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Even Cowgirls Get the Blues

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  47,661 ratings  ·  1,738 reviews
Starring Sissy Hankshaw--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 dispo ...more
Paperback, 366 pages
Published October 11th 2001 by No Exit Press (first published April 1976)
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Average rating 3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  47,661 ratings  ·  1,738 reviews


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emily cress
Apr 19, 2007 rated it it was ok
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
Apr 08, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: essentials
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
Robert Page
Jul 14, 2007 rated it did not like it
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
...more
Carrie
Nov 16, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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 b
...more
A.K.
Apr 18, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: s-e-x, fantasy
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.
Deez
Apr 01, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
Amber
Dec 27, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: lecherous dweebs who live in their mothers' basements
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 inclinatio
...more
Sarah
Jan 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
"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
Brooke Johnson
Feb 14, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
...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...
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
Michael
Jul 16, 2007 rated it did not like it
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.
Carol Storm
Nov 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I read Tom Robbins' EVEN COWGIRLS GET THE BLUES as a teenager. I loved every word. It was sexy, funny, and full of glamorous scenery and beautiful writing.

But when I read the reviews on Goodreads, I cannot believe there are actually people who find it ugly and offensive. Why? Because it isn't a realistic look at the gay lifestyle as it's "supposed" to be lived? Anyone over 12 who reads the book will know it has NOTHING TO DO with "real" lesbians, any more than STAR WARS is a documentary about t
...more
Julia
Mar 12, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
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
Christine
Oct 22, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Molly Billygoat
Aug 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Even Cowgirls Get the Blues offers a hitherto unexplored form of fantasy which is wild, unpredictable, hilarious and beautiful. It is no surprise that Tom Robbins once again seduces the reader with his ever-intentive ways of expressing life and emotion through words. It is a surprise, however, that this most obscure story about a hitchiker born with abnormally huge thumbs is so deeply compelling. Who could have dreamt up such an idea except for Tom Robbins?

Even Cowgirls Get the Blues
...more
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
Mar 23, 2012 marked it as filmed  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Illiterates
Recommended to Nathan "N.R." by: Illiterates
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.
Colin McKay Miller
Feb 06, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  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 band o ...more
Adriana
Jul 23, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  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 liberatio
...more
Marcie
Jun 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Lena
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.
Have fun reading it for yourself, though. I'm not nearly as clever as Tim Robbins.
Kaethe Douglas
Ah, now I remember why I loved Robbins and why I stopped. My first year of college ended in 1983, and one of my new roommates that summer introduced me to the writing of Tom Robbins (Thank you, Kendra!) Such daring, such freedom: you can do whatever you want and screw The Man. Here was this guy telling me how to do anything I wanted and have fun, have a laugh even. The Vonnegut -loving portion of my brain lit up in recognition. Heady stuff. Happy revolution. This is one of the things we go to co ...more
Brian
Jan 28, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Even Cowgirls Get the Blues” was an interesting reading experience for me. I was not drawn into the novel for the first 100 pages or so, my feelings on the book were ambivalent, but by the time I finished it I really enjoyed it. Don’t get me wrong, the text is not ever really bad, but the vulgarity was more irritating to me than Robbins usually is, and the book does not employ as much unique figurative language as one can expect from Tom Robbins, although there is a ton compared to other writer ...more
Wyn
Jul 31, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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 wi
...more
Book Concierge
Book on CD read by Michael Nouri

From the book jacket: The whooping crane rustlers are girls. Young girls. Cowgirls, as a matter of fact, all “bursting with dimples and hormones”—and the FBI has never seen anything quite like them. Yet their rebellion at the Rubber Rose Ranch is almost overshadowed by the arrival of the legendary Sissy Hankshaw, a white-trash goddess literally born to hitchhike, and the freest female of them all.

My Reactions
The last time (which was also the first time) I read an/>My/>From
...more
Kayanna
May 23, 2013 rated it liked it
I'm giving it three stars because of Tom Robbins' ability to make fantastical and creative (although sometimes rather esoteric) metaphors.

I'm not sure if my biggest problem with the rest of the book is that he's actually an ass about women while thinking he's a feminist OR if it's that the book is such a self-indulgent vehicle for him to spout all of his own philosophies through the "opinions" of his characters. He wrote this book about points he wants to make about life and the univ
...more
Farrah
Feb 01, 2014 rated it did not like it
What a pedantic piece of hippy-dippy drivel. The message of this book may have been appreciated in the 70s, but it has failed to stand the test of literary time. Up to this point, I thought that Hemingway won the award for grossest patriarchal American writer, and...I still do. Robbins is, however, worse, as he does it under the guise of 'female liberation'. It's fucking embarrassing. Oh, and you know who I never really warmed up to? ANY CHARACTER IN THE BOOK. I don't care about your thumbs, pse ...more
Ms.pegasus
Jan 19, 2017 rated it did not like it
Recommended to Ms.pegasus by: selection of local book club
Shelves: fiction
Robbins' paean of cheeky irreverance was published in 1976. There are not so veiled references to Nixon, Gerald Ford, hippy communes, LSD, and the Hare Krishnas. That said, the issues are still familiar: gender inequality, political hypocrisy, repression of non-conformity, to name just a few.

Robbins skewers feminity; extols Feminism. His protagonist, Sissy, has one extraordinary aberration. Her thumbs are huge. Mama frets. How will Sissy find a husband with such an abnormality? Sissy
...more
Taylor
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 passion for hitchhi/>Even
...more
Printable Tire
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.
...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.

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