saw his name on the reading list. Of course my silence during the professors first day full throated defense of his decision to only include wh ...more
S J
Apr 27, 2016 S J rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I gave this book an extra star because Tom Robbins is clearly a good writer.

The lack of additional stars is because he's filled most of this book with character who "mansplain" (condescend) constantly - yes, both the men and the women- and Family Guy-esque similes that neither proceed from nor go anywhere (I.e. the sky was like Edgar Allen Poe's pajamas) and he seems to have forgotten a plot or even interesting insight into the human condition. At its nebulous center is a woman who seems to exis
...more
lainiemarie
Jun 21, 2010 lainiemarie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i not quite sure what qualifies as a spoiler in literature of this type. but maybe my review contains a spoiler? though i did see this plot point in a synopsis, so maybe its not a spoiler...

**************
quite good-- amazing for a first work.
my main problem was it lacked some of the cohesiveness seen in his later work leaving the theme underdeveloped.
the subject matter was so intriguing and compelling, i almost wish he had tackled it when he was a little more developed as a writer. i suppose i
...more
Parker East
It is obvious that this is Robbins' first book if you have already read his later efforts. However, I still loved it, perhaps more so in some ways for it's compositional naivete. In his later books the prose turns tight corners with the polished efficiency of an indy driver and the whimsy of a circus clown, but this book has outrage in its mind and whisky on its breath. You can feel Robbins' getting out every jab and gripe he had percolating in his brain after years within the machine, and it's ...more
Adam
May 25, 2009 Adam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, religion
Stylistically this is by far one of the strangest books I've ever read. It seems as though writing Another Roadside Attraction was some sick excercise in metaphorical expression by the author, Tom Robbins.

I picked up the book used based on a recommendation from a booklist I found online, The Essential Man's Library. I had previously read a Robbins piece, Still Life with Woodpecker, at the recommendation or a friend, Ari, but rembered nothing of the book. Thus I figured I'd adventure down a new a
...more
Stoyan Stoyanov
Jan 16, 2010 Stoyan Stoyanov rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I am glad to have discovered another great American writer. This is Tom Robbins' first book and, in the best tradition of the 60s, it is an indictment of authority of any kind, both secular and especially religious. I am sure the book was a lot more startling at the time when it was first published. Our jaded times have seen much more vicious attacks on religion and state power.

Still, what makes this book especially great is that Robbins does not simply attack authority. He also demonstrates vi
...more
Travelling Sunny
Sep 19, 2013 Travelling Sunny rated it liked it
Shelves: covered-in-dust
I liked this more than I thought I would have but less than I think I should have. Review to follow, maybe, someday, but in the meantime, here are some of my notes about which I will feel compelled to expound upon at the proper moment in the future:

I. Analogy that Marx Marvelous' intentions for Amanda would be like Trix Rabbit trying to get the Lucky Charms.
II. The taste of Amanda's twat
A. Plucky Purcell - North Carolina BBQ
B. John Paul Zeller - Sushi
C. Nearly Normal Jimmy - Wilderness
D. Mar
...more
Irene Muller
May 09, 2010 Irene Muller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book makes me want to climb trees and wear scarves around my head and count stars and leave home to make meaningfully self-indulgent music in the desert with people I don't know but trust unconditionally. It also sort of makes me want a pet baboon quite badly.

"Amnesia is not knowing who one is and wanting desperately to find out. Euphoria is not knowing who one is and not caring. Ecstasy is knowing exactly who one is - and still not caring." Robbins makes such broad claims, yet they always
...more
Jason
3.5 stars

"Not what I expected," is how my wife and I both summarized this funny, quirky, once-probably-groundbreaking novel about, well, a hot dog stand in Washington's Skagit Valley and the Second Coming (sort of) of Christ. Robbins is a great stylist, falling in the literary yarrow stalks somewhere between Vonnegut and Pynchon, and his characters engage in many engrossing and substantive-if-stoned philosophical conversations, but because most of the action in the story happens off-screen the p
...more
Susan
Oct 16, 2009 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I used to be a huge Tom Robbins fan when I was younger. As I've grown older, I've kind of come to the conclusion that he really is just kind of a dirty old man. I've had a copy of this for it seems like all of my adult life, it's been boxed up and moved I don't know how many times, but it's probably been over ten years since I've read it last. It was always one of my favorites, and after my disappointment from recent re-visitations of other Robbins classics, I was a little leery of it. This one ...more
Hannah Watts
Feb 21, 2011 Hannah Watts rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my first of many Tom Robbins books. I read it for the first time when I was probably 16 and it completely opened me up to entirely new ways of thinking and over the years I would definitely say Robbins has had a significant influence on my general perspective. The way that he entertains and (perhaps subliminally) teaches while making you uncomfortable at times while extracting intense emotions at others is truly unique and remarkable. Over the course of reading this novel one experience ...more
Can
May 04, 2015 Can rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bu paradoks, anlamın anlamının anahtarı. Birtakım şeylerde anlam -ya da anlam yokluğu- aramak, sınırlı bilince sahip insanlar tarafından oynanan bir oyun. Hayat içerisindeki her şeyin ardında, anlamın ötesinde olan bir süreç var. Dikkatini çekerim, anlamanın ötesinde değil, anlamın ötesinde.
Ohhh. Bana öyle dokununca hala içim bir hoş oluyor. İşte öyle!
Ann Prehn
Sep 04, 2014 Ann Prehn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves:
I read this years ago when it first came out, but I guess I was too stoned to follow the plot. It's not an easy read. I also remember feeling somewhat self-conscious about it, somewhat embarrassed. Now I find it delightful, if a little off the mark - if you're looking for a period piece, this ain't quite it, though I think it was billed as such. It is a joyful romp with language, something I'm looking for more and more in the books I read.

I want prose to be surprising and complex. I'm in rebell
...more
Liz
May 29, 2008 Liz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved it. I would put this as my third favorite TR books, the first being Jitterbug and the second Fierce Invalids. I just loved the Amanda character. Sometimes I have trouble getting into the heads of his female protagonists, and even though she was so "out there," I feel I really got to know and respect Amanda through her conversations and random musings. I didn't fully understand Ziller, but that was less important to me and I think that was part of the point - that his character remains esot ...more
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Thomas Eugene Robbins (born July 22, 1936 in Blowing Rock, North Carolina) is an American author. His novels are complex, often wild stories with strong social undercurrents, a satirical bent, and obscure details. His novel Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (1976) was made into a movie in 1993 directed by Gus Van Sant.

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“You risked your life, but what else have you ever risked? Have you risked disapproval? Have you ever risked economic security? Have you ever risked a belief? I see nothing particularly courageous about risking one's life. So you lose it, you go to your hero's heaven and everything is milk and honey 'til the end of time. Right? You get your reward and suffer no earthly consequences. That's not courage. Real courage is risking something that might force you to rethink your thoughts and suffer change and stretch consciousness. Real courage is risking one's clichés.” 291 likes
“Amnesia is not knowing who one is and wanting desperately to find out. Euphoria is not knowing who one is and not caring. Ecstasy is knowing exactly who one is - and still not caring.” 146 likes
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