Wild Ducks Flying Backward by Tom Robbins

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Known for his meaty seriocomic novels–expansive works that are simultaneously lowbrow and highbrow–Tom Robbins has also published over the years a number of short pieces, predominantly nonfiction. His travel articles, essays, and tributes to actors, musicians, sex kittens, and thinkers have appeared in publications ranging from Esquire to Harper’s, from Playboy to the New York Times, High Times, and Life. A generous sampling, collected here for the first time and including works as diverse as scholarly art criticism and some decidedly untypical country-
music lyrics, Wild Ducks Flying Backward offers a rare sweeping overview of the eclectic
sensibility of an American original.

Whether he is rocking with the Doors, depoliticizing Picasso’s Guernica, lamenting the angst-ridden state of contemporary literature, or drooling over tomato sandwiches and a species of womanhood he calls “the genius waitress,” Robbins’s briefer writings often exhibit the same five traits that perhaps best characterize his novels: an imaginative wit, a cheerfully brash disregard for convention, a sweetly nasty eroticism, a
mystical but keenly observant eye, and an irrepressible love of language.

Embedded in this primarily journalistic compilation are a couple of short stories, a sheaf of largely unpublished poems, and an off-beat assessment of our divided nation. And wherever we open Wild Ducks Flying Backward, we’re apt to encounter examples of the intently serious playfulness that percolates from the mind of a self-described “romantic Zen hedonist” and “stray dog in the banquet halls of culture.”

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 29, 2006 by Bantam. 272 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Wild Ducks Flying Backward

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But far too much of Wild Ducks Flying Backward simply feels like a lingual graveyard, where—to use the sort of phrasing Robbins might employ—indiscriminate, random praise and bushel-loads of hit-and-miss metaphors pile up until they smother each other to death, then lie baking in the light of clo...

Aug 31 2005 | Read Full Review of Wild Ducks Flying Backward


But by decocting the humor, inventiveness, and verity from the narrative stronghold Robbins usually welds over his novels, Wild Ducks Flying Backward opens up all sorts of new possibilities about what could appear between the covers of a Tom Robbins book.

Aug 31 2005 | Read Full Review of Wild Ducks Flying Backward

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