Even Cowgirls Get the Blues
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Even Cowgirls Get the Blues

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  33,654 ratings  ·  1,284 reviews
Starring Sissy Hanshaw--flawlessly beautiful, almost. A small-town girl with big-time dreams and a quirk to match--hitchhiking her way into your heart, your hopes, and your sleeping bags...Featuring Bonanza Jellybean and the smooth-riding cowgirls of Rubber Rose Ranch. Chink, lascivious guru of yams and yang. Julian, Mohawk by birth; asthmatic esthete and husband by dispos...more
Paperback, 365 pages
Published November 1st 2001 by No Exit (first published January 1st 1976)
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emily cress
Apr 19, 2007 emily cress rated it 2 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Everyone- just to prove my point
Tim Robbins is an ASS. He is a creative literary genius and he throws it in your face all throughout this book. You will walk away from this novel not only because it is gross, (or because you have pieces of Tim Robbin's genius on your face), but also because you wont be able to figure out why someone so apparently gifted would write about this trivial crap. It will stump you for days, and on the fifth day you will realize that TR is just what he appears to be...a gifted and obscenely talented A...more
Helena
You know that road trip you've always wanted to take? (Maybe you've taken it already and if so, I am jealous of you.) You know that road trip you're always planning, the one where you drive a beat-up, gorgeous, car full of books and old clothes, and mix tapes and takeout containers and random souveneirs of americana, through america, maybe by yourself or maybe with one or a few of the people you love most in the world? And you take polaroids of yourself and your wear ripped up jeans and drive ba...more
A.K.
Lost a star as one of the morals of the story is "Lesbians, deep down, need dicking." I'm not going to get mad at a lesbian-identified person who falls in love with or wants to have sex with cis men, but Robbins goes on to explain that this is literally what lesbians, lovely and sweet and cute as their affairs are, need. Boo.
Robert Page
Jul 14, 2007 Robert Page rated it 1 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Anyone who wants to get 100 pages in and give up in despair
Bah. Many people won't find this review helpful. I do care about that, but not enough to change my review, because I feel it encompasses my feelings for this book quite fully. Here it is:

I had to choose between continuing to read ECGTB or staring at the back of the airplane seat in front of me.

I chose the back of the seat.

Repeatedly.

I'd read a section, and think to myself "This is shit!" and put it down to stare at the seat in front of me. Then I would think to myself "Come on. You're on a plan...more
Carrie
I found the first two thirds of the book to be engaging, after that I felt like I was reading the term paper of an intro to philosophy student.

Also, even if the first two thirds were engaging, I was often uncomfortable, and not uncomfortable in that "hey, I'm stretching my thoughts beyond their normal boundaries" kind of uncomfortable, just the regular kind of uncomfortable.

Take for example the legend of Sissy's earliest hitchhiking endeavors. Reading about a young girl being molested by strange...more
Sarah
"AMAZING! This book came into my life by chance and I am glad it did. A hilarious and engaging read that also questioned and affirmed pieces of my own life in powerful ways. Apparently this book has been around for a generation, but I think it needs a rebirth - it is still relevant, maybe even moreso now that the "mainstream" has changed.

Some specific points from the novel that I love:
Why are white people always looking for spirituality in other cultures? We have a full, real, historically gro...more
Deez
Okay so overall I did like this book, but I am not giving it more then these two stars. You know why? Because I have a problem with a man that writes about lesbians who then interjects himself sexually into the story at the end and has the lesbians hook up with men. Fuck you Tom Robbins! You took a giant shit in the middle of perfectly good and delicious pie. You ruined it. Otherwise the story would have been awesome. I felt so cheated at the end. Another reason I don't like you is because back...more
Robyn
I think I'm supposed to like this but it just annoyed me. Good narrator though. Life's too short for annoying books. Moving on...
Christine
Oct 22, 2007 Christine rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: To anyone who just read 5 non-fiction p the wold is ending - humans such - books in a row.
Passage From Book:

This sentence is made of lead ( and a sentence of lead gives a reader an entirely different sensation from one made of magnesium). This sentence is made of yak wool. This sentence is made of sunlight and plums. This sentence is made of ice. This sentence is made from the blood of the poet. This sentence was made in Japan. This sentence glows in the dark. This sentence was born with a caul. This sentence has a crush on Norman Mailer. This sentence is a wino and doesn't care who...more
Shelley
I hated this book. Hated it. HATED IT. I can't say that enough, sometimes it feels really good to hate something that deserves to be hated. I think Tom Robbins is a chump. I think it's pretty funny that he attempted to write a novel intended to be taken as liberating to women, but managed to come up with some of the weakest women characters I have ever read about. I hate his voice, and I hate his snarky little interjections. I felt like this was about listening to Tom Robbins' drone on and on ab...more
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
Nov 04, 2012 Nathan "N.R." Gaddis rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Illiterates
Recommended to Nathan "N.R." by: Illiterates
Shelves: filmed
Right. I skipped the book and went straight to the movie because of course I wasn't about to waste no time reading another *book* by Mr Robbins but I did need corroboration of my intense dislike of this nut-job and of course the film was very convincing that I need never bother thinking about reading another of Mr Robbins' books. I think I'd rather read all the sequels to Wicked or something from Hermann Hesse than another Robbins book.
Michael
Gosh, but I hated this book. It felt smarmy. And mind you, I love people like Pynchon et al, but this felt like it thought it was smart but wasn't very, and it hasn't aged well. Made myself finish it because I'd been told I'd love Robbins, but this was my introduction and I never looked back.
Amber
Oct 29, 2009 Amber rated it 2 of 5 stars Recommends it for: lecherous dweebs who live in their mothers' basements
Shelves: read-adult
Now listen, I loved "Jitterbug Perfume". I love Tom Robbins' twisted sense of humour, I love his philosophical meanderings and smatterings of bizarre facts, and I fully expected to love this book. However, "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues" made me want to spit nails.

Why? Because Mr. Robbins pretends he is writing a treatise on female rights, starring lesbians and cowgirls and a hitchhiking philosopheress with a strange but wonderful disfigurement who all resist 1970s society's inclination to turn th...more
Colin McKay Miller
Feb 28, 2010 Colin McKay Miller rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Fans of style over substance
Shelves: abandoned, novels
Tom Robbins is a pure stylist. In Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, it’s almost guaranteed that every few pages there’ll be a description that’s incredibly unique and accurate. Robbins paints a slew of eccentric characters—the main girl, Sissy Hankshaw, who hitchhikes around with giant thumbs; the Countess, a gay tycoon who has his own line of feminine hygiene products; the happily misnomered Chink, who would rather throw rocks at people than give them the enlightenment they think he has to offer; a...more
Brooke Johnson
I hated this book and would give it half a star if I could.

Let me be clear- he is a good writer and knows his way around the words BUT the book reads like this: "I celebrate randomness... Random, random, in your face moralizing, random.... Ah ha, you think I've taken it too far, well, sucks for you because I'm going to take it further. In fact, if you don't enjoy this next tangent it's because you are not as enlightened and intelligent as I am! Random, random, in your face moralizing, random.......more
Jimmy
So embarrassing.
Tominda Adkins
Sep 09, 2013 Tominda Adkins rated it 1 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Your sell-out hippie uncle.
Ha ha ho ho and FUCK THIS BOOK.

On the upside, Even Cowgirls Get The Blues proves that I am not biased toward one of my favorite authors. I adore Tom Robbins, and have hitherto enjoyed four of his books. I rank 'Jitterbug Perfume' and 'Fierce Invalids' among my favorite books of all time. But Cowgirls was, for me, utterly loathsome to read. I had to force myself through every chapter.

Seriously. Its extremely tame philosophical themes feel intended for an older generation. And there is SO. MUCH. O...more
Hortense
Somehow I have to confess I think I would have liked this much better had it been written by a female. Even though it is hard not to react simplistically to the hormonal changes in history. I get the blues every so often and you should see the result. I'll tell you one thing, this kind of steroidal prose it isn't.

I don't respond well to all the explosions points and badly harnessed big boobs; as a cowgirl I'm a centipede, and my skin goes splotchy in the desert sun; cringing, I still have to cro...more
Taylor K.
Oh, Tom Robbins. Tom Robbins, I would like to apologize to you. When I wrote that review of Still Life With Woodpecker, I was a little angry at you, but for reasons beyond your control.

I do still kind of take issue with Tom Robbins for all of the things I mentioned in that review - namely, he could use a good editor. But my editor leanings can stop being so stuffy and be pushed aside.

Even Cowgirls Get The Blues follows one miss Sissy Hankshaw, a woman with extraordinarily large thumbs and a pas...more
Wyn
Aug 17, 2007 Wyn rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Everyone !
My all-time, absolute, favorite book ever. The 'stranded-on-a-desert-island-with-only-one-book' favorite. I can read this one over and over.

Hitch-hikers, lesbians, whooping cranes, feminine hygenine products - it has everything. And written in a lyrical manner that begs to be read out loud. (Trust me - I have done this. Parts of this book are poetry.)

I haven't given away as many copies of this as I have 'Good Omens' because I think it doesn't have as broad an appeal. I wish it did. Really - ever...more
Adriana
Jul 24, 2007 Adriana rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: women one and all
I think this book can be best summarized by quickly scanning the list of reviews; people love it or they loathe it.

Me? I loved it.

I'll admit that I might be biased in favor of this book simply because I have a fairly unusual set of opposable digits myself. You see, first and foremost, this is a story about thumbs. Well, its is a story about thumbs, cowgirls, body odor, literary theory, feminism, epiphanies, dirty old men, the end of time, sex, psychoanalysis and liberation. But it's mostly about...more
Julia
Awful. Just awful.

Though the author does sometimes have a charming way with words, more often than not that way is overshadowed by his by-now-extremely-dated New Age philosophy and "aren't-I-a-fantastic-writer?" ego.

Meanwhile, you're doing the difficult and mind-numbingly unappealing work of attempting to dredge up half a liking for a single one of his cardboard characters (who are presumably meant to be intriguing one-and-all due to some bizarre and randomly-assigned attribute, and who, weird...more
Invidia
Jan 21, 2011 Invidia rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Any lover of the "beat" philosophy, science, and crazy benign beliefs.
Recommended to Invidia by: literature-map.com
I'll say it as well, because it cannot be said enough - Robbins is a genius, and hilariously so, because he evidently enjoys bumming around ingeniously. Getting to the book... it is full of amazing play on words, amazing metaphors, and (what all these nazis of serious literature consider frivolous), magnificent narrative digressions in the first person. His feministic view is just the cherry on the top, but I was disappointed when he ultimately alluded to the male-female relationship as the only...more
Lena Hillbrand
Yeah, yeah, I know. I'm supposed to love this book/author. But mostly, this book read like a frat guy's fantasy about women.

"There's a hot young piece of meat (er...babe) hitchhiking around, at the mercy of all the men who pick her up and want to sexually assualt her. She doesn't want to get busy? It's okay to force her--she likes it! Really, trust me, she does. Rape should be part of every girl's sexual awakening.

Then she might engage in some steamy lesbo sex (I can hear the frat guy chorus of...more
Patrick
It's hard not to compare this disappointing plotless cult-classic with the disappointing plotless cult-classic I read last year around the same time, A Confederacy of Dunces. Even Cowgirls Get the Blues was by far funnier, but it took me longer to read- I started this book in July, and had to take many sabbaticals from it since then.

This book just became too full of smug hippie bullshit after awhile. It became preachy and obnoxious, and the sleazy 70's dude feminism stuff got grody. While I stil...more
Marcie
This is some of the best writing I've read on the sentence/paragraph level. I wasn't particularly concerned with where things were going plotwise at first because it was such a pleasure to read Robbins's prose, but I eventually found myself drawn into the story too.

This book is silly, clever, thoughtful, endearing, sweet, dirty, poignant, thought-provoking, funny, pithy, punny and charming, etc. The feminism made me proud to be a woman without turning me against men. Robbins is critical and phi...more
Steve
Mr. Robbins is clever. But he has GOT to stop telling us about just how clever he is every other sentence. He must be terribly annoying at parties. This is the only book by him that I've read in whole, and I really enjoyed certain aspects of it. I don't want to read anything else by him.

It’s like that Eagles’ Greatest Hits album you have. You enjoy it, but you’ll never need any other record from the Eagles.
David
This is a story about thumbs. Not just any thumbs, but two humongous thumbs that are attached to professional hitchhiker Sissy Hankshaw, the world’s freest woman. At a very young age Sissy leaves home because of her physical deformity and a strong desire to hitchhike. She never has a destination because hitchhiking is her destination. Sissy eventually finds a husband to settle down with through a mutual friend, although she misses the movement and freedom of her previous life. It is at this poin...more
Taylor
My first Tom Robbins book and my new favorite book ever.

The thing is I can't really describe why. It's the way he writes, what he writes about, his approach on these subjects, and the things he relates them to and it is everything! It's crazy! It's philosophical. It's lovely, it's mad. It makes no sense yet explains part of life... I don't even know what to say!

He wrote about a lot of things that I'm coming to be aware of in life and coming to understand. Had I not learned so much in India I s...more
Sara
I'm not sure if Mr. Robbins intentionally set out to ruffle female readers' feathers, but parts of this book made me brandish my carefully concealed feminism bandoleer in outrage. Women readers! Come submerge yourself in Mr. Robbin's perverse existential fantasyland: Picture beautiful female models and horny cowgirls (routinely sans clothing) eagerly engaging in explicit acts with men, woman, and...pretty much anyone. But have no fear, these sexpots don't suffer any ill moral sentiments or consc...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.

More about Tom Robbins...
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