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PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2005 9:32 pm 
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Endora wrote:
It's about how to value experience more than innocence, and how to live without faith until you can take a final leap for someone you really love.


What an incredible response! :cool: I think you put the entire message in one small sentence. I am totally impressed!

I have actually tried to explain what I was reading to a couple of people and it is impossible. I tried to talk about Switters and who he was and what he was doing in South America and the complications of the curse leading him to a convent in Syria ..... and I lose them! Talking about it usually ends up with the writing style for me, all those wonderfully complicated sentences with the big words and the lovely descriptions. I enjoyed that part so much!

I have purchased Another Road Side Attraction to read some time down the road. Meanwhile, I am a little overwhelmed by the size of Shantaram and I haven't read Charlie yet, either. I have lots of ONBC homework to do!

Add my thanks and admiration to Liz and DITHOT and all of you who participate. Abigail, I hope you will find time to join us in the future and to all the new folks who joined in the discussion, please come back.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2005 9:53 pm 
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To me this book comes down to Robbins expressing a lot of very loose ended philosophical thoughts (through Switters) about the way he views the world. In the end, he could not pull the thoughts together in any meaningful way. The ideas are great things to ponder but not very satisfying to me as a reader.

To me, there was too much esoteric and elitist dialogue. If such dialog served to keep my interest in the story.. then great. However, if no purpose for it exists except as an exercise in "verbal breakdancing", then I want to check out. It was so excessive in places, that it interfered with the flow of the story.

Parts of the book were absurdly hilarious. But, overall my final thought on this book is ... send in the clowns...not my favorite.

Great job Liz and DITHOT. Very tough and thought-provoking questions on this one.



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2005 11:25 pm 
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nebraska wrote:
Abigail, I hope you will find time to join us in the future and to all the new folks who joined in the discussion, please come back.


I second that! :hope:



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The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 4:50 am 
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just to say thanks to liz and DITHOT for the ONBC
i also havent had too much time to input into the questions but i have loved reading the contributions
i had to give my book back to the library cause we can only take them out for two weeks at a time
not long enough really
it was a really densely written book (that probably doesnt come out right) buti meant it was so intense with so much to take in and so many layers to it
sometimes when i check in late at night i have trouble getting my head around the questions let alone thinking of a reply!!!!!

i loved it too
yep people of the wurl relax is a pretty neat thing to take away with that sort of up there with Johnny's :censored: it as a good phrase to employ
is it charlie and the cf next?
i might buy me a copy
that movie scared me!!!!! the original i mean
dont know when it will come to NZ
anyway thanks :lilyrose:



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"One time he, (Marlon Brando), says to me: 'How many films do you do a year?' I said, 'I dunno. Two or three.' He says, 'You've got to watch yourself. We've only got so many faces in our pocket.' "
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 9:09 am 
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DITHOT and others have said that there are number of themes running amok in FIHFC. Some were troubled by the ending--that it didn’t tie it all together into a central point. Then today I FINALLY got my copy of Rolling Stone, and it all became clear. This is the theme:

Infinitim Nihil

:capnjack:

Seinfeld was about absolutely nothing, too. But it sure was funny, wasn’t it?



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You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 9:15 am 
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Liz wrote:
DITHOT and others have said that there are number of themes running amok in FIHFC. Some were troubled by the ending--that it didn’t tie it all together into a central point. Then today I FINALLY got my copy of Rolling Stone, and it all became clear. This is the theme:

Infinitim Nihil

:capnjack:

Seinfeld was about absolutely nothing, too. But it sure was funny, wasn’t it?



:rotflmao:



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 9:45 am 
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Quote:
trulymadlydepply wrote: is it charlie and the cf next?
i might buy me a copy
that movie scared me!!!!! the original i mean


Yes! Charlie is up next. Grab a copy and join us. :disco: I read the book for the first time in just a few hours. The original movie freaked me out completely too! :yikes: I can't wait to see what Tim and Johnny come up with! :omg:



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Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -
Wow! What a ride!
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 9:51 am 
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Larkwoodgirl wrote:
To me this book comes down to Robbins expressing a lot of very loose ended philosophical thoughts (through Switters) about the way he views the world.


I agree with that larkwoodgirl. I shouldnt give spoilers here but in Shantaram, Greg, gives a little insight to what he believes in. Wont say no more but it definately stands out in the story. Not in a bad way.



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Everything is always okay in the end,
if it's not, then it's not the end.

Today is a gift....Have Fun!
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 1:04 pm 
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Can I just ask if anyone has read Villa Incognita, and what they think? Is it worth it? I ask because of Mort's bookshelf, shown below.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v296/endoraohj/Secret%20Window/books.jpg



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Work hard, learn well, and make peace with the fact that you'll never be as cool as Johnny Depp. GQ.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 1:06 pm 
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Endora wrote:
Can I just ask if anyone has read Villa Incognita, and what they think? Is it worth it? I ask because of Mort's bookshelf, shown below.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v296/endoraohj/Secret%20Window/books.jpg


I haven't read it yet. It's gotten mixed reviews here at the Zone, but my sisters liked it.



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 1:09 pm 
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lumineuse wrote:
Endora wrote:
Can I just ask if anyone has read Villa Incognita, and what they think? Is it worth it? I ask because of Mort's bookshelf, shown below.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v296/endoraohj/Secret%20Window/books.jpg


I haven't read it yet. It's gotten mixed reviews here at the Zone, but my sisters liked it.


Thank you. For some reason it has a 2 or3 week wait from Amazon, so it isn't readily available here.



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Work hard, learn well, and make peace with the fact that you'll never be as cool as Johnny Depp. GQ.

Solace in the flood
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 1:21 pm 
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Endora wrote:
Can I just ask if anyone has read Villa Incognita, and what they think? Is it worth it? I ask because of Mort's bookshelf, shown below.

I read it Endora....I thought it was very funny. It is quite different though and hard to figure out just where the story was headed. I'd give it a try. Let me know what you think.



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"So we shall let the reader answer this question for himself, who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on the shore and merely existed." ~HST~
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 1:26 pm 
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Quote:
Can I just ask if anyone has read Villa Incognita, and what they think? Is it worth it? I ask because of Mort's bookshelf, shown below.


Hi Endora,

I just read that book and it is NOT one of Robbin's best in my opinion. He has some great passages and descriptions in there as usual--he's amazingly original with metaphor--but the book lacks depth in character and the ending is way too weak. I had a hard time getting through it, and didn't grow to care about the people in this novel like I usually do. Below are some other reviews. One has an interesting perspective on how she thinks 9/11 may have effected the novel.

Rather Disappointing
Rating: 3
Well, I'd just read "Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates" after many years spent with no Tom Robbins books at all. I suppose I had basicallly forgotten about the man, although when I consider it now "Still Life" and "Skinny Legs & All" were mightily enjoyable reads. Anyway, I moved to Seattle and that, for obvious reasons, fueled a reinterest/rediscovery of Robbins. "Fierce Invalids" is certainly one of the best books I've read this year. On the other hand, soon after (perhaps too soon after) "Invalids", my curiousity piqued, I purchased "Villa Incognito". Yesterday, I finished the book. Today, I feel compelled to review it. I did like reading of the tanukis, and the first half or so of the novel was quite engaging. There were two main problems, I felt. A tiny smattering of the characters held some level of interest for me (namely, Madame Ko), but, all in all, I found the book to lack character development or even character definition. The other problem was the ending, which happened about 300 pages immature. I have a theory about this. It seems that Robbins was in the process of writing "Villa Incognito" when the 9/11 attacks happened. I think this affected his writing, because on September 11th (in the book) everything basically falls apart. We lose the plot, and the characters get lost too. Some die, some run away, but very little is actually brought to a point of closure. So I believe that on 9/11 he simply gave up on this book. That he just needed to wrap it up and go on to something else, a post-9/11 novel, at "Villa Incognito"'s (and the reader's) expense. Unfortunate timing, as well, because I do think the novel had great potential. And so I say: Rather Disappointing.

Even sub-par Robbins makes me laugh
Rating: 3
Modern readers are not used to intrusive narrators, a device that hearkens back to the earliest forms of the novel--Tom Jones, Tristram Shandy, for example. I think that's one hurdle for many readers of Villa Incognito. Another hurdle, for me, was the slow start--the Tanuki/tanuki prologue was way too much foregrounding. Satire can't afford to take that much time to develop. Once Robbins moves into the MIA/Madame Ko story, the book begins to move. Another weakness, I think, is that the characters are not as complete as in other Robbins works. I think this is because almost everyone of them is just another voice for the already intrusive narrator. I would have preferred more plot in which his characters could have devloped on their own, and less intrusive narrator. Particularly because there really doesn't seem to be the need for him, it's not as if Robbins uses his omniscience for time-shifting--the novel is pretty linear. Notwithstanding these considerable flaws, Robbins is still a master of the humorous simile and the absurd situation. He uses coincidence with the aplomb of Charles Dickens and is still capable of sharp questions and observations that puncture convention and conformity.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 1:31 pm 
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Liz wrote:
scarlett wrote:
DITHOT, I think we should all remember Sailor Boy as we move through our daily grind. "Peeple of zee wurl, relax" is as good a motto as any, I say. Thanks again, everyone.


I know I will, Scarlett. There have been many times I've wanted to come out with those words around my friends but stopped myself, realizing they would probably think I was nuts, being that they haven't read the book.


I have Sailor Boy taped above my monitor reminding me to RELAX!

The maintenance theme struck a cord with me. How much time is waisted maintaining and who are we trying to impress??? I decided long ago Better Homes and Gardens were not going to come to photograph my house or yard!!!

And Liz, I got an incredibly blank look :-? from my sister when I printed out Sailor Boy and framed it and gave it to her to put by her computer. You just can't understand the significance of our little feathered friend unless you have read this book.

Loved all the questions and discussions. Very good ladies!!! :cool:



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"In the time of your life, live....so that in that wondrous time you shall not add to the misery and sorrow of the world, but shall smile to the infinite delight and mystery of it." Saroyan
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 1:33 pm 
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[quote="surfmom"]
I just read that book and it is NOT one of Robbin's best in my opinion. He has some great passages and descriptions in there as usual--he's amazingly original with metaphor--but the book lacks depth in character and the ending is way too weak. I had a hard time getting through it, and didn't grow to care about the people in this novel like I usually do. quote]

Thanks everyone. And thanks to ONBC organisers, I think it's wonderful that thanks to your hard work with the questions, within a few minutes we can be certain of finding helpful and informed views here on the zone.



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Work hard, learn well, and make peace with the fact that you'll never be as cool as Johnny Depp. GQ.

Solace in the flood
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