Still Life With Woodpecker

As a child I thought I would never read love stories, and I would grow up far from mushy romanticism. Years after certain blind assumptions, my luck turned to be brilliant with a handful of carefully selected love stories. The journey started with Haruki Murakami’s Norwegian Wood and Wind-up Bird Chronicle.

This week, I read Still Life With Woodpecker (1980) by Tom Robbins. It explores love in very unique and exquisite ways. Robbins writes the story of a princess, Leigh-Cheri, and an outlaw, Bernard Mickey Wrangle. This a revolutionary post-modern fairy tale of dynamites and saving the world.

Still Life With Woodpecker talks of some strange relationships of the writer and his Remington SL3, of Woodpecker and his dynamites, of Guiletta and her toot, of Camel Cigarettes and solitude, of Princess and her Prince Charming, of European Royalty and America, and of love and its Moon.

The narrative urges the reader to watch the Moon, learn childhood, listen to fairy tales carefully, observe objects, and delve in solitude. The writing is dynamic and runs in express speed. It separates the narrative, writer, typewriter, reader, and characters on different planes, but manages to place them in the same chamber of thought.

This is beautiful, eccentric, and something everyone should read. Who is an outlaw? What is the basis of social activism? Who are the Redheads? What is importance of the Moon? The book keeps on asking questions, searching in the depths of life and thought. It bursts like dynamite lit up in a dark little chamber. The pages fly. It struggles to discover, what makes love stay.


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