SKINNY LEGS AND ALL: An Arab and a Jew open a restaurant together across the street from the United Nations.... It sounds like the beginning of an ethnic joke, but it's the axis around which spins this gutsy, fun-loving, and alarmingly provocative novel, in which a bean can philosophizes, a dessert spoon mystifies, a young waitress takes on the New York art world, and a rowdy redneck welder discovers the lost god of Palestine--while the illusions that obscure humanity's view of the true universe fall away, one by one, like Salome's veils. Skinny Legs and All deals with today's most sensitive issues: race, politics, marriage, art, religion, money, and lust.It weaves lyrically through what some call the "end days" of our planet.Refusing to avert its gaze from the horrors of the apocalypse, it also refuses to let the alleged end of the world spoil its mood.And its mood is defiantly upbeat. In the gloriously inventive Tom Robbins style, here are characters, phrases, stories, and ideas that dance together on the page, wild and sexy, like Salome herself.Or
In a phantasmagorical, politically charged tale you wish would never end, Robbins holds forth--through a variety of ingenious, off-beat mouthpieces--on art (with and without caps), the Middle East, religious fanaticism of many stripes, and the seven veils of self-deception. Salome, skinny legs and all, belly-dances rapturously at Isaac & Ishmael's, a much-molested restaurant located across the street from the U.N., founded by an Arab and a Jew as an example of happy, peaceful and mutually beneficial coexistence. Ellen Cherry Charles, artist and waitress, heir to the most positive legacy of Jezebel, works at the same joint, nursing a broken heart inflicted by Boomer Petway, redneck welder/bemused darling of the New York art scene. Meanwhile, Can o' Beans, Dirty Sock, Spoon, Painted Stick and Conch Shell traverse half the world on a hejira to Jerusalem--where Conch and Painted Stick will resume religious duties in the Third Temple, dedicated (of course) to Astarte. Unless, mind you, Ellen Cherry's boil-encrusted uncle Buddy, a radio evangelist who gets turned on by Tammy Faye Bakker, manages to start WW III first. . . . Robbins's ( Jitterbug Perfume ) lust for laughs is undiminished; this prescription for sanity couldn't be better. 125,000 first printing; first serial to Esquire; BOMC and QPB selections; author tour. (May) -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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1 . A book about inanimate objects
Posted May 13, 2009 by bookworm , TorontoThis is such a good read. Weird, but good
April 28, 2003
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Excerpt from Skinny Legs and All by Tom Robbins
THIS IS THE ROOM of the wolfmother wallpaper. The toadstool motel you once thought a mere folk tale, a corny, obsolete, rural invention.
This is the room where your wisest ancestor was born, be you Christian, Arab, or Jew. The linoleum underfoot is sacred linoleum. Please remove your shoes. Quite recently, the linoleum here was restored to its original luster with the aid of a wax made from hornet fat. It scuffs easily. So never mind if there are holes in your socks.
This is the room where your music was invented. Notice the cracked drumhead spiked to the wall, spiked to the wolfmother wallpaper above the corner sink where the wayward wife washed out her silk underpants, inspecting them in the blue seepage from the No Vacancy neon that flickered suspiciously out in the thin lizard dawn.
What room is this? This is the room where the antler carved the pumpkin. This is the room where the gutter pipes drank the moonlight. This is the room where moss gradually silenced the treasure, rubies being the last to go. Transmissions from insect antennae were monitored in this room. It's amazing how often their broadcasts referred to the stars.
A clue: this is the room where the Painted Stick was buried, where the Conch Shell lay wrapped in its adoring papyrus. Lovers, like serpents, shed their old skin in this clay room. Now do you remember the wallpaper? The language of the wallpaper? The wolfmother's blood roses that vibrated there?
Enough of this wild fox barking. You pulled up in the forest Cadillac, the vehicle you claimed you'd forgotten how to drive. You parked between the swimming pool and the row of blackened skulls. Of course, you know what room this is.
This is the room where Jezebel frescoed her eyelids with history's tragic glitter, where Delilah practiced for her beautician's license, the room in which Salome dropped the seventh veil while dancing the dance of ultimate cognition, skinny legs and all.