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Download Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates Audiobook, by Tom Robbins Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (15,386 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Tom Robbins Narrator: Keith Szarabajka Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2000 ISBN: 9780553752786
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"Tom Robbins has a grasp on things that dazzles the brain and he's also a world-class storyteller."
--Thomas Pynchon

In Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates, his seventh and biggest novel, the wise, witty, always gutsy Tom Robbins brings onstage the most complex and compelling character he has ever created.

Switters is a contradiction for all seasons: an anarchist who works for the government, a pacifist who carries a gun, a vegetarian who sops up ham gravy, a cyberwhiz who hates computers, a robust bon vivant who can be as squeamish as any fop, a man who, though obsessed with the preservation of innocence, is aching to deflower his high-school-age stepsister (only to become equally enamored of a nun ten years his senior).

Yet there is nothing remotely wishy-washy about Switters. He doesn't merely pack a pistol. He is a pistol.

And as we dog Switters's strangely elevated heels across four continents, in and out of love and danger, Robbins explores, challenges, mocks, and celebrates virtually every major aspect of our mercurial era.

As many readers well know, to describe a Tom Robbins plot does not begin to describe a Tom Robbins novel. Moreover, the internationally acclaimed, best-selling author, with his love of language, nuance, and surprise, is as opposed to story summations as J.D. Salinger. It is revealing, however, to learn what things Robbins lists as having influenced the writing of Fierce Invalids:

"This book was inspired by an entry from Bruce Chatwin's journal, by a CIA agent I met in Southeast Asia, by the mystery surrounding the lost prophecy of the Virgin of Fatima, by the increasing evidence that the interplay of opposites is the engine that runs the universe, and by embroidered memories of old Terry and the Pirates comic books."

Robbins also has said that throughout the writing of Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates he was guided by the advice of Julia Child: "Learn to handle hot things. Keep your knives sharp. Above all, have a good time."

Perhaps that is why he has managed to write a provocative, rascally novel that takes no prisoners--and yet is upbeat, romantic, meaningful, adventurous, edifying, and fun.


From the Hardcover edition. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • In his seventh, and perhaps most complex novel to date, Robbins shines as brilliantly as he has in the past...superb current social commentary. New York Post

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 cheri madden | 2/15/2014

    " Tom Robbins best, in my opinion. His wit and sarcasm are priceless. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Atherton Asbury | 2/12/2014

    " Another great read from mr. Robbins. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jess | 1/22/2014

    " "I've always assumed that every time a child is born, the Divine reenters the world. Okay? That's the meaning of the Christmas story. And every time that child's purity is corrupted by society, that's the meaning of the Crucifixion story. Your man Jesus stands for that child, that pure spirit, and as its surrogate, he's being born and put to death again and again, over and over, every time we inhale and exhale, not just at the vernal equinox and on the twenty-fifth of December." -Switters, as written by Tom Robbins "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nadia | 1/22/2014

    " it wasnt his best but still entertainning "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lyra | 12/31/2013

    " this is my favorite tom robbins (well it might be toss up with jitterbug perfume). it's wacky and funny and very entertaining. but people tend to either love it or hate it.... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chrislane | 12/26/2013

    " This book features my favorite protagonist of all time. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Barbara | 12/12/2013

    " This book had it moments but was mostly an OK book to pass the time while sitting on the beach. As mentioned by other readers I could not get past the pedophile parts. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kirsten | 12/2/2013

    " This book / author was recommended to me. Definitely no where near what I usually read ... by a long shot. But, even though it is very dense (to use my friend's word), it was an awesome book. I loved every bit of it ... and even marked certain quotes. Switters is definitely a character and there were many laugh out loud parts. And while I did love this book ... I'm still in deep thought about the end. And I will leave it at that. I am definitely going to have to give this one a re-read to pick up on other subtle nuances that I am sure are imbedded in this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Therk | 11/15/2013

    " I named my dog, Switters, after the protagonist in this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brandon | 10/17/2013

    " Robbins is a word-smith, and holds nothing back for this adventure. Amazing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eradicator | 9/12/2013

    " There's really no reason NOT to read this book. Tom Robbins is great. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Laura Roden | 8/4/2013

    " I tried to read this book but couldn't get past the beginning at all! It didn't make any since at all. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erica | 7/27/2013

    " Wacky and frantic, Fierce Invalids swoops along very entertainingly through several continents and unsavory adventures. Not exactly light reading, and yes, I said unsavory and meant it. Wear your funny pants and don't be judgmental. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Micah | 6/30/2013

    " The best of all Robbins. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bobbie Rae | 6/23/2013

    " Loved it - great sarcastic humor! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Allan | 1/31/2013

    " Not one of his best. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tad Dixon | 1/2/2013

    " This is the first book that i read by Tom Robbins and because of it I have read every other book by this author. It is a fun read, it is an easy read, it is a wild ride. Switters is one of my favorite characters in book, film or TV. It takes you from Seattle to Peru to Syria. Great book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katie | 11/18/2012

    " I read this a really long time ago. I remember liking it a lot, and that is about it. I was already a fan of past publications by this author so I was already in the camp of "wanting to like it". "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andrew Atchley | 9/22/2012

    " he knows lots of words... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John Corcoran | 8/27/2012

    " so random. smarmy, luxurious and indulgent. i laughed a lot and then did some community service to cleanse myself. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 rebecca | 7/3/2012

    " who can resist switters? not i.... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joy Day | 7/1/2012

    " My favorite Tom Robbins book "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ethan | 5/21/2012

    " Hilarious, I think I've read this at least three times. By far my favorite work of his. The main character "Switters" might be Robbins' best. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dan Ofman | 1/30/2012

    " Tom Robbins is really funny. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jesse | 12/11/2011

    " Another one of my favorite stories by this author. Hillarious and beautifully writen. I would recomend it to anyone who likes this author, and to most people who just like to read. Its awesome. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Malysa | 5/22/2011

    " I just have so much love for Tom Robbins in my heart.

    Best line: "The Universe is organized anarchy, and we are lying in the folds of its flag." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stuigi | 5/16/2011

    " Certainly one of the most entertaining and inspirational tomes I have come across. Perfect. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Donna | 5/7/2011

    " Robbins books aren't for everyone. I actually laughed quite a bit while reading this one--he has some gems in his commentary about life. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David | 4/20/2011

    " The most amazing book I have ever read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Skaditch | 4/17/2011

    " Switters!!! This is tied for the funniest book I have ever read. Robbins has a real hard on for the Catholic Church and pyramids. I can't recommend this book enough! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rachel | 3/20/2011

    " Love Tom Robbins, I think this is one of my favorites "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Krista | 3/14/2011

    " Loved it more when read in yesteryears. Last time I glanced at it, the descriptions of South America seemed to Conradian for me. Still, few can craft sentences like Robbins. And the story's damn interesting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Wendy | 2/23/2011

    " Fun book. Robbins writing is exhausting but totally worth it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alex | 2/20/2011

    " Surprisingly poignant, this was one of the most "unique" books that I have read in a while. So glad that someone recommended this to me :) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 P.adelie | 2/3/2011

    " if you like tom robbins in the first place, it's one of the best!
    an energy boost, and a fun story, and the usual robbins clever language and interesting new ideas. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michael | 1/18/2011

    " I used to await Tom Robbins' novels with bated breath. Maybe I'm just an old fart now. Or maybe he is. (I couldn't believe he's 73 years old!) I enjoyed this one but it didn't take me on the magic carpet ride the old ones did. Oh well. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alex | 1/13/2011

    " Hilarious. One of the funniest books I've ever read. Not for the faint of heart. "

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About the Author
Author Tom Robbins

Tom Robbins has covered crime and politics in New York for more than thirty years as a reporter and columnist for the New York Daily News, New York Observer, and Village Voice. He now teaches investigative reporting at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.

About the Narrator

Keith Szarabajka, an Earphones Award–winning narrator, won the prestigious Audie Award for Unabridged Fiction for his reading of Tom Robbins’ Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates. He has appeared in many films, including The Dark Knight, Missing, and A Perfect World, and on such television shows as The Equalizer, Angel, Cold Case, Golden Years, and Profit. He has also appeared in several episodes of Selected Shorts for National Public Radio.