Sunday, January 3, 2010

Staff Picks - B Is for Beer by Tom Robbins

B Is for Beer by Tom Robbins

"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." - Benjamin Franklin

Tom Robbins knows a lot about beer. He knows who invented it, the ingredients, how it's made, why we drink it, how it affects us and how it is baffling to a five (almost six) year old girl.

Gracie is a young, well-behaved girl who is keenly interested in the world. She wonders about the yellow drink her uninvolved father consumes, the one that "looks like pee-pee." Uncle Moe, her father's beer drinking companion, takes Gracie very seriously indeed. He explains the mysteries of beer drinking and promises to take her on a tour of a brewery. On that very exciting day, he lets her down and Gracie grabs and drinks an entire can of beer. Oh, she is one very sick little girl. The beer fairy takes this opportunity to take her on a tour of a brewery and offer her some valuable advice for her future.

And of course some pithy Tom Robbins comments care of that beer drinking philosopher Uncle Moe:

"Every time a person goes to the mall, she loses a little piece of her soul."

"You know what the game of golf is, don't you? It's basketball for people who can't jump and chess for people who can't think."

This little book is a fine way to pass the time on the bus (and you will get second glances at the eye catching artwork). However, I wonder if it might be better to while away a hot summer afternoon, accompanied by a beer of course.

If you've never read Tom Robbins before, this may not be the one to start with. Perhaps try Jitterbug Perfume in which Robbins centers the partially exotic and partially mundane world of perfume making within a mystical time/space traveling saga.

If you are already a Tom Robbins fan, Novelist suggests Kurt Vonnegut, Tim Sandlin and Christopher Moore as companions in the world of "literary counterculture".

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