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Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas

3.72  ·  Rating Details  ·  17,856 Ratings  ·  597 Reviews
When the stock market crashes on the Thursday before Easter, you—an ambitious, although ineffectual and not entirely ethical young broker—are convinced that you’re facing the Weekend from Hell. Before the market reopens on Monday, you’re going to have to scramble and scheme to cover your butt, but there’s no way you can anticipate the baffling disappearance of a 300-pound ...more
Paperback, Trade Paperback, 400 pages
Published December 1995 by Bantam (first published 1994)
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Jul 17, 2008 Matt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reading Tom Robbins is like reading Hunter S. Thompson. Almost everyone seems to go through that phase at some point, and then eventually that phase ends.

I read every Tom Robbins book up to this one; I've yet to read his latest two (or three, or however many there are). Each of them is fantastic in its own way, although there are some consistencies in his style that are fantastic throughout his books -- his completely mind-blowing use of language in the service of crazy descriptions, analogies,
May 09, 2008 Jonathan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: stoned philosophers/people who like to read about vaginas
This was my final attempt to enjoy a Tom Robbins book. I failed.

Unfortunately, it was more of the same from Robbins. Ham-fisted philosophizing, lurid sex, and purple prose. I guess if you were a teenager this would seem very literate and high-minded. Sadly, once you have read actual literature, you realize that this is garbage.

Although Tom tries to be esoteric and witty, it just isn't very good. Yeah, we get it, you know big words. Now try using them constructively instead of peppering your nove
Linda Robinson
Aug 12, 2009 Linda Robinson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Separate from my myriad secret addictions was my very public addiction to Tom Robbins books. When I was diagnosed with cancer in 1996, I called my mother. I said, "I have cancer." She paused briefly and then said, "I know what you need. You need a new Tom Robbins' novel."

I cannot claim conclusively that Tom Robbins' writing can cure cancer, but here I am free since 1997.

That's all I'm saying.

And I got that book signed, too.
Gregory Baird
Apr 24, 2008 Gregory Baird rated it liked it
“Disaster’s always best when it’s on a grand scale.”

… and the scale certainly is grand in Tom Robbins’ rollicking riot of a novel. It opens with the beginning of a disastrous three-day weekend for one Gwendolyn Mati, a lovingly unlikable stockbroker whose ambitions are sky high and whose perceptions seem hopelessly shallow. It is the night before Good Friday and there has been a disastrous plunge in the stock market that has the whole economy screaming disaster, and Gwen finds herself facing t
In case you didn't pick up on it, my "Full Disclosure" shelf is reserved for those books I find embarrassing to post about - for one reason or another. However, if I'm going to make the jump to share what I've read over the past years, I figure I may as well be honest.

This was actually my favorite of the "Tom Robbins" phase. Now, I hate him. It's always the same fucking story with this guy: down-and-out lady meets mystery man who imparts wisdom, solves problems, and then does her - in very expli
Molly Billygoat
Feb 07, 2016 Molly Billygoat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tom Robbins’ Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas is certainly unique; first, because it is written both in the present tense and in second person. This puts the reader squarely in the main character’s shoes and in the moment. It is also unique because of the unexpectedly radical theories it presents.

The main character is Gwen Mati, a young broker with high ambitions living in Seattle, currently experiencing anguish due to the stock market crash. Gwen is persnickety, fastidious, up-tight and eternally em
Jessica Brown
Apr 17, 2010 Jessica Brown rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
[Originally appeared on New Reads and Old Standbys in May 2009:]

I initially bought this book at the urging of a friend of mine who swore up and down that it was the best book he’d read “in forever, it’s sick, seriously, go out and read this now.” Before I go any further, let me point out that he uses the word “sick” as a synonym for “awesome,“ and the word pops up in conversation with him rather frequently. For a moment I honestly believed the book was disgusting, depraved or just plain rude, be
Jan 04, 2016 jeremy rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
simply horrendous. word salad at its most putrid. i began two of his novels, and could bear to finish neither. tom robbins=literary dysentery.

please, sir, i beseech you, nevermore even a single sapling felled for your shlock.
Daniel Clausen
Feb 23, 2015 Daniel Clausen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A terse review.

First book I've read by Tom Robbins.

Thumbs up, but a bit over-written. Main character, not that likeable. Monkey characters fix a lot of problems in fiction. Like the plot. Haven't actually finished the book, but wanted to get the review out of the way. 15 more pages to go. Somehow, I think I know the ending.

Cheers to the coworker who let me borrow this book. Must remember to thank him. Written in 1994 -- reminds me of the 90s. For some reason, this book makes me want to read N
Oct 31, 2008 Connie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-08
I just re-read this book after like 10 years and I loved it so much more. The characters were as I remembered them, but I noticed so many things that I didn't remember were in this book.. like the whole subject of biodiversity and ecological stuff that I probably didn't really notice before..
And I noticed this time around that most of it seems like Terrence McKenna was in the room when it was written.. I really needed a good dose of all that don't fall for the bullshit and it's not what it seems
Kelly Bigley
Dec 26, 2010 Kelly Bigley rated it liked it
The book was interesting in the way it was organized. I like how it was organized almost like a journal of Gwen's weekend of hell. Robbin's use of sarcasm was humorous and enjoyable.
As for the story-line, reading about Q-Jo and Andre were the more interesting parts. I didn't much care about the stock-broker talk though, even though it was such a major part of the book. Much of the talk about astrology and symbolism became lost on me as well. Although it is probably my own fault for not getting
Mircalla64 (free Liu Xiaobo)
"Ci sono molti modi, mia cara, di rendere vittima qualcuno. Il più insidioso è di convincerlo che è una vittima."
Sep 22, 2014 Karen rated it did not like it
Well, I made it to page 84 before giving up on this book. There was just too much about this book I didn't like to attempt to read on further. First off I don't care for the author's writing style whatsoever. The further into the book I read the more annoyed I got with his descriptions. At points it just seemed like words thrown together to use of space.

The idea of reading the book as me being the main character was a neat concept, at least until I found that I could not stand the main charact
John Gorman
To drip into a Tom Robbins novel is like evaluating a Rorschach Test. You see what you see. Robbins is an incredible wordsmith, and often a bit nutty. He is less slapsticky than Pynchon, but is in the same conspiracy-happy weight class. He has a Twain meets Vonnegut sense of humor and is a sharp observer of the homo sapiens species, maybe too observant. He doesn’t pull punches. The story takes place in the mid 90’s (when it was written) just as the stock market has gone belly up. Gwen Mati isn’t ...more
Jul 14, 2015 Sterlingcindysu rated it it was ok
I kinda remember Robbins from the late 1970s and there seemed to be a couple books that were elevated to new classics (Jitterbug Perfume and Even Cowgirls Get the Blues) or perhaps they were on the 1001 books to read before you die list. This cannot be on that list.

The story was fine, but near the end Robbins spends at least 50 pages discussing the theory that aliens in the form of amphibians landed on earth in the past and we are descended from fish. This is in the form of a conversation, not
Mick Dods
Apr 30, 2014 Mick Dods rated it it was amazing
"Future? Oh, I get it. You mean you don't foresee a pot of gold at the end of our juicy rainbow. You mean that our intimacy isn't likely to yield a dividend. You disappoint me, Gwendolyn. I hoped you might have a watt or two more light in your bulb than those poor toads who took on romance as an investment, like waterfront property or municipal bonds. Would you complain because a beautiful sunset doesn't have a future or a shooting star a pay off? And why should romance 'lead anywhere'? Passion ...more
Mar 04, 2014 Mat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A half-filippina wannabe stockmarket hotshot, a born-again macaque (monkey) which belongs to your serious Christian boyfriend, an ex-stockmarket whizz turned burned-out rocker, a tarot reader friend the size of Jabba the Hut who goes missing, the Safe Sex Rapist - these are just some of the unforgettable crazy characters in Tom Robbins's novel Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas.

Written in the mid-90s when Japan's immense real-estate bubble was just beginning to plummet and enter the meltdown stage, and
Aug 02, 2010 Emily rated it it was amazing
Tom Robbins is my favorite author and has been for a long time, but I'm almost ashamed to admit that I hadn't read Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas until now. I think it's because I've not yet read a Robbins book I didn't like so I didn't feel pressured to read it. I'm glad I moved it to the top of my pile though, as the head trip that comprised the story was definitely worth exploring.

Tom Robbins is not an author to read if you need your books to start at point A and end at point Z and progress in a
Aug 31, 2010 Adam rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Yes! Another fantastical literary trip from Tom Robbins!

Seattle stockbroker Gwen Mati feels as though her life is falling apart when all of a sudden the stock market takes a turn for the worse on the Thursday before Easter. To add insult to injury, her psychic friend goes missing just as a strange and inappropriate character is thrown into her life. To top it all off, she's fallen carelessly into an unwanted relationship that has yeilded nothing more than a search for her 'lovers' lost monkey!

Jun 29, 2013 Becca rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 25, 2009 Nana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
i think if i had rated this book a month ago, i would've given it the full 5 stars, stellar review, all the fanfare...because i read it over ten years ago and, at the time, it was the most amazing novel i'd ever read. a friend was reading for the first time and that presented me with a good opportunity for a re-read.

i'm sure it's no secret that i'm crazy for tom robbins. the irreverent, inappropriate, slightly misogynistic white male author doesn't always do it for me--i've made lifelong excepti
George Huxley
Dec 25, 2015 George Huxley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think I liked this book. I really have no idea. I would want someone else to read it and tell me what they thought. Right now I am bewildered, annoyed, and smiley all at the same time. The perspective Robbins uses is really unique to any book I've ever read and so is the rest of the book. weird, but not in a gross or filthy way, unless you're really prudish, funny, and an ending that'll leave you wondering if this book was any good. 5 stars..... maybe.
May 24, 2010 Vida rated it it was ok
Shelves: abandoned
I'm really not a fan of books where it is clear that the author is trying really hard to be clever. Unlike many of those authors, I think Tom Robbins actually succeeds in being clever, but it doesn't motivate me too much. My main problem with this book is the use of the second person. I think it would work if it were a murder mystery or some book where you were swept away by plot and the main character didn't have dominant personality traits. But the main character in this book, you/Gwen, has ev ...more
Oct 30, 2012 Luke rated it it was ok
It was interesting and entertaining overall, but 2 things made me rate it as 'it was ok' versus 'I liked it':
1. I've read his Still Life with Woodpecker, which was about an uptight self-involved girl from Seattle who meets a quirky guy who opens her eyes to the possibility of mystical/unexplainable things while falling in love (complete with quirky descriptions of their physical encounters). This description exactly fits Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas as well.

2. I like oddball stories. But Robbins'
Lyndsay West
Here's an excerpt from my review of this book on my blog. You can check out the rest of the review here:

"This 1994 novel was reminiscent of the other two I’ve read (and reviewed), particularly in his inclusion of lurid sex scenes, which have me rocking the rosacea look on the subway. Other distinctive Robbins signs: Use of women as powerful protagonists...Not-so-subtle social commentary...Exploration of the supernatural through symbolism...

Feb 20, 2016 Brian rated it really liked it
“Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas” is typical Tom Robbins. Funny, twisted, truthful, clever, and all the usual adjectives one associates with his novels.
The protagonist of this text is a female Filipino stockbroker named Gwen Mati. I am always impressed at how well Robbins seems to capture the female perspective. Gwen is a great character and her contradictory impulses spoke to me on a lot of levels.
The novel contains many highlights, but to name just a few…there is a bit about the mites on our beds
Ted L.
Mar 22, 2014 Ted L. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Can you still be a loser if you are a pretty stockbroker with a top o the line Porsche, a closet full of designer clothes, your own high end condo, a fiancé who is one of the most successful real estate agents in the city, and you have an MBA?

The answer is probably yes if the Porsche is 100% financed, the clothes were bought on unpaid credit cards, the fiancé drives you nuts, the stock market has just experienced the largest one day crash since the Great Depression and your personal portfolio, n
Aug 26, 2015 Iliana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My first Tom Robbins' book read, so really (positively) surprised by his way of writing. I guess this is his typical way, which I find quite interesting and intriguing, but a bit exaggerating also. However, this is all about personal taste and does not affect the book itself. As far as the content is concerned, I am impressed by this minimal story that is taking place in such a maximal frame of events and ideas. Although at the end of his theory Mr. Diamond (don't know how his name is written in ...more
Ray Campbell
Oct 21, 2014 Ray Campbell rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2014
This is a very sad moment for me. I love Tom Robbins. I can honestly say that 3 of my top 10 are his. However, this one isn't in my top 100. The story is classic Robbins, the characters are awesome, but he writes in 2nd person - who does that? OK, it's OK as an aside, or as a comedic device, but the whole book is a dialogue at the main character. It is exhausting and cumbersome. I just didn't like it.

So, the book is full of Tom Robbins-esque rants on the nature of reality and his ideas come spar
Feb 05, 2016 Merchant rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful 29 year old stock broker (you) falls in love with a enigmatic Gary Stu.

Larry is the best of the best stock broker in the business that even the elite club is clamoring to get just tiny bit of advice from him. We is charismatic, handsome and waxes philosophical like he just took freshman classes in world religion and philosophy.
Even though you are frequently described as extremely attractive, Larry is the first to ever have gone down on you, and the first to give you an orgasm.

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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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“Passion isn't a path through the woods. Passion is the woods. It's the deepest, wildest part of the forest; the grove where the fairies still dance and obscene old vipers snooze in the boughs. Everybody but the most dried up and dysfunctional is drawn to the grove and enchanted by its mysteries, but then they just can't wait to call in the chain saws and bulldozers and replace it with a family-style restaurant or a new S and L. That's the payoff, I guess. Safety. Security. Certainty. Yes, indeed. Well, remember this, pussy latte: we're not involved in a 'relationship,' you and I, we're involved in a collision. Collisions don't much lend themselves to secure futures...” 128 likes
“But why diminish your soul being run-of-the-mill at something? Mediocrity: now there is ugliness for you. Mediocrity's a hairball coughed up on the Persian carpet of Creation.” 62 likes
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