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Another Roadside Attraction

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  29,258 Ratings  ·  904 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
Trade Paperback, 337 pages
Published May 2003 by Bantam (first published 1971)
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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.
Mar 20, 2008 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
Apr 07, 2008 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."
MJ Nicholls
Aug 30, 2010 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
Jan 15, 2009 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
Jan 14, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
Sep 16, 2007 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
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
Feb 15, 2012 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
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
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
Jul 08, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I think there are probably a lot of men who will love this still.
Jan 15, 2008 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
Mar 04, 2016 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
May 20, 2009 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
Patrick Gibson
Oct 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Mustafa Şahin
May 31, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-literature
Özellikle okurla içli dışlı anlatımı değişik ve güzel, sanırım Tom Robbins'in diğer kitaplarını da okuyacağım.
Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
„Co je posláním umělce?“ chtěla Amanda slyšet od talentovaného nezvaného návštěvníka. „Posláním umělce,“ odvětil Navaho, „je poskytnout druhým to, co jim neposkytuje život.“
A to pro mě dělá pan Robbins. Poskytuje mi hravost, nevázanost, zvláštní pohled na věci, jevy, jednání lidí, jednoduché situace popisuje tak krásně, že se u nich čtenář zastaví, aby si ten jeho jazyk užil, a přitom, jakmile se do knihy začtete, je to prostě jízda.
Jen grafické provedení českého vydání knihy mi dělalo problémy,
Irene Muller
Jan 31, 2010 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
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
Laura Harcourt
Mar 31, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What do you get when you take a teenage hippy, a magician, a hot dog stand, and a mysterious Corpse? ...Probably something involving the law, but in the mind of Tom Robbins this unlikely combination arrives to unleash a Catholicism-crippling truth.

Robbins' first novel is less obscure than his later ones; you won't find barely recognizable metaphors in Another Roadside Attraction, but the drawn-out speeches on religion, truth, and humanity are front and center throughout. The novel switches hapha
Oct 16, 2009 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 20, 2011 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
Ann Prehn
Sep 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 11, 2008 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
Jennifer Ochoa
Robbins is one of those writers I probably should have read in college, when my English Lit friends were raving about him. I probably would have liked him more then, but my tastes have changed. Neo-mystical hoo-ha doesn't charm me like it once did. I also find his portrayal of Amanda disturbing. The male characters seem to worship her as a mother Earth goddess figure, but on closer inspection they only thing they care about is getting the chance to bang her. She's merely a highly objectified din ...more
Jason Gorman
I'm pretty sure I was supposed to like this book more than I actually did. There were some exceptional segments and witty commentary, but I found it difficult to stay engaged.

I think I would rate sections 1-3 a two-star read and sections 4-5 a four star read.

This is interesting, because so often books are great until the end and the conclusion just feels like the author had to find a way to stop (I love you Stephen King, but we all know you hate writing endings and it is evident.)

In this case
This was Tom Robbins' first novel and for the first 50 pages or so it really shows.

But just like with Faulkner's first novel, Soldier's Pay, once you get past the bad start (the first 50 pages or so), Robbins does start to find his 'groove' and the novel gets better and better from thereon.

Tom Robbins' novels are known to be quirky, full of unforgettable characters, some of which you have met their like in real life, in a comic book somewhere, or in a dream or fantasy. Robbins is very seldom du
I really enjoyed parts of this book, and then there were the parts where my eyes just glazed over.

In some ways, it could have been about the current political and social climate, which is a pretty good trick for a book copyrighted in 1971. Or really bad for us that we haven't made much progress or learned to deal with things?

There are times when Robbins is just having fun playing with words and he goes off on tangents with them. While it's fun, I also wanted to get on with the story. It was li
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Having trouble getting into it 12 112 Mar 20, 2014 11:36AM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: Another Roadside Attraction 1 4 Sep 15, 2012 01:46PM  
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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.” 327 likes
“The only authority I respect is the one that causes butterflies to fly south in fall and north in springtime.” 155 likes
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