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(Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates.pdf) b The Imaginary Invalid b p br Like many of his characters Tom Robbins appears to thrive on contradictory stimuli His last novel i Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas i set its account of spiritual enlightenment and extraterrestrial influences against the credibly rendered backdrop of a faltering stock exchange His latest i Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates i is also concerned with the quest for enlightenment but chooses for its hero a renegade operative for that supremely unenlightened reflexively conservative institution the Central Intelligence Agency p p br br The operative in question is named simply Switters and he gives new meaning to the phrase loose cannon Switters along with a number of his fellow agents sees himself as an angel a subversive element dedicated to opposing the cowboys of the CIA those zealots who have done so much damage in the name of our national interests A born anarchist Switters meditates indulges in mind altering substances reads and rereads a href http cart barnesandnoble com booksearch isbninquiry asp userid DI SJ L amp isbn rel nofollow i Finnegans Wake i a and obsessively ponders the fate of language in the cybernetic future that is rapidly taking shape around us He is the antithesis of such traditional CIA employees as his pompous and perfectly named superior Mayflower Cabot Fitzgerald p p br br i Fierce Invalids i begins when Switters who is bound for Peru on Company business agrees to perform an act of mercy for his octogenarian grandmother who wants him to return her pet an aging parrot named Sailor Boy to its ancestral home in the Amazon rain forest Switters s mission is interrupted when a British ethnographer R Potney Smithe introduces him to a tribal shaman named variously End of Time and Today is Tomorrow whose head is shaped exactly like a pyramid and who believes that laughter is one of the animating forces of the universe Switters spends a single hallucinatory night in End of Time s company in the course of which he eats his grandmother s parrot and takes a drug induced trip through the Hallways of Always where the secrets of the cosmos reside In the dazed aftermath of revelation he learns that arcane knowledge exacts a heavy price From that day forward Switters is forbidden on literal penalty of death to rest his feet on solid ground p p br br That is merely the beginning of this wild unsummarizable tale a contemporary picaresque in which Switters travels sometimes by wheelchair sometimes with the aid of stilts from one continent to another finding love adventure and spiritual fulfillment as he attempts to come to terms with the magically altered circumstances of his life His travels take him from Peru to Seattle from Seattle to Syria and from Syria to a climactic encounter in Vatican City Along the way he encounters a number of bona fide miracles meets the model for a famous nude portrait by Henri Matisse uncovers the lost prophecy of the Lady of Fatima and attempts with varying degrees of success to seduce both his year old stepsister Suzy and a year old cloistered nun named Domino Thiry pun most definitely intended p p br br As in most of Robbins s novels the rambling narrative is designed primarily to accommodate the author s steady stream of observations on the quality of life at the tail end of the th century The result is a baroque gently didactic novel in which Robbins comments with wit acuity and an increasing sense of personal urgency on the inadequacy of our political and religious institutions on the public and private sources of our prevailing spiritual malaise and on our willing submission to the dictates of a ravenous consumer culture In the face of all these things Robbins like his fictional Peruvian shaman continues to insist on the primal power of laughter and continues to believe that joy is possible that dullness of spirit is the one unforgivable sin p p br br In i Fierce Invalids i as in his earlier novels Robbins s philosophy of joie de vivre is endlessly reflected in the moment to moment deployment of his lush intricate style There are no dead spaces in a Robbins novel no drab or perfunctory phrases Every sentence carries its weight Every sentence adds something distinctive to the overall ambience of the narrative Here for example is a brief reflection on the quiet pleasures of Seattle s weather br br p blockquote Switters liked its subtle muted qualities and the landscape that those qualities encouraged if not engendered vistas that seemed to have been sketched with a sumi brush dipped in quicksilver and green tea blockquote br br And here is a smoke ring its evanescence captured forever br br blockquote He expelled a dancing doughnut of smoke Like every smoke ring ever blown like smoke in general it bounced in the air like the bastard baby of chemistry and cartooning blockquote br br i Fierce Invalids i is animated throughout by the mindful playfulness that is Robbins s dominant aesthetic characteristic While it is unlikely to win over his numerous detractors who will doubtless decry its relentless and deliberate self indulgence it will surely strike his many admirers as cause for celebration Tom Robbins is a genuine original a philosopher clown whose skewed perspective is both startling and illuminating Like the best of his earlier books i Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates i is humane funny and deeply adventurous fiction a vibrantly comic refutation of the angst ridden spirit of the age p Bill Sheehan pDownload and Read Online books ePub/PDF/Audible/Kindle, its easy way to streaming Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates books for multiple devices.

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