Tom Robbins Quotes

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Nature has always set limits on growth: limits on the physical size of individual species, limits on the size of populations. Did we really believe capitalism was exempt from the laws of nature? Did we really confuse endless consumption with endless progress?

...individuals have to accept responsibility for their own bad choices. If every time we choose a turd, society, at great expense, simply allows us to redeem it for a pepperoni, then not only will we never learn to make smart choices, we will also surrender the freedom to choose, because a choice without consequences is no choice at all. Maybe it boils down to the premium we want to place on liberty.

It's a smile a girl could bring home to mother, if she had a mother; a smile a girl could pet like a pony, sip like a lemonade, hum like a popular tune; a smile a girl would feel safe with in a dark alley.

Would you complain because a beautiful sunset doesn't have a future or a shooting star a payoff? And why should romance 'lead anywhere'? Passion isn't a path through the woods. Passion is the woods.

Midnight, when the monotonous tick-tock of diurnal progress is for one throbbing moment replaced by the cool but smokey honk of a saxophone, alternately seductive and threatening. Midnight. The black growth on the clock face that has to be biopsied every twenty-four hours to see whether it is malignant or benign.

Animals--do not share man's pathetic need to socialize bliss, codify awe, pigeonhole the Mystery, and tame the Divine. For an ape, born twice is entirely redundant, since an ape gets it right the first time.

He's not really a fighter. He's an adventurer. There's a difference. He doesn't attack, he engages; he doesn't defend, he expands; he doesn't destroy, he transforms; he doesn't reject, he explores; he doesn't... well, you get the picture.

Night, when tangos play on the nurse's radio and rat poison sings its own hot song behind the cellar door. Night, when the long snake feeds, when the black sedan cruises the pleasure districts, when neon flickers "Free at Last" in a dozen lost languages, and shapes left over from childhood move furtively behind the moon-dizzy boughs of the fir.

"You aren't talking about dreams. You are referring to your pathetic bourgeoisie ambitions. Dreams don't come true. Dreams are true."

They warn us when we're kids that we're going to have to suffer, but they neglect to mention the indignity. What self-respecting fetus, if shown its future as a proctology patient, boot-camp recruit, or game show contestant, would still elect to be born?

Your friend insults the homeless by giving them no credit for having made the decisions that shaped their lives, and demeans them further by declaring them powerless to alter their situations.

Passion isn't a path through the woods. Passion is the woods.

I'm acquainted with a, uh, gentleman who claims that the extent to which a society focuses on the needs of its lowest common denominator is the extent to which that society'll be mired in mediocrity. Whereas, if we would aim the bulk of our support at the brightest, most talented, most virtuous instead, then they would have the wherewithal to solve a lot of our problems, to uplift the whole culture, enlighten it or something, so that eventually there wouldn't be so many losers and weaklings impeding evolution and dragging the whole species down. He claims that martyrs like you just perpetuate human misery by catering to it. He believes individuals have to take responsibility for their own lives and accept the consequences of their choices.

The theater of man is not always 'amusing', but it is always theater, and theater can be marveled at even when its content is somber and harsh.

You can love 'em till your well runs dry, Belford, but you can never love 'em enough, and you know it. No matter how much others might love you, you can't love yourself unless you're in charge of your own actions, and you'll never take charge as long as you can get away with blaming your shortcomings and misfortunes on your family or society or your race or gender or Satan or whatever...

We, with our propensity for murder, torture, slavery, rape, cannibalism, pillage, advertising jingles, shag carpets, and golf, how could we seriously be considered as the perfection of a four-billion-year-old grandiose experiment?

In the beginning was the thing. And one thing led to another.

But why diminish your soul being run-of-the-mill at something? Mediocrity: now there is ugliness for you. Mediocrity's a hairball coughed up on the Persian carpet of Creation.

Just because you've got the cutest ass west of Chicago and north of L.A. doesn't mean you have to go around with your head up it. Leaves no room for me.

"There's no such thing as security in this life, sweetheart; and the sooner you accept that fact, the better off you'll be. The person who strives for security will never be free. The person who believes that she's found security will never reach paradise. What she mistakes for security is purgatory. You know what purgatory is, Gwendolyn? It's the waiting room, it's the lobby. Not only does she have the wrong libretto, she's stuck in the lobby where she can't see the show."

You should never hesitate to trade your cow for a handful of magic beans.

Well, there's always the nature boat,the art boat, the sex boat, the intoxication boat. They're bobbing at the end of nearly every pier, just waiting to ferry us across our personal doldrums, societal whirlpools, and institutional sewage lagoons. Why, the best of them can even cut the tides of mediocrity.

Love makes the world go 'round, it's true, but lust stops the world in its tracks; love renders bearable the passage of time, lust causes time to stand still; lust kills time, which is not to say that is wastes it or whiles it aimlessly away but rather that it annihilates it, cancels it, extirpates it from the continuum; preventing, while it lasts, any lapse into the tense and shabby woes of temporal society; lust is the thousand-pound odometer needle on the dashboard of the absolute.

News: Tom's latest book "Tibetan Peach Pie: A True Account of an Imaginative Life" (a memoir of sorts) was released in May 2014.

What follows is an excerpt from the blurb from

Internationally bestselling novelist and American icon Tom Robbins delivers the long awaited tale of his wild life and times, both at home and around the globe.

Tom Robbins’ warm, wise, and wonderfully weird novels — including Still Life With Woodpecker, Jitterbug Perfume, and Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates — provide an entryway into the frontier of his singular imagination. Madcap but sincere, pulsating with strong social and philosophical undercurrents, his irreverent classics have introduced countless readers to natural born hitchhiking cowgirls, born-again monkeys, a philosophizing can of beans, exiled royalty, and problematic redheads.

In Tibetan Peach Pie, Robbins turns that unparalleled literary sensibility inward,... Read more...