Señor Grumblecakes (jervo) wrote,
Señor Grumblecakes

a (perhaps) incoherent rant on Tom Robbins.

I think I've lost my patience with Tom Robbins. When I was in college, I was obsessed with TR; I read all his books a million times (well, except for "Jitterbug Perfume" and "Even Cowgirls", neither of which I liked very much) and basically couldn't get enough. All that's changed dramatically, though. I started to re-read "Another Roadside Attraction" over the weekend and I started getting annoyed within 5 pages. Too many long asides just to set up obvious puns and/or very wishy-washy "insights". And where I used to find his language playful, now I find it labored and self-conscious.

To put it another way - I don't mind it if an author (or really any creative source) knows how brilliant he/she is, but I DO mind when it's too obvious that they're showing off. It's like the difference between pre- and post-successful Smashing Pumpkins. Once Billy Corgan started really getting successful, all his lyrics, which used to be kinda vague and obtuse, suddenly became incredibly narcissistic and self-conscious and snotty and bitchy and whiny. Which, in turn, got me to stop listening. Now, "Another Roadside Attraction" was TR's first book, so it's not like he had any sort of established success....

Y'know, the more I think about it, it's not the writing that's changed, it's me. There was a time when I could get caught up in the whimsy and surreality of his stuff; now, somehow, to me it comes off as pre-meditated, cheap and sophomoric. It's sad, but I can't tell who I should blame.

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