Switters is a contradiction for all seasons: an anarchist who works for the government, a pacifist who carries a gun, a vegetarian who sops up ham gravy, a cyber whiz who hates computers, a robust bon vivant who can be as squeamish as any fop, a man who, though obsessed with the preservation of innocence, is aching to deflower his high-school-age stepsister (only to become equally enamored of a nun ten years his senior).
And as we dog Switters' strangely elevated heels across four continents, in and out of love and danger, Robbins explores, challenges, mocks, and celebrates virtually every major aspect of our mercurial era. To describe a Tom Robbins plot does not begin to describe a Tom Robbins novel. Moreover, the internationally acclaimed, best-selling author, with his love of language nuance, and surprise, is as opposed to story summations as J.D. Salinger. It is revealing, however, to learn what things Robbins lists as having influenced the writing of Fierce Invalids:
"This book was inspired by an entry from Bruce Chatwin's journal, by a CIA agent I met in Southeast Asia, by the mystery surrounding the lost prophecy of the Virgin of Fatima, by the increasing evidence that the interplay of opposites is the engine that runs the universe, and by the embroidered memories of old Terry and the Pirates comic books."
Tom Robbins is my man. He floats my boat, turns my world upside down, and leaves me speechless. From one chapter to the next, you never know what to expect, and somehow, through all the delirious mishaps and adventures, he manages to bring together all the craziness and ends his novels in the most spectacular way. To make it simple, I'm such a big fan that I almost couldn't bring myself to listen to his latest book
Fierce Invalids Home for Hot Climates. I didn't want to imagine my life without having another new Tom Robbins novel to listen to.
Winner, 2001 Audie Award, Fiction, Unabridged
"Tom Robbins... has again deputized himself to carry the freak flag of irreverence and fleshly indulgence." ( The New York Times Book Review)
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