During periods of so-called economic depression, societies suffer for want of all manner of essential goods, yet investigation almost invariably discloses that there are plenty of goods available. Plenty of coal in the ground, corn in the fields, wool on the sheep. What is missing is not materials but an abstract unit of measurement called ‘money.’ It is akin to a starving woman with a sweet tooth lamenting that she can’t bake a cake because she doesn’t have any ounces. She has butter, flour, eggs, milk, and sugar, she just doesn’t have any ounces, any pinches, any pints. — Tom Robbins, Skinny Legs and All
Skinny Legs and All is, to my mind, a must read. It’s a polemic disguised as a hysterically funny novel populated with a bizarre cast of characters not the least of which are a can of beans, a purple sock, and a vibrator.
This quote has been running around my head recently as I try to make sense of the various health reform debates.
A friend of mine introduced me to this novel and I was amazed at her copy. Nearly every sentence was highlighted, underlined and/or annotated. The book is one quotable quote after another and tackles such things as Middle East peace, male/female relationships and whether or not inanimate objects are really inanimate. It boasts a plot that is impossible to summarize in less than 500 words.
For years I kept the book by my beside and dipped into each morning using it as a source of daily affirmations – an idea stolen from another friend.
It’s been years since I’ve read the novel from page one all the way through. I finally finished the novel of Chinese erotica and was trying to select a new book to read when I ran across Skinny Legs and All. I got side tracked from the new novel pursuit when I elected to look up the above quote. In looking for it, I ran across some real gems and chuckled again. I’ve read this novel all the way through at least 20 times (and I almost never re-read anything) and it never fails to provoke out and out guffaws.
I’ve decided to re-read it beginning at page 1. Lord knows, I need a good laugh as well as some big ideas to meditate on.
3 thoughts on “Favorite Quotes No. 1”
Skinny Legs and All is definitely a work of wonder! I re-read it for the 3rd or 4th time about 3 years ago and was, once again, mesmerized by what an astonishing work of literature it is. Even Cowgirls Get the Blues popped my Tom Robbins cherry. It taught me perspective when I had none. It also taught me how to laugh again at a time when I didn’t even know how to smile. That said, I still believe Skinny Legs and All to be his best work. Enjoy!
A quote for you and your garden: “There is a sense in which a painted stick is a stick in bloom. This stick points to the hidden face of God. Sometimes it points to you.”
Great author, but I’ve only read Even Cowgirls Get the Blues. . . it too is quotable line after quotable line.
I just finished reading the last book of Patrick O’Brian’s Aubry/Maturin series. I’m not sure what to do with my life now.
You can’t go wrong Tom Robbins or with SLAA. He’s the only author that I’ve purposefully read every one of his books. (Kurt Vonnegut Jr. was probably the closest second)