Villa Incognito by Tom Robbins

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Imagine that there are American MIAs who chose to remain missing after the Vietnam War.

Imagine that there is a family in which four generations of strong, alluring women have shared a mysterious connection to an outlandish figure from Japanese folklore.

Imagine just those things (don’t even try to imagine the love story) and you’ll have a foretaste of Tom Robbins’s eighth and perhaps most beautifully crafted novel--a work as timeless as myth yet as topical as the latest international threat.

On one level, this is a book about identity, masquerade and disguise--about “the false mustache of the world”--but neither the mists of Laos nor the smog of Bangkok, neither the overcast of Seattle nor the fog of San Francisco, neither the murk of the intelligence community nor the mummery of the circus can obscure the linguistic phosphor that illuminates the pages of Villa Incognito.

A female fan once wrote to Tom Robbins:
“Your books make me think, they make me laugh, they make me horny and they make me aware of the wonder of everything in life.”

Villa Incognito will surely arouse a similar response in many readers, for in its lusty, amusing way it both celebrates existence and challenges our ideas about it.

To say much more about a novel as fresh and surprising as Villa Incognito would run the risk of diluting the sheer fun of reading it. As his dedicated readers worldwide know full well, it’s best to climb aboard the Tom Robbins tilt-a-whirl, kiss preconceptions and sacred cows goodbye and simply enjoy the ride.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Tom Robbins

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Tom Robbins has been called "a vital natural resource" by The Oregonian, "one of the wildest and most entertaining novelists in the world" by the Financial Times of London, and "the most dangerous writer in the world today" by Fernanda Pivano of Italy's Corriere della Sera. A Southerner by birth, Robbins has lived in and around Seattle since 1962.
Published August 30, 2005 by Bantam. 256 pages
Genres: History, War, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Humor & Entertainment, Crime. Fiction
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Unrated Critic Reviews for Villa Incognito

Kirkus Reviews

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Now incognito, thieving Tanuki enters Kyoto—and so begin Candide-like adventures in counter-Zen philosophy: Tanuki’s philosophical duels with Kitsune the fox, his marriage to Miho, and his fathering of daughter Kazu.

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Publishers Weekly

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Also part of the cast is a beautiful young woman who may or may not have Tanuki's blood in her veins (but definitely does have a chrysanthemum seed embedded in the roof of her mouth), and three American MIAs who have chosen to remain in Laos long after the Vietnam War.

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Book Reporter

Upon learning that Mayflower Cabot had three gallstones show up on an ultrasound, Colonel Thomas, who "was suspicious of the gastronomical fortitude of certain white men when confronted with the kind of eats that really counted," tells Cabot, "Three stones is all?

Jan 24 2011 | Read Full Review of Villa Incognito

AV Club

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Villa Incognito never fully develops most of its characters and many of its themes: In particular, the sisters of one of the Vietnam vets crop up repeatedly, but only so Robbins can comment repetitively on their quirks (one's sexually attracted to clowns, the other thinks seasons and the weather ...

Apr 29 2003 | Read Full Review of Villa Incognito

Entertainment Weekly

In Isao Takahata's 1994 film ''Heisei Tanuki Gassen Ponpoko,'' a tanuki uses his scrotum in the same manner in a suicide attack.

May 02 2003 | Read Full Review of Villa Incognito


A romantic interlude, for example, between Stubblefield and a 16-year-old girl beautifully shoots a giant hole in theories of underage sex with this gem following the couple’s brief but tantalizing foreplay: “For them not to have fucked then and there would have required such a reversal of the l...

Jun 19 2003 | Read Full Review of Villa Incognito

"All Carolina folk are crazy for mayonnaise, mayonnaise is as ambrosia to them, the food of their tarheeled gods.

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And after that being said, I really enjoyed Villa Incognito, and expect big things from Mr. Robbins in future ventures and I can only hope the rest of the world will find a place for him, and perhaps, in time, one or perhaps more kind webmaster will even dedicate a fan page to him.

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Lauren Hortum

Lauren Hortum 7 Apr 2015

Has read the book