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Still Life with Woodpecker
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Archive: Other Books > [poll ballot] Still life with woodpecker | Tom Robbins | 3.5 stars

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message 1: by Idit (last edited Jan 27, 2020 06:59PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Idit | 1028 comments This is one of the strangest books I've read - and I've recently read Gould's Book of Fish: A Novel in Twelve Fish and The Tin Drum so that says something.

It is much less ambitious than both and less brilliant

At it's best moment - and there are many - it is hilarious, quirky, insightful and a whole lot of fun. At its worst - and there's a bit too much of that to stay 4 or even 5 stars - it's preachy, meandering and down right boring.

The very loose story is a modern day fairy tale - including a princess in exile (who is caring about the environment, in love with Ralph Nader and is tired of sex and relationships), a frog, a tower surrounded with brambles and a crooked-teeth outlaw to play the prince.

Tom Robbins has great imagination and sense of humor and the side stories, the comments... it all creates a really fun story and backstory. It's all set for a very cool adventure.
The part that he fails in - is having a very cool adventure to follow.
Instead, once they meet, fall in love and he gets arrested, things get a bit flat. Pages upon pages of the princess obsession with pyramids that were killing me with boredom and didn't amount to much.

Still - the book is filled with fun ideas, outrageous ones and playfulness, and if you like that sort of book (heavily influenced by LSD but written well after the 60s) that it's sure worth a read


Nicole D. | 1478 comments this is one of my all time favorite books. Probably more instrumental in my love of reading than most books.

I've read all his books, Jitterbug Perfume is my all time favorite book. I've read it at least 4 times.

What he does in each book, though, is reach what I call "the point of pontification" and he goes off on whatever his chosen topic is, and loses people, myself included. But I still love him immensely. Wickedly funny


Idit | 1028 comments This is my first book of his. It was on my living room shelf for 15 years now.
I loved so much of it - until he went on a tangent and lost me a bit
If he would have gone back on topic at the end I would have forgiven or if it would have all been. Really right and the pyramids or redhead theories or even the golden ball wrapped into some cool story line... but he left them all undone
I really wanted to love it more. Highlighted plenty of quotes (mainly from the first half)

Which book would you recommend if his?


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