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Extended Audio Sample Villa Incognito, 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 (10,504 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Tom Robbins Narrator: Barrett Whitener Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Imagine there are American MIAs who chose to remain missing after the Vietnam War.

Imagine there is a family in which four generations of strong, alluring women have shared a mysterious connection to an outlandish figure from Japanese folklore.

Imagine just those things (don’t even try to imagine the love story) and you’ll have a foretaste of Tom Robbins’s eighth and perhaps most beautifully crafted novel—a work as timeless as myth yet as topical as the latest international threat.

On one level, this is a book about identity, masquerade, and disguise—about “the false mustache of the world”—but neither the mists of Laos nor the smog of Bangkok, neither the overcast of Seattle nor the fog of San Francisco, neither the murk of the intelligence community nor the mummery of the circus can obscure the linguistic phosphor that illuminates the pages of Villa Incognito.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Like the best of Robbins’s previous novels, Villa Incognito reads like an elaborate farce, with truths about life, love, and society wrapped up in deeply interwoven philosophical metaphors…Balances his philosophical and creative storyteller sides.”

    Charlotte Observer

  • “Zany, raunchy, and melancholic all at once.”

    Seattle Weekly

  • “Will entertain, provoke, and stimulate. With Robbins, it’s always the ride…that makes the trip worthwhile.”

    Orlando Sentinel

  • “Robbins dances and delights with words and ideas.”

    San Diego Union-Tribune

  • “Novelist Tom Robbins is America’s eternal pragmatic optimist. He writes boldly, fearless of exaggeration or of mind-boggling descriptives guaranteed to make you struggle, torn between laughter and letting that jaw drop. Villa Incognito positively vibrates with Robbins’s perennial playfulness…His is a brash, playful, BS-free zone, a delightful kaleidoscope of canniness, gusto, and chutzpah…Robbins’s satiric barbs [are as] sharp as ever.”

    Globe and Mail (Toronto)

  • “A trip through Tom Robbins’s mind affords the same sensation as a ride through the fun house. It’s smooth and bumpy; it’s grotesque, exotic, and wildly entertaining. Robbins casually introduces topics other people don’t talk about, and he does so in such beautiful language and with such fine appreciation for the field, the reader easily becomes part of whatever movement he is leading this time…It’s a good ride. Be glad you can tag along.”


  • “An entertaining read.”


  • “Replete with literary allusions as diverse as haiku master Basho, James Michener, and Franz Kafka…all of which give Robbins’s prose a poetic quality, unique in contemporary literature.”

    Rocky Mountain News

  • “Robbins’s writing is a romp!…It can make you laugh out loud. It has more original metaphors than any ten books of poetry together. The man does have, as they say, a way with words…[Stubble-field’s] pontification on the soul are wildly figurative and alone worth the price of the book.”

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch

  • “Vintage Tom Robbins. It’s all there: the oddball fantasy, social criticism, and bizarre circumstances, marinated in Western dropout culture and Eastern philosophy…[His] playful style tickles and delights…The novel cavorts to its own primal rhythm.”

    USA Today

  • “[An] outrageous concoction that is a joy to the imagination…In vintage Robbins style, the plot whirls every which way, as the author, writing with unrestrained glee, takes potshots at societal pillars: the military, big business, and religion of all ilks. The language is eccentric, electrifying, and true to the mark…This is a delectable farce, full of tantalizing secrets and bizarre disguises.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Robbins’s latest is another wild romp…Robbins’s fans will not be disappointed by this latest book; it contains all his trademarks—the friendly tone, the careering plot lines, the impressively strange characters sprung fresh and vivid from his brain.”


  • “Bursts with energy…Those who cherish his gift for metaphor, simile, and verbal riffs will revel in their plentitude here.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Robbins introduces a wild cast of characters and fashions a story that crackles with wordplay, wit, and political and philosophical digressions—all of which end up being great fun.”

    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

  • “Robbins is an artist at play in the fields of language, a Merlin of the metaphor, and linguistic crown prince…His eighth and best…is smart and very funny.”

    Tulsa World

  • “Robbins, as lyrical a counterculture hero as has ever tuned in and turned on, is to words what Uri Geller is to spoons: He bends sentences into playful escapades. Robbins is as frisky as ever…Bottom line: Another bedside attraction.”


  • Robbins...is to words what Uri Geller is to spoons: He bends sentences into playful escapades....Bottom line: Another bedside attraction. People
  • Brilliantly offbeat satire. Atlanta Journal-Constitution
  • A delectable farce, full of tantalizing secrets and bizarre disguises. Publishers Weekly, starred review
  • Ebullient, irreverent, hilarious…Villa Incognito is ribald fairy tale meets…Apocalypse Now. St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  • “Robbins remains a welcome breath of fresh air in American literature. Globe and Mail
  • Perhaps [the] greatest book from Robbins…phantasmagorical, richly layered, utterly hilarious, and unexpectedly poignant. Pages
  • “Tom Robbins occupies a singular place in modern fiction: No one else makes readers laugh as hard as he makes them think, while leaving them openmouthed at his audacity…It’s not a place for the easily offended: Robbins has no sacred cows, tearing apart organized religion, U.S. intelligence agencies, and the American psyche with relish and more than a kernel of truth…The star of this show is the puppet master, Robbins. He has a playfulness that makes the novel pulse with life. His unique style of description is the source for most of his humor…And he has raised philosophical riffs to an art form.”

    Free-Lance Star

  • “This is perhaps the funniest of Robbins’s eight novels…Robbins has pulled off an impressive high-wire act—working, as usual, without a net. I can do nothing but look up in wonder and delight, and applaud.”

    Edmonton Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Heather Wolters | 2/20/2014

    " I'm a HUGE fan of Tom Robbins, but this was likely my least favorite of his books. I guess that the anticipation ended up killing the beast for me...it was his 1st new novel in some time, I was anxious for the new material, and the book was relatively short (more like an extended short story, than a full novel). I was ready to sink my teeth into something a bit more bulky. As usual, though, his characters are a riot and find themselves in always amusing, but precarious situations. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Kristy | 2/20/2014

    " It was hard to get into. For the most part, I like the way Mr. Robbins writes, but I could barely get through the book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Krissy | 2/11/2014

    " Halfway decent, but just not as delicious as other Tom Robbins books. Still enjoyable though! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Analog | 2/9/2014

    " Very enjoyable. Though the book jacket say "forget the love story", the novel itself is full of them. Not just romantic love, but parent/child, person/country, culture/history. It's a novel of what it means to be anything in particular, though I wouldn't say it Moved Me particularly. I enjoyed it, and would happily read it again. "

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