Cover image for Skinny legs and all
Title:
Skinny legs and all
Author:
Robbins, Tom, 1932-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Bantam Books, 2003.
Physical Description:
422 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
Summary:
"An Arab and a Jew open a restaurant together across the street from the United Nations.... It sounds like the beginning of an ethnic joke, but it's the axis around which spins Tom Robbins's gutsy, fun-loving, and alarmingly provocative novel, in which a bean can philosophizes, a dessert spoon mystifies, a young waitress takes on the New York art world, and a rowdy redneck welder discovers the lost god of Palestine--while the illusions that obscure humanity's view of the true universe fall away, one by one, like Salome's veils. Skinny Legs and All deals, in Robbins's audacious manner, with today's most sensitive issues: race, politics, marriage, art, religion, money, and lust. It weaves lyrically through what some call the "end days" of our planet. Refusing to avert its gaze from the horrors of the apocalypse, it also refuses to let the alleged end of the world spoil its mood. And its mood is defiantly upbeat. In the gloriously inventive Tom Robbins style, here are characters, phrases, stories, and ideas that dance together on the page, wild and sexy, like Salome herself. Or was it Jezebel?"--P. [4] of cover.
General Note:
"Bantam trade pbk. reissue"--T.p. verso.
Language:
English
Electronic Access:
Publisher description http://www.loc.gov/catdir/enhancements/fy0626/2005280217-d.html
ISBN:
9780553377880
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

An Arab and a Jew open a restaurant together across the street from the United Nations...

It sounds like the beginning of an ethnic joke, but it's the axis around which spins Tom Robbins's gutsy, fun-loving, and alarmingly provocative new novel, in which a bean can philosophizes, a dessert spoon mystifies, a young waitress takes on the New York art world, and a rowdy redneck welder discovers the lost god of Palestine--while the illusions that obscure humanity's view of the true universe fall away, one by one, like Salome's veils.

Skinny Legs and All deals, in Robbins's audacious manner, with today's most sensitive issues: race, politics, marriage, art, religion, money, and lust. It weaves lyrically through what some call the "end days of our planet. Refusing to avert its gaze from the horrors of the apocalypse, it also refuses to let the alleged end of the world spoil its mood. And its mood is defiantly upbeat.

In the gloriously inventive Tom Robbins style, here are characters, phrases, stories, and ideas that dance together on the page, wild and sexy, like Salome herself.

Or was it Jezebel?


Author Notes

Tom Robbins is a writer, novelist, editor, and journalist. He was born in Blowing Rock, North Carolina on July 22, 1936. Robbins studied journalism at Washington and Lee for two years and later graduated from the Richmond Professional Institute in 1961. He attended the Graduate School of Far Eastern Studies at the University of Washington.

From 1957 to 1960, Robbins served in the U.S. Air Force stationed in Korea as a meteorologist. During his years in the service he took courses in Japanese culture and aesthetics in Tokyo. After the military, Robbins took a job as a copy editor at the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Robbins later worked as feature editor and art critic at the Seattle Times and part time at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Robbins published the novel, Another Roadside Attraction in 1971. Other books include Even Cowgirls Get the Blues and Still Life With Woodpecker. Even Cowgirls Get the Blues was made into a 1996 film directed by Gus Van Sant. Robbins has also acted in such films as Made in Heaven and Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle. A documentary entitled, Tom Robbins: A Writer in the Rain was made in 1997. In 2014, his title Tibetan Peach Pie: A True Account of an Imaginative Life, made The New York Times Best Seller List.

(Bowker Author Biography) Tom Robbins is a Southerner by birth, Robbins has lived in & around Seattle since 1962.

(Publisher Provided)


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

In a phantasmagorical, politically charged tale you wish would never end, Robbins holds forth--through a variety of ingenious, off-beat mouthpieces--on art (with and without caps), the Middle East, religious fanaticism of many stripes, and the seven veils of self-deception. Salome, skinny legs and all, belly-dances rapturously at Isaac & Ishmael's, a much-molested restaurant located across the street from the U.N., founded by an Arab and a Jew as an example of happy, peaceful and mutually beneficial coexistence. Ellen Cherry Charles, artist and waitress, heir to the most positive legacy of Jezebel, works at the same joint, nursing a broken heart inflicted by Boomer Petway, redneck welder/bemused darling of the New York art scene. Meanwhile, Can o' Beans, Dirty Sock, Spoon, Painted Stick and Conch Shell traverse half the world on a hejira to Jerusalem--where Conch and Painted Stick will resume religious duties in the Third Temple, dedicated (of course) to Astarte. Unless, mind you, Ellen Cherry's boil-encrusted uncle Buddy, a radio evangelist who gets turned on by Tammy Faye Bakker, manages to start WW III first. . . . Robbins's ( Jitterbug Perfume ) lust for laughs is undiminished; this prescription for sanity couldn't be better. 125,000 first printing; first serial to Esquire; BOMC and QPB selections; author tour. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

A painter's struggle with her art, a restaurant opened as an experiment in brotherhood, the journey of several inanimate objects to Jerusalem, a preacher's scheme to hasten Armageddon, and a performance of a legendary dance: these are the diverse elements around which Robbins has built this wild, controversial novel. Ellen Cherry Charles, one of the ``Daughters of the Daily Spe cial'' in Jitterbug Perfume ( LJ 1/85), takes center stage. She has married Boomer Petway and moved to New York, hoping to make it as a painter. Instead, she winds up a waitress at the Isaac and Ishmael, a restaurant co-owned by an Arab and a Jew. Robbins's primary concern is Middle Eastern politics, supplemented along the way with observations on art, religion, sex, and money. Few contemporary novelists mix tomfoolery and philosophy so well. This is Robbins at his best. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 1/90.-- Lawrence Rungren, Bedford Free P.L., Mass. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

It was a bright, defrosted, pussy-willow day at the onset of spring, and the newlyweds were driving cross-country in a large roast turkey. The turkey lay upon its back, as roast turkeys will; submissive, agreeable, volunteering its breast to the carving blade, its roly-poly legs cocked in a stiff but jaunty position, as if it might summon the gumption to spring forward onto its feet, but, of course, it had no feet, which made the suggestion seem both empty and ridiculous, and only added to the turkey's aura of goofy vulnerability. Despite its feetlessness, however, its pathetic podalic privation, this roast turkey-or jumbo facsimile thereof-was moving down the highway at sixty-five miles an hour, traveling faster, farther on its back than many aspiring actresses. The turkey, gleaming in the callow March sunlight, had been a wedding present from the groom to the bride, although the title remained in the groom's name and he was never, in fact, to relinquish ownership. Actually, it was the fashioning of the turkey, the phenomenon of its existence, that was his gift to the bride. More important, it was the manifestation of the turkey, the squealy, swoony surprise of the creation of the turkey, that had precipitated the marriage: the groom, Boomer Petway, had used the turkey to trick the bride, Ellen Cherry Charles, into marrying him. At least, that was what Ellen Cherry was thinking at that moment, less than a week after the wedding, thinking, as she watched the turkey suck the thawing countryside into its windshield and blow it out its rearview mirror, that she'd been tricked. Less than a week after the wedding, that probably was not an excellent indicator of impending decades of marital bliss. Some marriages are made in heaven, Ellen Cherry thought. Mine was made in Hong Kong. By the same people who made those little rubber pork chops they sell in the pet department at K mart. Mockingbirds are the true artists of the bird kingdom. Which is to say, although they're born with a song of their own, an innate riff that happens to be one of the most versatile of all ornithological expressions, mockingbirds aren't content to merely play the hand that is dealt them. Like all artists, they are out to rearrange reality. Innovative, willful, daring, not bound by the rules to which others may blindly adhere, the mockingbird collects snatches of birdsong from this tree and that field, appropriates them, places them in new and unexpected contexts, recreates the world from the world. For example, a mockingbird in South Carolina was heard to blend the songs of thirty-two different kinds of birds into a ten-minute performance, a virtuoso display that served no practical purpose, falling, therefore, into the realm of pure art. And so it was that in the dogwood branches and lilac bushes on the grounds of the Third Baptist Church of Colonial Pines, mockingbirds were producing art, were "making a joyful noise unto the Lord," while inside the building, a Georgian rectangle of powdery brick and prissy white trim, several hundred freshly scrubbed, well-fed human beings concerned themselves not with creation but destruction. Ultimate destruction. In east-central Virginia, where Colonial Pines was located, spring was quicker on its feet than it was out in the Far West, through which Boomer and Ellen Cherry's roast turkey was transporting them ever eastward. Pussy willows had already come and gone in Virginia, and sickly faced dogwood blossoms, like constituted elves, strained to take their places. From underground silos, jonquil bulbs fired round after round of butter-tipped stalks, all sorts of buds were swelling and popping, birds (not just mockingbirds) strung ropes of birdsong from treetop to fence post, bees and other insects were waking to the unfamiliar alarm of their own faint buzz; all around, the warming natural world was in the process of rebirth and renewal, almost Excerpted from Skinny Legs and All by Tom Robbins All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.