Today is Tom Robbins’ birthday. (Happy Birthday Tom!) So in tribute, a little love song to his book Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, which isn’t really speculative fiction, but which is absolutely wonderful all the same.
Even Cowgirls Get the Blues is a cartwheel. It’s a firecracker. It’s a chortle that sends soda bubbles popping out your nose. It’s a frozen strawberry smoothie slurped loud through a pink straw on a ranch in South Dakota during Indian summer. It’s a piano and a bottle of champagne. It’s a whooping crane. And an orgasm.
It’s plot that propels you through the pages of most books. You enjoy the suspense, but really you’re just waiting for it to end so you can find out whodunit and how and where and with what. (Mr. Robbins in the conservatory with his right thumb.) Reading most books you’re just killing time until you reach the finish line, not so much savoring the present as the present’s promise of the future. But Even Cowgirls‘ momentum doesn’t just come from the plot, but from moments and phrases and sentences, paragraphs and chapters that are so beautiful and complete in themselves that you can actually enjoy the ride, stop and smell the roses and accept the glass of champagne that Robbins offers you to celebrate chapter 100. Through his utterly unique style, Robbins recreates the experience of what he imagines as an ideal life: one lived passionately, in the present, and with frequent stops for masturbation.
It’s a book that doesn’t deserve to have to carry around any tiresome academic categories and descriptions. It deserves a good fuck and a cold beer. It deserves your undivided attention. It deserves a laugh and a chocolate sundae and an all-expense-paid trip to Hawaii. Try to stuff Even Cowgirls into your filing cabinet, and it’ll slip right out of your grip, skipping wildly around and laughing “Ha ha ho ho and hee hee” with sparkling eyes.
Ten out of ten bottles of champagne.
Where I got it: I keep lending this book out and needing to buy a new copy because I can’t sit still without a copy on my shelf. Copies have come from amazon and used book stores mostly.