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Still Life with Woodpecker by Tom Robbins
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Still Life with Woodpecker (original 1980; edition 1990)

by Tom Robbins

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,980601,341 (3.92)186
Member:msmullins
Title:Still Life with Woodpecker
Authors:Tom Robbins
Info:Bantam (1990), Paperback, 288 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:American Literature, Contemporary Fiction, Humor

Work details

Still Life with Woodpecker by Tom Robbins (1980)

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» See also 186 mentions

English (58)  Italian (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (60)
Showing 1-5 of 58 (next | show all)
One of my first books that opened my eyes up to what could be printed... and gotten away with. Tom Robbins quickly became one of my favorite authors. ( )
  ksmedberg | Aug 15, 2018 |
Books starts off clever enough with "Who knows how to make love stay?"

I read it to the end because it was recommended as both hysterically funny and a classic of some unknown genre.

Sounds promising enough, then came the ungainly "peach fish," the goofy Argons, the awful lust scenes proceeded
by Bernard's tedious, tiresome, and juvenile backstories, killing the dog (got me to skim in 10 minutes to the end),
unfunny plot, dialogue, and characters, along with some puns.

Worst of all was the direct mention of Bernard's bombing of Sterling Hall at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.
The spin-off fictionalized recounting totally trivialized and insulted the memory of Robert Fassnacht,
the man who was actually killed. ( )
1 vote m.belljackson | Nov 4, 2017 |
The trouble with many books in the humour category is that they shout at you: "Hey, you, read me, I AM FUNNY!" This is very annoying and exhausting. Same with this one of Tom Robbins, which has the impression of a cartoon without the images. If you are fond of cartoons, it may just be your cup of tea. Mine it ain't. ( )
  stef7sa | Jan 5, 2017 |
Can't even guess how many copies of this book I have bought. ( )
  euroclewis | Jun 8, 2016 |
almost indescribable. there is a romance, but it isn't a romantic story. there is the rise and fall of a monarchy, but it isn't a political story. there is a lot of social commentary, but it isn't an anthropological story.

the author has a fascinating way with words, and i will gladly search out his other works. i picked up quite a few great quotes, the favorite being:
those who shun the whimsy of things will experience rigor mortis before death"" ( )
  Darth-Heather | May 31, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 58 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (21 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tom Robbinsprimary authorall editionscalculated
Franconeri, FrancescoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
LePere, LeslieIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
You don't need to leave your room.
Remain sitting at your table and listen.
Don't even listen, simply wait.
Don't even wait.
Be quite still and solitary.
The world will freely offer itself to you.
To be unmasked, it has no choice.
It will roll in ecstasy at your feet.
—Franz Kafka
Here should be a picture of my favorite apple.
It is also a nude & bottle.
It is also a landscape.
There are no such things as still lifes.
—Erica Jong
Dedication
To the memory of Keith Wyman and Betty Bowen: if there is a place where people go after death, its proprietors have got their hands full with those two To everybody whose letters I haven't answered. And to G.R., special delivery.
First words
In the last quarter of the twentieth century, at a time when Western civilization was declining too rapidly for comfort and yet too slowly to be very exciting, much of the world sat on the edge of an increasingly expensive theater seat, waiting—with various combinations of dread, hope, and ennui—for something momentous to occur.
Quotations
"One must agree that the last quarter of the twentieth century was a severe period for lovers. It was a time when women openly resented men, a time when men felt betrayed by women, a time when romantic relationships took on the character of ice in spring stranding many little children on jagged and inhospitable floes."
"Regardless of what else the press might have contributed to our culture, regardless of whether it is our first defense against totalitarianism or a wimpy force that undermines authentic experiences by categorizing them according to faddish popular interest, the press has give us big fat Sunday papers to ease our weekly mental menstrual bloat."
"If beneath the great issues and all-encompassing questions (as underplayed as they were in the last quarter of the twentieth century) a more intimate struggle rages, a struggle whose real goal was romantic fulfillment, maybe it was courageous and honorable to attempt to transcend that struggle, to insist on something more than that.
Maybe."
"What is more likely is that technology will bypass artists, that a day is coming when our novels will be written by computers, the same devices that will paint our murals and compose our tunes."
"Who does have a love life anymore? These days people have sex lives, not love lives... I don't have a love life because I've never met a man who knew how to have a love life. Maybe I don't know how, either."
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary
Red-headed outlaw,
armed with lots of dynamite,
blows stuff up for love.

(Carnophile)

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553348973, Paperback)

Still Life with Woodpecker is a sort of a love story that takes place inside a pack of Camel cigarettes. It reveals the purpose of the moon, explains the difference between criminals and outlaws, examines the conflict between social activism and romantic individualism, and paints a portrait of contemporary society that includes powerful Arabs, exiled royalty, and pregnant cheerleaders. It also deals with the problem of redheads.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:24 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

A love story that takes place inside a pack of cigarettes reveals the moon's purpose, differentiates between outlaws and criminals, and presents portraits of powerful Arabs, exiled royalty, and pregnant cheerleaders.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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