What if the Second Coming didn't quite come off as advertised What if "the Corpse" on display in that funky roadside zoo is really who they say it is--what does that portent for the future of western civilization And what if a young clairvoyant named Amanda reestablishes the flea circus as popular entertainment and fertility worship as the principal religious form of our high-tech age Another Roadside Attraction answers those questions and a lot more.
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1 . Zany grooviness
Posted July 01, 2009 by praymont , TorontoTom Robbins serves up a hippy-fied Nietzsche. The old god is dead -- they literally find his corpse -- and the old religion is to be replaced by some sort of nature mysticism. We are all 'slowed down light,' at one with the energy at the heart of everything. This sort of thing can easily become a big, flaky mess, but after about fifty pages I succumbed to the grooviness of it all -- well, I enjoyed the story but wasn't swept up by the New Age philosophy. Robbins' figurative writing is especially good, and funny. Robbins gets extra marks for having one of his characters demand that the auto makers build an electric car (in a book written in 1971). He gets more bonus points for sticking in a reference to Vonnegut's 'Bokonon'.
Allegedly, Elvis Presley was reading Another Roadside Attraction just before he died. I'm not sure if that's a good or a bad thing....
December 31, 1970
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Excerpt from Another Roadside Attraction by Tom Robbins
The magician's underwear has just been found in a cardboard suitcase floating in a stagnant pond on the outskirts of Miami. However significant that discovery may be--and there is the possibility that it could alter the destiny of each and every one of us--it is not the incident with which to begin this report.
In the suitcase with the mystic unmentionables were pages and pages torn from a journal which John Paul Ziller had kept on one of his trips through Africa. Or was it India The journal began thusly: "At midnight, the Arab boy brings me a bowl of white figs. His skin is very golden and I try it on for size. It doesn't keep out mosquitoes. Nor stars. The rodent of ecstasy sings by my bedside." And it goes on: "in the morning there are signs of magic everywhere. Some archaeologists from the British Museum discover a curse. The natives are restless. A maiden in a nearby village has been carried off by a rhinoceros. Unpopular pygmies gnaw at the foot of the enigma." That was the beginning of the journal. But not the beginning of this report.
Neither the FBI nor the CIA will positively identify the contents of the suitcase as the property of John Paul Ziller. But their reluctance to specify is either a bureaucratic formality or a tactical deceit. Who else but Ziller, for God's sake, wore jockey shorts made from the skins of tree frogs