This cowgirl was a little sad…

I recently borrowed the audio book for Even Cowgirls Get the Blues by Tom Robbins for another road trip to see the Sista. I chose it 1) because there were a limited amount of books in the correct format available on the library website, and 2) because I’ve been a big fan of Tom Robbins since high school (Jitterbug Perfume was my first) and hadn’t read this one in years. And I have never seen the movie – I was just looking stuff up and realized it stars Uma Thurman & was directed by Gus Van Sant.  Maybe I’ll give it a shot on a slow night.  However:

Sometimes, it’s a bad idea to re-read books.

I know, that’s practically blasphemy, coming from me.  But, while I had remembered the good stuff about this one, I’d forgotten the bad stuff.  Or maybe, being older and (presumably) wiser, I noticed the bad stuff more.

ECGtB is the story of Sissy Hankshaw, a woman born with thumbs twice the size of regular thumbs.  Of course, she becomes the greatest hitchhiker the world has ever know, but can’t unbutton her own shirt.  She falls in love (several times) and learns all kinds of interesting things about herself, whooping cranes, the nature of time and other wonders in her travels.

There is a lot of great stuff in here about finding your own path, and not letting public opinion tell you who you are – none of that has changed. And Robbins is FUNNY, and a master of the interesting metaphor. It was a good choice in a lot of ways.

And the bad stuff isn’t terrible stuff.  It’s just that all the fun/sexy/strange stuff totally came off as masturbatory – it’s supposedly about a girl/woman being open with her sexuality, but is really about the kinds of fantasies young men have about a woman being open with her sexuality… ya know? In a book otherwise populated with deep-thinking and light-heartedness, it was disappointing and distracting to listen to (since I was listening, not reading) the kinds of stereotypical crap you can get anywhere.

And to top it all off… I was missing the last two sections of the book on my iPod. I have yet to determine if it was operator error or a glitch in the matrix, but either way – I was a bit pissed off! Luckily, I had two other books in reserve (of course!). So I listened to a few chapters of Tom Sawyer until I got home.  phew!

One thought on “This cowgirl was a little sad…”

  1. Oh my. I also loved Even Cowgirls Get the Blues when I first read it. (The movie is not bad.) I think possibly Tom Robbins has a case of arrested development. He never grew up past being a teenage boy. I happen to like teenage boys, so I don’t mind his obsessive silliness about girls so much. I like to hope that he respects girls at least a bit. Great review on the perils of rereading. I feel warned. Today I intend to reread The Lovely Bones.

    Also, your review of The Solitude of Prime Numbers at BookBrowse was a pleasure to read. Thank you for that. I have put that book on my list.

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