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Another Roadside Attraction

A Novel

Another Roadside Attraction by Tom Robbins
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What if the Second Coming didn’t quite come off as advertised? What if “the Corpse” on display in that funky roadside zoo is really who they say it is—what does that portend for the future f western civilization? And what if a young clairvoyant named Amanda reestablishes the flea circus as popular entertainment and fertility worship as the principal religious form of our high-tech age? Another Roadside Attraction answers those questions and a lot more. It tell us, for example, what the sixties were truly all about, not by reporting on the psychedelic decade but by recreating it, from the inside out. In the process, this stunningly original seriocomic thriller is fully capable of simultaneously eating a literary hot dog and eroding the borders of the mind.

From the Trade Paperback edition.
Random House Publishing Group; June 2003
ISBN 9780553897883
Read online, or download in secure EPUB
Title: Another Roadside Attraction
Author: Tom Robbins
The magician's underwear has just been found in a cardboard suitcase floating in a stagnant pond on the outskirts of Miami.  However significant that discovery may be—and there is the possibility that it could alter the destiny of each and every one of us—it is not the incident with which to begin this report.

In the suitcase with the mystic unmentionables were pages and pages torn from a journal which John Paul Ziller had kept on one of his trips through Africa.  Or was it India?  The journal began thusly:  "At midnight, the Arab boy brings me a bowl of white figs.  His skin is very golden and I try it on for size.  It doesn't keep out mosquitoes.  Nor stars. The rodent of ecstasy sings by my bedside."  And it goes on:  "in the morning there are signs of magic everywhere.  Some archaeologists from the British Museum discover a curse.  The natives are restless.  A maiden in a nearby village has been carried off by a rhinoceros.  Unpopular pygmies gnaw at the foot of the enigma."  That was the beginning of the journal.  But not the beginning of this report.

Neither the FBI nor the CIA will positively identify the contents of the suitcase as the property of John Paul Ziller.  But their reluctance to specify is either a bureaucratic formality or a tactical deceit.  Who else but Ziller, for God's sake, wore jockey shorts made from the skins of tree frogs?

At any rate, let us not loiter in the arena of hot events.  Despite the agents of crisis who dictate the drafting of this report, despite the spiraling zeitgeist that underscores its urgency, despite the worldwide moral structure that may hang in the balance, despite that, the writer of this document is no journalist, nor is he a scholar, and while he is quite aware of the potential historical importance of his words, still he is not likely to allow objectivity to nudge him off the pillar of his own perspective.  And his perspective has its central focus, the enormity of public events notwithstanding, the girl: the girl, Amanda.

From the Trade Paperback edition.
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