Author: Tom Robbins
Pub: Harper Collins, 2009
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Fairy Tale-ish(?)
Don't you just love the title of the book? Especially the "A Children's Book for Grown-ups and "A Grown-up Book for Children". *sigh* Tom Robbins, you just make me weak in the knees.
B is for Beer will not disappoint if you are a Tom Robbins lover like myself. It's fanciful and still tongue-in-cheek. It's straight forward and yet hidden. Oh, and it's absolutely almost as contradictory as those two descriptors were.
The book opens with: Have you ever wondered why your daddy likes beer so much?
Thus the story begins. The narrator introduces us to Gracie, the young child who innocently tries to figure out the question our trustworthy storyteller poses. Gracie has a zany, hippie, philosophical uncle who tries to teach her of the world, treating her as equal to equal rather than adult to child. It's this uncle that she adores the most who ends up disappointing her. And those events lead her down an alcoholic road of discovery.
After a birthday let down, young Gracie decides to drink a couple of daddy's favorite beverages...which essentially means, she gets toasted. I mean, seriously, ABSOLUTELY wasted. And of course who does she meet in her drunken stupor? Well, obvs...it's the BEER Fairy. (And for the record, I myself, have never been in such a state that I've met the Beer Fairy. I'm curious though...did I ever come close? Should I work on it harder?)
This is where this tour de force (um yeah) tale turns historical. The Beer Fairy teaches Gracie the ins and outs of alcohol...the history...how it's made...why it's desired...and yes, even points out that for most it's an acquired taste.
Gracie wakes up hungover...AND...
Well, I can't tell you the ending. Even though it is a fairy tale; therefore, you will sigh in that "happily ever after" sigh.
Tom Robbins hasn't disappointed me yet. If you're unfamiliar with his works, please start with Skinny Legs and All. (I hope to reread that one this year or next!)