The last Tom Robbins book I read was Villa Incognito, a rollicking, comical yarn about priests selling heroin and badgers with giant testicles. Funny as all hell in places, highly irreverent, and not a bad story.

Robbins seems to write easily and in a light-hearted way, and I found Villa engaging and fun, but that’s probably because he’s writing with more experience. Jitterbug was published in 1985 you see, would could explain some of the crapness. The 80s produced comparatively little of value.

It’s an interesting book, but Robbins writes incredibly shallow characters what are poorly motivated by anything but shagging, and seems to deliberately avoid things like dramatic tension.

The redeeming feature Robbins seems to bring to writing is an innate ability to provide bizarre yet insightful descriptions of everyday things (e.g. describing the weather in New Orleans as being akin to a obscene phone call). Problematically is that these insights don’t translate into a novel, they kind of string together the bits where his characters aren’t either molesting or fucking one another.

Looking forward to reading my next book, Charles Stross, The Atrocity Archive! As recommended by No Right Turn.

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