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Extended Audio Sample Villa Incognito Audiobook, by Tom Robbins Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.26 out of 53.26 out of 53.26 out of 53.26 out of 53.26 out of 5 3.26 (38 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: April 2003 ISBN: 9780739303467
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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.”

    Oklahoman

  • “An entertaining read.”

    Playboy

  • “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.”

    BookPage

  • “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.”

    People

  • 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 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 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 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 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. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jaci | 2/4/2014

    " Huge disappointment given Tom Robbins' other books. Which are awesome. This was OK, then took a very strange turn at the end. It was like he had written 90 percent of the book, then 9/11 happened, then he slapped a completely different ending on it. Lame. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Akeiisa | 1/31/2014

    " Once again Robbins leads you down the rabbit hole, where it's best to just sit back, take in the scenary, and see where you go. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy Mason | 1/25/2014

    " I think this is my favorite robbins book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dave | 1/20/2014

    " A fun novel in Robbin's typical bizarre fashion. I want to live there. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Krista Wheatley | 1/20/2014

    " Not Robbins' best but still damn good. After all, it has Robbins' one-of-a-kind voice, one of those stories shot from the other side of the moon, and an exotic setting. A swell read for any Robbins fan but a book to avoid for squares who can't take the wild world of Tom Robbins. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lea | 1/17/2014

    " Explains the bump on the roof of my mouth. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 fuzzgig | 1/11/2014

    " One of the best opening sentences ever. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Meghan | 1/3/2014

    " I didn't finish this book, which is unusual for me. It just didn't catch me, so I put it down. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Spider | 1/3/2014

    " This was my first Tom Robbins tale- it will definitely NOT be my last! What a great story- so bizarre & fantastic! I loved the story, the characters, the strangeness of it all, & the quality of the writing. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Brenda | 12/7/2013

    " The worst book ever. Bar none. So weird. So creepy. So full of odd and inappropriate references to male genitalia. I didn't get past page 100. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Erika | 12/2/2013

    " I love, love, love Tom Robbins but this book was only so-so. Definitely not his best. Entertaining, amusing and bizarre in a way that only Tom Robbins can do, but....meh. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Mary Porfido | 11/29/2013

    " wierdest book i ever read. was my first tom robbins and probably my last. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dana | 3/13/2013

    " Maybe a little too bizarre, even for me. Probably a book just for Tom Robbins fans. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Greg | 2/17/2013

    " The tanooki and his knock-knocks are the only good parts in this. :) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Paul Kotheimer | 6/19/2012

    " I must have missed so much about this flawed masterpiece when I first read it in 03. Robbins needs to be savored and perhaps I was too busy trying to get done. I only call it flawed because it was too short. When you only publish a book every 6 years, they should be pretty long IMHO. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathy | 4/28/2012

    " To date...this book has the most unique opening line I've ever read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marlo | 4/18/2012

    " "When socialism is pushed beyond a certain point, it becomes totalitarianism. Capitalism, on the other hand, if carried to its extreme, becomes anarchy."~T.Robbins "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bebe | 2/16/2012

    " Book on CD - whatever this guy is on I want it, just started the book and it is weird, wild and pretty darn funny. Finished the book and I loved it - will now proceed to read everything the guy ever wrote. Talk about a mental orgasm.....this is it! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sabrina | 8/26/2011

    " Again, not one of my favorites, but Robbins still maintains his legendary story telling status "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jchung7 | 8/16/2011

    " Too bizarre for my liking, yet I admire the imagination. I wouldn't be surprised if this book had a cult following with acid heads. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Penelope Jo | 8/12/2011

    " It is what it is, You are what it, no mistakes. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Efrat | 5/28/2011

    " fiction. of his more recent books, this was one of my favorites. touches on drugs (duh, what tom robbins book doesn't?) and politics. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bernadette | 5/23/2011

    " An interesting tale of twists and unlikely connections - American MIAs in Laos and the great-granddaughter of a tanuki-human union.
    "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elly | 3/31/2011

    " Interesting. At the beginning I wasn't sure I would like it but it did grab me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Liz | 3/24/2011

    " As I've said before, to read Tom Robbins is to understand... Very enjoyable as usual. "

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

    " It was not as good as Jitterbug Perfume, but it had some seriously great quotes. Tom Robbins is really my favorite brain candy. "

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

    " Not Robbins' best but still damn good. After all, it has Robbins' one-of-a-kind voice, one of those stories shot from the other side of the moon, and an exotic setting. A swell read for any Robbins fan but a book to avoid for squares who can't take the wild world of Tom Robbins. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karen | 3/12/2011

    " Different - at first I wasn't sure I could get into it - sort it all through to make it acceptable never mind believable but by the end I enjoyed it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Julie | 2/13/2011

    " Tom Robbins was described to me as a master wordsmith. Unfortunately, I felt like I was reading a dry version of Carl Hiassan. This book did not hook me as a reader nor did it have any major redeeming qualities in the end. Glad to be done. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 K.c. | 2/4/2011

    " Pretty characteristic of Tom Robbins, only a little shorter than usual. I think my favourite is either Jitterbug Perfume or Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates: they seem a bit more inspired, but this is a terrific read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Audrey | 12/28/2010

    " Took a while to get interesting - it would seem Tom Robbins has pressure to out-Tom Robbins himself. Nonetheless, it was profound at moments (mayonaise) and definitely entertaining. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sam | 12/24/2010

    " I was drawn in during the hilarious first section but started losing interest towards the end. A fun, quick read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dan | 12/13/2010

    " The first 70 pages or so were interesting, but the plot changed and I lost interest. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jason | 12/3/2010

    " Stubblefield is the best, and his monologues are very
    entertaining. I enjoyed this book. "

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About the Author
Author Tom Robbins

Tom Robbins has been called “a vital natural resource” by the Oregonian, “one of the wildest and most entertaining novelists in the world” by the Financial Times of London, and “the most dangerous writer in the world today” by Fernanda Pivano of Italy’s Corriere della Sera. A Southerner by birth, Robbins has lived in and around Seattle since 1962. He is the author of eight novels.

About the Narrator

Barrett Whitener has been narrating audiobooks since 1992. His recordings have won several awards, including the prestigious Audie and seven Earphones Awards. AudioFile magazine has named him one of the Best Voices of the Century. He lives in Washington, DC.