Fierce invalids home from hot climates

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Bantam Books, Jun 1, 2000 - Fiction - 415 pages
33 Reviews
"Tom Robbins has a grasp on things that dazzles the brain and he's also a world-class storyteller." --Thomas Pynchon InFierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates, his seventh and biggest novel, the wise, witty, always gutsy Tom Robbins brings onstage the most complex and compelling character he has ever created. Switters is a contradiction for all seasons: an anarchist who works for the government, a pacifist who carries a gun, a vegetarian who sops up ham gravy, a cyberwhiz who hates computers, a robust bon vivant who can be as squeamish as any fop, a man who, though obsessed with the preservation of innocence, is aching to deflower his high-school-age stepsister (only to become equally enamored of a nun ten years his senior). Yet there is nothing remotely wishy-washy about Switters. He doesn't merely pack a pistol. He is a pistol. And as we dog Switters's strangely elevated heels across four continents, in and out of love and danger, Robbins explores, challenges, mocks, and celebrates virtually every major aspect of our mercurial era. As many readers well know, to describe a Tom Robbins plot does not begin to describe a Tom Robbins novel. Moreover, the internationally acclaimed, best-selling author, with his love of language, nuance, and surprise, is as opposed to story summations as J.D. Salinger. It is revealing, however, to learn what things Robbins lists as having influenced the writing ofFierce Invalids: "This book was inspired by an entry from Bruce Chatwin's journal, by a CIA agent I met in Southeast Asia, by the mystery surrounding the lost prophecy of the Virgin of Fatima, by the increasing evidence that the interplay of opposites is the engine that runs the universe, and by embroidered memories of old Terry and the Pirates comic books." Robbins also has said that throughout the writing ofFierce Invalids Home From Hot Climateshe was guided by the advice of Julia Child: "Learn to handle hot things. Keep your knives sharp. Above all, have a good time." Perhaps that is why he has managed to write a provocative, rascally novel that takes no prisoners--and yet is upbeat, romantic, meaningful, adventurous, edifying, and fun.

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I also appreciated the grand scheme of the plot. - Goodreads
The plot is of the wildly improbable sort. - Goodreads
However, the plot is not the point. - Goodreads

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User Review  - blake.rosser - LibraryThing

I can't help thinking of Tom Robbins as a poor man's Vonnegut: much more (too) flowery writing with much less interesting ideas Read full review

Review: Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates

User Review  - John - Goodreads

A 2.5 For the first third of this book I alternated thinking it was brilliant and banal. Then it mostly bored me. Switters annoyed me. I kept thinking how aggravating he would be in real life. His ... Read full review

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About the author (2000)

Tom Robbins has been called "a vital natural resource" by The Portland Oregonian, "one of the wildest and most entertaining novelists in the world" by the Financial Times of London, and "the most dangerous writer in the world today" by Fernanda Pivano of Italy's Corriere della Sera. A Southerner by birth, Robbins has lived in and around Seattle since 1962.

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