Last week I started reading Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates by Tom Robbins. It got off to a pretty slow start, and after 75 pages I was starting to lose interest. But, since I’ve read six of his other books and enjoyed all of them (some more than others), I figured I would give it the benefit of the doubt…and at least stay with it through the 100 page mark. Luckily, the story picked up right around that point, and I think it will be smooth sailing from here on out. While it is too difficult to describe the plots of any of his novels, including this one, here are a couple of quotes that have stood out so far and kind of give you an idea of what you get when you’re reading Robbins.
“What is it,” Maestra had asked quite rhetorically, “that separates human beings from the so-called lower animals? Well, as I see it, it’s exactly one half-dozen significant things: Humor, Imagination, Eroticism—as opposed to the mindless, instinctive mating of glow worms or raccoons—Spirituality, Rebelliousness, and Aesthetics, an appreciation for beauty for its own sake.”
With that, Switters turned and strode into the rain forest, vanishing almost immediately in a sea of titanic trees, a jumpy mosaic of light and shadow [. . .] And as if layering on yet another dimension, this whole scene seemed scented by syrupy petal pies and bubbling ponds of decaying plant muck, a nose-puzzling mixture of contradictory aromas (floral to fecal) perfectly befitting an environment where the gorgeous and the marvelous repeatedly alternated with the hideous and the dire, where brimming Life and pertinacious Death held hands at the chlorophyll cinema; where Heaven and Hell intermingled as they did at no other place on earth, except, perhaps, in the daily emotions of poor fools in love.