This self-consciousness is a distancing mechanism that serves as a disclaimer to the many philosophical ideas presented in this book. Her thumbs are so impossibly large that she is impaired from performing mundane tasks such as buttoning her dress. But, apparently heeding the call of her own physiological destiny, she develops a love of hitchhiking. After she runs away from her oafish parents at the age of seventeen, she becomes an underground legend, her hitchhiking exploits spoken of throughout the land.
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This self-consciousness is a distancing mechanism that serves as a disclaimer to the many philosophical ideas presented in this book. Her thumbs are so impossibly large that she is impaired from performing mundane tasks such as buttoning her dress.
But, apparently heeding the call of her own physiological destiny, she develops a love of hitchhiking. After she runs away from her oafish parents at the age of seventeen, she becomes an underground legend, her hitchhiking exploits spoken of throughout the land. She also grows into a beautiful woman, and is drafted into occasional modeling work by the Countess, a male homosexual feminine-hygiene tycoon.
The Countess, knowing that Sissy has remained a virgin despite her peregrinations, sets up Sissy with Julian Gitche, a painter of Mohawk Indian extraction who, after marrying her, has little impact on Sissy or the novel.
For Sissy is soon sent to the Rubber Rose Ranch, an obscure holding of the Countess, who wants Sissy to head out there for a photo-shoot for a new hygiene products campaign, as well as to check on things because trouble is a-brewing. The Rubber Rose Ranch begins as a beautifying retreat for women, a place they can rest, be massaged, and otherwise make themselves more enticing, presumably for their next marriage.
Instead, the cranes are transported to a frenzy by witnessing the cosmically important mating of Sissy Hankshaw and Bonanza Jellybean, and apparently get such a good vibe from the liberating lesbian sex, that they decide to abandon their usual migration patterns and stay at the Rubber Rose Ranch.
Although the book reads easily, it is surprising how many pages it takes Robbins to bring his story to a close. The cowgirl revolution is action enough to sustain our interest, hopefully giving us enough momentum to push us through nearly pages of Part IV, in which Sissy tells Dr.
Robbins about her time with The Chink and the philosophical discussion of the Clockworks. The ideas are presented preciously, in a cute, anti-academic manner. Robbins is a writer of extraordinary charms and ability, but is here a little too conscious of his talent. Reading Even Cowgirls Get the Blues is like listening to an older stoner-buddy philosophy-major rapping about the amazing insights he experienced during his last acid trip.
Robbins is chatty, digressive, and eclectic. His greatest gift is for the off-beat description. Indeed, his powers of description are so fertile that he wants to describe the same thing several different ways. This descriptive fecundity, while often delightful, is just as likely to annoy or obfuscate with its cloying cuteness and excessive verbiage.
We keep reading because of the language and the humor. Neither the story nor the characters are particularly compelling. Characters are too often rendered as a sack of striking straits rather than integrated human beings. We are so conscious of Robbins sticking those big thumbs onto Sissy, that we are unmoved when she or Robbins decides they must be surgically removed late the book.
But only one thumb is removed, implying Sissy will keep part of her special soul. The thumbs as a device recall the magic realism of authors like Gabriel Garcia Marquez One Hundred Years of Solitude and Toni Morrison Song of Solomon , who imbued their characters with mythological characteristics without overstretching our credulity.
They wrote new myths, seriously, and yet with humor, and without disclaimers or authorial intrusions. This is a book driven more by ideas than observation and understanding of the human condition.
Too often in Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, Robbins show he has not yet learned the principle lesson for the philosophical novelist: that to convey ideas effectively, the philosophical novel must dramatize ideas rather than proclaim them. The Chink, as a young man, learned about the Clockworks from an eclectic group of American Indians.
Although an elaborate metaphor, the essence of the Clockworks is that they chime the passage of time in a random fashion, sounding as often as a few seconds apart and as little as months apart. This presumably helps its adherents to stay grounded in the now, rather than the sinister segmentation of life effected by Western time with its ubiquitous uniform clocks. Even Cowgirls Get the Blues contains much more charm, wit, and metaphorical invention than many novels. It is also very much a product of its time, a countercultural novel, with strong antecedents in the work of Vonnegut, Pynchon who endorsed this work , Heller, and Salinger.
Quotes from Even Cowgirls Get the Blues
This sentence is made of yak wool. This sentence is made of sunlight and plums. This sentence is made of ice. This sentence is made from the blood of the poet. This sentence was made in Japan.
[PDF] Even Cowgirls Get the Blues Book by Tom Robbins Free Download (366 pages)
Sissy capitalizes on the size of her thumbs by becoming a hitchhiker and subsequently travels to New York. The character becomes a model for The Countess, a male homosexual tycoon of menstrual hygiene products. In her later travels, she encounters, among many others, a sexually open cowgirl named Bonanza Jellybean and an itinerant escapee from a Japanese internment camp happily mislabeled The Chink. The Chink is presented as a hermetic mystic and, at one point writes on a cave wall, "I believe in everything; nothing is sacred.
Even Cowgirls Get the Blues
Back Creek Books