Book Review: Tibetan Peach Pie by Tom Robbins

18498559In Tibetan Peach Pie, Robbins turns that unparalleled literary sensibility inward, weaving together stories of his unconventional life–from his Appalachian childhood to his globe-trotting adventures–told in his unique voice, which combines the sweet and sly, the spiritual and earthy. The grandchild of Baptist preachers, Robbins would become, over the course of half a century, a poet interruptus, a soldier, a meteorologist, a radio DJ, an art-critic-turned-psychedelic-journeyman, a world-famous novelist, and a counterculture hero, leading a life as unlikely, magical, and bizarre as those of his quixotic characters.
Robbins offers intimate snapshots of Appalachia during the Great Depression, the West Coast during the sixties’ psychedelic revolution, international roving before Homeland Security monitored our travels, and New York publishing when it still relied on trees. (synopsis from Goodreads)

Rating: 8.5/10

I don’t believe I have mentioned it on this blog yet, but I love Tom Robbins almost as much as I love Jane Austen. Actually, they are about equal on the list. This is why I immediately bought this book when I saw it on the shelves at Powell’s. Very rarely will I buy brand new hardback editions of books. I will either borrow fro\m the library or wait until it hits paperback, but I wanted this book, nay, needed this book. That is how much I love this author.

As to the book itself, I really enjoyed it. It was the good old Tom Robbins that I know and love, and there were times when it was nearly impossible for me to put this book down. Robbins is known for his strange plots and interesting (albeit strange) characters, and reading about his life put his quirky writing into some perspective.

Reading this book actually made me love him more. I admired his outlook on life and how he has walked through it with his eyes wide open and an up-to-try-anything attitude. This philosophy has taken him to many exotic places and has been the source of some hilarious tales of mischief and learning. As we watch Robbins grow into the man he is today, we get to grow with him, often being introduced to new ways of viewing our lives and also living them.

The only aspect of the book that confused me at first was the fact that he tends to get a little sidetracked. He would be discussing one thing and then suddenly we are somewhere else. However, after a while I began to enjoy this since I didn’t actually notice that it veered off the original topic until we were back on it, and there was always some connection as to why the digression happened in the first place. It actually began to feel like I was having a conversation with Robbins. Like I was listening to him tell his story rather than reading it, which I found enthralling and rather addicting. So, even this little bump in the road became a positive experience.

In the end, I would recommend this to any and all Tom Robbins fans. It was insightful, hilarious, and thought-provoking all at the same time–just like his novels–and was a true joy to read.

Memorable Quotes 

Love is the only game in which we win even when we lose. – Tom Robbins

After making an extreme effort, after pulling out all the stops, one is still unable to score Tibetan peach pie, take it as a signal to relax, grin, pick up a fork, and go for a slice of the apple. – Tom Robbins


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