Stacy's Books

books, movies, and boy

Skinny Legs and All, by Tom Robbins

Cover ImageFinished 9-19-11, rating 3.5/5, fiction, 422 pages, pub. 1990

It was a bright, defrosted, pussy-willow day at the onset of spring, and the newlyweds were driving cross-country in a large roast turkey.

The turkey lay upon its back, as roast turkeys will; submissive, agreeable, volunteering its breast to the carving blade, its roly-poly legs cocked in a stiff but jaunty position, as if it might summon the gumption to spring forward onto its feet, but of course, it had no feet, which made the suggestion seem both empty and ridiculous, and only added to the turkey’s aura of goofy vulnerability.

Opening paragraphs

Boomer loves Ellen Cherry and he makes her a turkey RV to prove it.  She falls for it and marries him.  They escape small town Virginia and head west for a time before settling in New York City so Ellen Cherry can pursue her career as an artist.  Only it’s not Ellen Cherry that becomes the star, it’s Boomer and his turkey RV.

This sounds like a simple storyline, but it is full of crazy people, and, well, utensils, canned goods, clothing, and objects of nature.  Yes, there is secondary storyline where a stick and shell are trying to make their way back to Jerusalem after hundreds of years in American exile.  And they receive help from a spoon, sock, and can of beans.  And there’s also Uncle Buddy, who is trying to start World War III in Israel so that Jesus will return.

It is quirky and the writing is fun and smile-worthy.  As far as the story, well, I wasn’t all that interested.  It took me way too long to get through this one to recommend it.  And I really did not like the last part of the book, lots of personal views just thrown out there with zero to do with the story.  I don’t care about Robbins’ enlightened views of money, government, or religion.

I expected to enjoy it more and wonder if it’s where I am in life right now.  I don’t have huge chunks of time to read and maybe the 20-30 minutes a few times a week weren’t enough to make this one work.  Or maybe I have mommy brain 🙂  I know I need to keep reading or it will go to mush!  I might give Robbins another try in a few years.

This is from my personal library and was chosen by Carol and Mille.  Here’s what they had to say…

“Don’t expect profundity; it’s more of a play date for the mind, or a hot chocolate and blanket on a grumpy day kind of book.”  Mille

“Because I love Tom Robbins.”  Carol

September 22, 2011 - Posted by | 3 1/2 Star Books |


  1. The story about Ellen and Boomer sounds interesting, but the shell and the stick thing sounds rather odd to me.

    Comment by BermudaOnion | September 23, 2011 | Reply

  2. I think he’s one of those writers you just have to be in the right mood for. Better luck next time 🙂

    Comment by Marie | September 23, 2011 | Reply

  3. I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy this so much Stacy. I think Tom Robbins can be a bit of an acquired taste. I love his books but I read several many years ago. I do like the metaphors for society and its behavior, the philosophy and the quirkiness and eccentricities. If you ever feel like trying another he has some smaller books :o)

    Comment by Amy | September 24, 2011 | Reply

  4. Hmm, “a play date for the mind” sounds fun, but I’m not sure I’d love all the insanity. I’d definitely have to be in the right mood!

    Comment by Erin | September 24, 2011 | Reply

  5. I’m trying to picture the turkey and all I can think of is Thanksgiving…

    Comment by Stephanie D. | September 25, 2011 | Reply

  6. I remember suffering from ‘mommy brain’…it gets better!! 😀

    Comment by Staci | September 25, 2011 | Reply

  7. Back in my college days, I was in love with Tom Robbins but I don’t think I read this one. My personal favorite of his is Still Life With Woodpecker. And I’m still suffering from Mommy Brain. It may be a permanent condition.

    Comment by Jenners | September 25, 2011 | Reply

  8. Aw this is one of my favorite Robbins books. I recommend Still Life with a Woodpecker as well.

    Comment by christina | September 26, 2011 | Reply

  9. I really enjoy Robbins but I haven’t read him in about 10 years and know I couldn’t pick up a book by him right now. Not something to pick up and put down in 20-30 minute chunks of time. Though–he does tend to have a lot of religious/political/philosophical babble in all of his books. Best taken with a grain of salt?

    Comment by Trish | October 10, 2011 | Reply

  10. […] 42. Skinny Legs and All by Tom Robbins – 2 votes (Carol, Mille) […]

    Pingback by Challenging Year « Stacy's Books | December 31, 2011 | Reply

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