Another Roadside Attraction
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Another Roadside Attraction

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  21,251 ratings  ·  693 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...more
Trade Paperback, 337 pages
Published May 2003 by Bantam (first published 1971)
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Bryon
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
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
Jeremy
I was very underwhelmed by Tom Robbins first published novel. It was foolish of me to think that Tom Robbins the rookie would invoke the same immense feelings as Tom Robbins the wisened and experienced author. Reading this became a chore for me even though there were some hidden gems. It was enough that one character had a phrase (that rarely made sense) for EVERYTHING but then the narrator also had a penchant for doing the same. And I was very tired of "(or was it Africa?)". Cute the first time...more
Nora
"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."
Paloma
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
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
Tracey
Sep 25, 2007 Tracey rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
Meri
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.
Jenn(ifer)
Jan 15, 2008 Jenn(ifer) rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
David
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
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
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
lainiemarie
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
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
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
Sunny in Wonderland
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
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
Susan
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
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
Rich
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
Liz
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
Dawn
There isn't enough time in the day for me to convey just how utterly ridiculous, confusing, and maddening this book is. There are paragraphs that are clever and funny, but those are few and far between. Other than those, this book is filled with pointless story after pointless story that neither progress nor enrich the story. There are so many questions left unanswered, so many answers left unexplained, so many explanations that make no sense. However, the narrator does emphasize again and again...more
Brian Grover
This is the second Robbins book I've re-read in the past year. As with Jitterbug Perfume, I didn't like it as much as I remembered, but I still liked it a lot. He has a tendency to moralize and lecture through the mouths of his characters in the form of several page monologues, and I have less patience for that sort of thing than apparently I used to. I suppose it does help that I don't find his extremely liberal world view objectionable - this is not a book for Republicans.

The real star of the...more
Philip
Usually when I read something really, really, really great I know before I'm even finished that I'll be incapable of conveying how great it is to anyone, or giving it a review that in any way expresses how fantastic it is. I don't usually like to review books that I give 5 stars to because most of the time I just don't know where to begin, and I know my review won't do my feelings, or the book, justice. Those reviews are always more of a mess than usual. I just don't know how to organize my thou...more
Ani Teter
My first and favorite Tom Robbins book. I re-read this and S"Even Cowgirls Get the Blues" every couple of years. His ability to see the beauty and absurdity of day to day life is pure joy to me.
Matt
An early Robbins work that chronicles the adventures of the owners of a roadside museum and how they came across what might well be the mummified body of Christ. Might be my favorite Robbins book.
Chantel Benson
Not my favorite Tom Robbins - though the discourse on the merits or demerits of organized religion is rich. Robbins' language is magical, even if the book dragged in parts.
Bruce
Describing the plot: 'Jesus’ body may never have been resurrected but is lying in a tomb in a hot dog stand/zoo in rural Washington state' – doesn’t even begin to describe the myriad attractions of this rambunctious, all-stops-let-out psychedelic assemblage of a book! Robbins manages to pack more mixed metaphors, crazy similes & laugh-a-minute hijinks onto nearly every page than many more acclaimed authors get in their whole book [So many sentences by themselves are quote-worthy and immortal...more
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Having trouble getting into it 12 107 Mar 20, 2014 11:36AM  
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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.

More about Tom Robbins...
Still Life with Woodpecker Jitterbug Perfume Even Cowgirls Get the Blues Skinny Legs and All Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates

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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.” 228 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.” 129 likes
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