If you see someone reading a book on the 21 to and from MCTC, there's about an 80% chance it's written by Tom Robbins.
For the last, oh, let's say, hundred and fifty years (it feels that long sometimes), Tom Robbins has been turning out satirical and imaginitive novels by the bushel in a mad attempt to sate an appetite for them that, quite obviously, can't be sated. Even Cowgirls Get the Blues. Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas. Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates. These and a slew of other novels, poems, essays and works of criticism have made Robbins one of the most persistent, if not consistent, voices in American letters during the last twenty years.
"Even Cowgirls Get the Blues," based on the Tom Robbins novel.
Granted, we trade most often in music and easy-target celebrities who's waves have broken on the rocks. But, believe it or not, we were able to scare up a literary opinion on this chap-- Robbins is good, but not too good for his own good. His books, while engaging and entertaining, always seem a little paper thin, the punch of their concepts always pulled at the last minute for the sake of a wry joke. Embedded social commentary, sure-- obscurist references, sure. Good for a laugh, sure. But always lacking the haymaker wallop that we prefer in our "Great American Novelists."
That said, Robbins' fans outnumber his detractors by 4 to 1 here in the Gimme Noise offices. So, while a certain rogue, contrarian, humorless blogger prepares to clean out his desk (cough cough), here's the info on Robbins' reading tonight at the Minneapolis Central Library. We're quite sure you'll see everyone you know there.
Central Library, Pohlad Hall. 7:00 P.M. 300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612.630.0000.