Wild Ducks Flying Backward

  • by Tom Robbins
  • Narrated by Tom Robbins
  • 7 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Known for his meaty seriocomic novels, expansive works that are simultaneously lowbrow and highbrow, Tom Robbins has also published over the years a number of short pieces, predominantly nonfiction. His travel articles, essays, and tributes to actors, musicians, sex kittens, and thinkers have appeared in publications ranging from Esquire to Harper's, from Playboy to The New York Times, High Times, and Life. A generous sampling, collected here for the first time and including works as diverse as scholarly art criticism and some decidedly untypical country music lyrics, Wild Ducks Flying Backward offers a rare sweeping overview of the eclectic sensibility of an American original. Whether he is rocking with the Doors, depoliticizing Picasso's Guernica, lamenting the angst-ridden state of contemporary literature, or drooling over tomato sandwiches and a species of womanhood he calls "the genius waitress," Robbins's briefer writings often exhibit the same five traits that perhaps best characterize his novels: an imaginative wit, a cheerfully brash disregard for convention, a sweetly nasty eroticism, a mystical but keenly observant eye, and an irrepressible love of language. Embedded in this primarily journalistic compilation are a couple of short stories, a sheaf of largely unpublished poems, and an off-beat assessment of our divided nation. And wherever we open Wild Ducks Flying Backward, we're apt to encounter examples of the intently serious playfulness that percolates from the mind of a self-described "romantic Zen hedonist" and "stray dog in the banquet halls of culture."

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

I am in love

The audio version of Wild Duck's begins not unlike Michael Prichert reading Brian Greene's ?The Fabric of the Cosmos?. That is to say that Robbins voice initially seems ill suited to the task and doesn't quite spark the imagination at the first word. However, and also like the Greene book, after a short while the voice becomes the book. The voice comes to fit perfectly with the length and depth of the words contained therein.

To me, the content (regardless of narrator) is absolutely first rate. I have only become familiar with Tom Robbins fictions in the pats few years, but found in them shadows of a kindred spirit in the relentless pursuit of liberty (and all the trimmings). This book offers the Robbins fiction admirer a look into the sources of ideas and themes played upon in his many fiction works. It also offers some new and personal views of the author himself.

Tom if you are reading, thanks for crafting so many pleasant sentence, and thanks for helping me to read, listen to, and therefore crystallize, ideas that have from time to time clanged around my own soul.
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- Christopher

So disappointing

I really, really love Tom Robbins. I've read everything he's written multiple times. This collection is sloppy. It reads like the house keeper was sweeping up and quickly published whatever ended up in the dust pan.
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- Marci

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-29-2005
  • Publisher: Random House Audio