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Another Roadside Attraction

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Another Roadside Attraction

Another Roadside Attraction
First edition
Author Tom Robbins
Country United States
Language English
Publisher Doubleday
Publication date
1971
Media type Print (Hardcover & Paperback)
Pages 400 pp
ISBN
OCLC 21029688
813/.54 22
LC Class PS3568.O233 A83 2003

Another Roadside Attraction is the first novel by Tom Robbins, published in 1971, which initiated what has grown to be considered his cult following.

Contents

  • Plot 1
  • Major Themes 2
  • Development history 3
    • Publication history 3.1
  • References 4
    • Notes 4.1
    • Bibliography 4.2

Plot

The novel follows the adventures of John Paul Ziller and his wife Amanda—lovable prophetess and promiscuous earth mother, inarguably the central protagonist—who open "Captain Kendrick's Memorial Hot Dog Wildlife Preserve," a combination hot dog stand and zoo along a highway in Skagit County, Washington. Other characters in this rather oddball novel include Mon Cul the baboon; Marx Marvelous, an educated man from the east coast; and L. Westminster "Plucky" Purcell, a former college football star and sometime dope dealer who accidentally infiltrates a group of Catholic monks working as assassins for the Vatican. In so doing Plucky discovers a secret of monumental proportions dating to the very beginning of Christianity.

Major Themes

In this novel, the author uses nonlinear plot progression in the tone of a first-person diary to express his views on religion and other topics. His humorous, scathing and insightful perceptions of those who swirl past the main characters has great comedic value. The book is a cultural icon for the "Children of the Sixties."

A major theme of the novel is the mummified corpse of Jesus Christ and Western Civilization's belief and faith in the divinity of Jesus Christ. In his memoir, Robbins states that he wanted to question what would happen to Western Civilization if it could be demonstrated that Jesus was not immortal.[1]

Development history

In 1966, Robbins was contacted and then met with Doubleday's West Coast Editor, Luthor Nichols, who asked Robbins about writing a book on Northwest Art. Instead Robbins told Nichols he wanted to write a novel and pitched the idea of what was to become Another Roadside Attraction.[2]

In 1967 Robbins mailed off 30 pages of his novel to Nichols who sent them to the New York office. The senior editors, some holdovers for when Doubleday was a Roman Catholic publishing house did not approve but Nichols encouraged Robbins to keep writing. After he had 70 pages there were then sent back to New York but the younger editors still failed to convince the senior editors to publish. It wasn't until 1970 that Doubleday finally accepted the manuscript and published 6,000 copies in 1971.[3]

In him memoir, Robbins states that he didn't want to describe the sixties in this novel but to re-create them on the page, "to mirror in style as well as content their mood, their palatte, their extremes, their vibrations, their profundity, their silliness and whimsy." [4] Robbins also said he used a collage technique—he skimmed media such as the underground press, KRAB radio program guides, broadsides, fliers for concerts to try and pluck out items that might capture a portrait of the period.[5]

In the book a baboon is stolen from the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle. Shortly after publication someone did actually steal a baboon from the Zoo.[6]

Publication history

References

Notes

  1. ^ Robbins 248.
  2. ^ Robbins 230-32.
  3. ^ Robbins 246–53
  4. ^ Robbins 243–45.
  5. ^ Robbins 247.
  6. ^ Robbins 254.

Bibliography

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