Wednesday, May 13, 2009

B is for Beer

As a long-time Tom Robbins fan, I will happily read whatever outlandish adventure he cares to write. His new book, B is for Beer advertises itself as “A Children’s Book for Grown-ups” and “A Grown-up Book for Children.” I tried reading it aloud to my young daughter with little success. Not enough lift-the-flap and pop-up illustrations to amuse the baby, although the occasional line drawing are lovely for adults. Robbins hints within the story that reading the book to a child might have gone better if I had already been drinking a nice cold one.
The characters includes a 6-year-old girl, Gracie Perkel, who idolizes her Uncle Moe. He is a part-time philosopher and full-time beer drinker who delights and disappoints those arond him in equal measures. Uncle Moe certainly appreciates Gracie’s free spirit more than her parents do. Her mom is distracted by grown-up concerns and her dad is focused on his career (and his secretary.) As Gracie learns more about the mysteries of life and beer, we are drawn along on a hilarous adventure through this world and into another.
Tom Robbins is one of those writers who can turn a phrase and make you laugh out loud at the most mundane observations. Even if you aren’t much of a beer-drinker, this short novel will still make you wish you could recapture that free-spirited imagination of childhood.
125 delightful pages


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