15. B is for Beer

Book Reviews / Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

You might want to grab a cold brewski before sitting down to read B is for Beer by Tom Robbins.  You’re going to need one to get through it.  This is another book I picked up two years ago and didn’t get around to it until today.  This is the latest from Robbins but unfortunately not his best.  It came out in 2009.  I’m a real die-hard fan of Robbins, especially Jitterbug Perfume, Skinny Legs and All, and Another Roadside AttractionB is for Beer doesn’t have a really absorbing storyline like Robbins usually writes, nor is there the strong character building.

This is a fairy tale about beer and Gracie Perkel.  At the beginning of the story, Gracie is five years old and curious about the customary liquid substance of choice of her father that makes him go pee-pee. His refusal to let her have a sip while watching a football match leads her to getting one from her Uncle Moe.  Her Uncle Moe schools her a little on life and of course on beer.  Henceforth, commences her interest and slight obsession with beer.  He leaves the day of her sixth birthday for Costa Rica and doesn’t get to honor his promise to take her to visit the Redhook brewery.  Disheartened she guzzles her first beer, gets sick, meets the Beer Fairy, and the adventure begins.  Yes, I said the Beer Fairy.

I really have to say not an interesting book other than to find out facts about beer and to learn how it’s made.  If you know that already there’s no need to read this.  You do get funny info like; “Speaking of inventions, did you know that the tin can was invented in 1811, but can openers weren’t invented until 1855?” B is for Beer p. 15 or”….thirty-six billion gallons of beer are sold in the world every year.” B is for Beer p. 83   Since it’s a fairy tale you can guess how it ends.  Robbins does every now and then show his talent for witty one liners and funny descriptions, but I wouldn’t suggest you read this if it’s your first time reading Robbins.  I would suggest Jitterbug Perfume.  Overall I’d rate this 125 page, two and a half hour read two and a half stars.  I was disappointed.  The cover was promising.  I was expecting a whirlwind ride and I got B is for Boring.  If you do decide to read it, for God’s sake don’t buy; have a friend lend it to you, check it out from the library, or buy it for a couple of dollars on your Kindle!  I hope this won’t be Tom Robbins’ last word because I do love his crazy, outlandish, adventurous, and unpretentious storytelling.  It’s refreshing!  It would be a shame for him to finish his career like this.

6 Replies to “15. B is for Beer”

  1. This sounds like a very light read, very different from Skinny Legs and All. I might read it again since I read it years ago; and it is a very good one. Thanks for your post.

  2. I agree that it wasn’t as good as the usual Tom Robbins. But I am a fan and cannot help myself from enjoying his humor. I actually enjoyed it more than I thought I would because I listened to this one. There is a very cute narrator on his audiobook, which makes it sound a lot more like children’s literature than adult literature. But I have to confess, I am not sure I want to introduce my kids to beer in this way! And there is at least one scene that alludes to sexual violence! Eek! So, I think this book is really not properly geared toward anyone….too simple for adults and too “mature” for kids.

    1. I totaly agree. I’m not sure what he was thinking whe n he wrote this one. I still like him very much as a writier because he’s open and writes simply, no pretentiousness. Cheers to Tom’s next book! 🙂

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