Skinny Legs and All by Tom Robbins (Literature Review)
“Skinny Legs And All” by Tom Robbins is without a doubt one of the best books I have read. This is the story of five inanimate objects: A Conch Shell, a Can O’ Beans, a Painted Stick, a Dirty Sock and a Spoon; which embark on an unlikely adventure that consists of the above mentioned objects heading from America to Jerusalem.
Along, during and through their trip, the objects encounter some humans: Ellen Cherry; an artist and waitress, Boomer Petway; who happens to be Ellen’s husband, Patsy and Verlin; who are Ellen’s parents, Reverend Buddy Walker; Ellen’s uncle, Abu and Spike; Ellen’s employers, Roul Ritz, Ellen’s want to be Latin lover, and Turn Around Norman, the most mysterious character of them all.
The first question that came buzzing to my mind like a stampede of annoying bees was: “Why on earth would I be interested in reading about the adventures of a bunch of inanimate objects?” I felt silly and totally ridiculous by actively being interested and captivated by these objects’ adventures, their thoughts, their arguments, their dilemmas and finally, their fates.
My question was answered shortly after the first few paragraphs of the book, and my feelings of absurdity decreased in a calming and soothing way as my eyes kept following the words in the book. These inanimate objects are interesting –I’m ashamed to admit –a lot more than some people I know. The beauty of this well achieved treatment by the author is that at a certain point one stops seeing these inanimate objects as such, and starts visualizing them as characters, real and round characters… and therefore, the feeling of absurdity rises, however, in a contradictory fashion: making sense.
“Skinny Legs And All” is an absolute delightful addictive roller coaster of great heights and deep thoughts. The paramount debates about religion, politics, art, philosophy, marriage, sex, history, myth and legend are dealt, criticized, judged, analyzed and scrutinized with an over the notch brilliant sense of humour by our dear fellows, the inanimate objects.
Tom Robbins has masterly crafted with his extremely accurate and extensive vocabulary, his impeccable command of language and grammar, his outrageous and out of this world sense of humour, his addictive metaphors, the most sensuous and cathartic dance, lifting seven veils of incredible awareness about the everlasting mysterious human condition. Honestly! Go get a copy and enjoy this terrific ride!
Luz Maria Contreras Johnson
March 7th, 2011