Sep 25, 2008
I didn't know much about Robbins when I first picked this up, except for the maverick, non-conformist reputation that precedes him. So I was certainly expecting something fresh and original when I took up Still Life with Woodpecker; but nothing can prepare you adequately for this absolute romp of a novel. It truly has something for everyone: lunar science, romance, comical espionage, aliens from outerspace, a pack of Camel cigarettes that reveals life's mysteries, and some impossible yet unforgettable characters including the red-headed, outlaw bomber leading man, and his exiled, rebellious, sexually burgeoning Princess mistress. When you catch your breath about half-way through the book, the wild plot twists and locale shifts to Seattle, Hawaii, and the Middle East propel you toward the too-quick conclusion to a book of wild, mythical proportion. Keep a pen and paper close because you will want to memorialize Robbins endless poetry and pithy asides. A must read.