Elizabeth's Reviews > Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates

Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates by Tom Robbins
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's review
Aug 26, 2010

really liked it
Read in August, 2010

I'll start off by saying that I think I would have enjoyed this book more if I had read it a couple of years later. My dad recommended the author to me after I finished Cat's Cradle and said "that was crazy." He said "You think Vonnegut is nuts? Try Robbins." Robbins' books should be put in the literary asylum. But this is a really good book, full of nonstop energy and hilarity, but it's definitely adult humor. The main character is a CIA "errand boy" who doesn't like to play by the rules. He prefers sex, drugs, and rock n' roll to patriotism and business rules and hierarchy. He goes on this grand adventure that takes him all the way around the world: Peru, Syria, Vatican City. He finds himself, at different times, in the company of a parrot, an Amazonian shaman, an English anthropologist, his seductively innocent teenage stepsister, his crazy computer-hacking grandmother, and a group of self-named nuns advocating birth control. I'll warn you though, Robbins' writing style is so laden with clever similes and beyond-SAT vocabulary, that it kind of knocks the wind out of you and makes you wonder what the heck just happened. And kind of in a good way. Although I must say that it sort of felt like Robbins was trying to flaunt his brilliance and kind of was just writing in a purposefully clever and confusing way, and as if he were saying "yeah, you know I'm smarter than you and you know that I'm awesome." Underneath it all, he poses some of life's big questions. Though, I couldn't really tell you what they were. This book is half nonsense and insanity and half hilarious brilliance. With a dash of the sick and twisted, made even more so by the jovial manner in which it is delivered. I liked it. I think. I'm still kind of stupefied, but I had fun.
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