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B is for Beer: A Children's Book for Grown-ups‒A Grown-up Book for Children

B is for Beer: A Children's Book for Grown-ups‒A Grown-up Book for Children

Written by Tom Robbins

Narrated by Laura Silverman


B is for Beer: A Children's Book for Grown-ups‒A Grown-up Book for Children

Written by Tom Robbins

Narrated by Laura Silverman

ratings:
3.5/5 (16 ratings)
Length:
2 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Apr 21, 2009
ISBN:
9780061768644
Format:
Audiobook

Description

A Children's Book About Beer?

Yes, believe it or not-but B Is for Beer is also an audiobook for adults, and bear in mind that it's the work of maverick bestselling novelist Tom Robbins, internationally known for his ability to both seriously illuminate and comically entertain.

Once upon a time (right about now) there was a planet (how about this one?) whose inhabitants consumed thirty-six billion gallons of beer each year (it's a fact, you can Google it). Among those affected, each in his or her own way, by all the bubbles, burps, and foam, was a smart, wide-eyed, adventurous kindergartner named Gracie; her distracted mommy; her insensitive dad; her non-conformist uncle; and a magical, butt-kicking intruder from a world within our world.

Populated by the aforementioned characters—and as charming as it may be subversive—B Is for Beer involves listeners, young and old, in a surprising, far-reaching investigation into the limits of reality, the transformative powers of children, and, of course, the ultimate meaning of a tall, cold brewski.

Publisher:
Released:
Apr 21, 2009
ISBN:
9780061768644
Format:
Audiobook

About the author

Tom Robbins was born in North Carolina in 1932 and raised in Virginia. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, he moved to Seattle to do graduate work at the University of Washington. His internationally bestselling works include Still Life With Woodpecker, Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates, Jitterbug Perfume, Skinny Legs and All, Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas, Villa Incognito, and B Is For Beer. Robbins lives with his wife, Alexa D'Avalon, and their dog, Blini Tomato Titanium, in Washington State.


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Reviews

What people think about B is for Beer

3.6
16 ratings / 17 Reviews
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Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (2/5)
    Prior to reading this book I had never read anything written by him. After reading this book, I doubt I will read anything more written by him.

    Funny? No. Amusing? Slightly.

    A little girl who is intrigued by beer, accidentally gets drunk on the 6th birthday & pukes on her Hello Kitty rug.... In a drunker stupor she is visited by the Beer fairy who takes her on a tour of how beer is made, from the Barley fields to the brewery, to a Beer Festival.

    Meh!
  • (2/5)
    While entirely readable, it felt really uneven, dancing around topics without making a distinct decision as to what kind of book it was. I liked the flavor of the writing enough to where I'll check out some of his other work, but this one just wasn't for me.
  • (2/5)
    Cute idea that started off well, but seemed to increasingly flail as it went along.
  • (2/5)
    I have long been a fan of Tom Robbins (I frequently quote Still Life With Woodpecker), and I love beer…. but this little book left me underwhelmed. The story of 6 year-old Gracie’s visit from the beer fairy read like an informational brochure for the brewing industry. Robbins’s wacky and wonderful descriptions shone through a few times, but not nearly often enough to satisfy me. The only Robbins book I have not wanted to read again. Sorry Tom… we’ll always have Mu.
  • (2/5)
    Synopsis/blurb.......Have you ever wondered why your daddy likes beer so much? Have you wondered, before you fall asleep at night, why he sometimes acts kind of "funny" after he's been drinking beer? Maybe you've even wondered where beer comes from, because you're pretty sure it isn't from a cow. Well, Gracie Perkel wondered those same things.So begins bestselling author Tom Robbins' first fiction in five years (and perhaps his most audacious ever), B Is for Beer explores various aspects of beer culture - ancient, modern, and otherworldly; brutal, infantile and divine - and dramatizes the surprising things that happen when the life of a feisty nursery school kid named Gracie Perkel intersects with each.Billed by Robbins as 'the first children's book about beer,' this inspired work taps into the barrel of life's existential mysteries and is, of course, truly meant to sit proudly with his other novels in the grown-up literature section.Review'One of the wildest and most entertaining writers in the world' --Financial Times'Tom Robbins has a grasp on things that dazzles the brain' --Thomas Pynchon 'Impossibly imaginative' --Vanity Fair'One of the bravest writers in America.' --Chicago Tribune'whimsical, absurdist' --Billy Heller, New York Post About the AuthorTom Robbins has been called "a vital natural resource" by The Portland Oregonian, "one of the wildest and most entertaining novelists in the world" by the FT, 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. His novels include Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates, Jitterbug Perfume, Still Life With Woodpecker, Skinny Legs And All and Half Asleep In Frog Pyjamas and Beer. I like to step outside the crime fiction genre fairly frequently, just to keep my reading fresh. Tom Robbins is an author I’ve never read before, though I do have a couple of his books laying around somewhere, acquired in the belief that from what I’ve read about him they may well be quirky enough to tickle my fancy.Well whilst struggling through Amis’s Lionel Asbo, I picked up this book in the hope of a short, light, entertaining diversion.Short – tickLight – tickEntertaining - crossI just didn’t understand the whole raison d’être for the book, styled as a “Grown-up book for Children” and a “Children’s book for Grown-ups.” Stunned that this ever got into print as it was in my opinion a massive indulgence on the author’s behalf.We have a young girl, Gracie living with her parents and feeling the effects of their failing marriage. Her only confidant is her uncle, who lets her down and moves away with his latest girlfriend. Gracie has a slight obsession with beer, somewhat bizarrely. She gets in trouble at Sunday school when she mentions it. She has a drink, gets drunk, gets sick and is visited by the beer fairy...........do I need to go on? I’d rather have a drink.On the basis that it was short and light, we’ll go 2 from 5I’m not ripping up trees to get to my copy of Villa Incognito or Still Life With Woodpecker.Acquired second- hand from a charity shop in the charming city of St Albans, so at least someone should benefit from my purchase.
  • (4/5)
    Great little humerous look at the amber liquid we have all come to love and hate...
  • (3/5)
    Robbins uses some of the most muscular and flexible language I've ever read. His sentences are so finely crafted that each gleams. His skewed vision combined with his rarefied prose can make it difficult to notice when there's something missing. It's my opinion that as beautiful as this book is, it's also pedantic at its core. In a boring way.

    Also, the spacing

    of the prose

    reminds me of term papers


    which needed to be exactly 40 pages long.


    It is worth reading for the joyful, playful, ebullient goofiness that defines Robbins. There are some hilarious passages, of course, and some memorable lines. Ultimately, for me, it wasn't a keeper, though I'm glad I read it.
  • (4/5)
    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!)
  • (4/5)
    "B Is for Beer" tells the tale of one Gracie Perkel, an inquisitive 5-year-old, as she attempts to find out what that funny yellow stuff is that her Dad always drinks. Her Mother pooh-poohs away the question. Her father would rather watch the football game. But her Uncle Moe, delighting in her questions, decides that he will tell her everything she needs to know about the foamy yellow elixir known as beer. He secretly lets her take a swig from his can, then promises that for her birthday -- only a few days away -- he's going to take her to the Redhook Brewery to see for herself how beer is made.Her excitement over the next few days turns into disappointment when Uncle Moe has to cancel the trip. Terribly upset, she goes on a bender, making herself sick, and unexpectedly bringing her to the attention of a very special and magical intruder who plans on showing young Gracie just what all the fuss surrounding beer is about."B Is for Beer" is a charming and funny cautionary tale about all that is good and bad about that wondrous alcoholic beverage beer. Yes, it does seem odd to tell this kind of story with the main character being a 5-year-old girl. But think about it: a child learns by imitating and asking questions, especially of their parents. Gracie sees her father drinking beer, sees how it affects him, and is naturally curious. What Tom Robbins manages to do is to mix the childlike inquisitiveness with an adult viewpoint, crafting a very enjoyable story, and sneaking in a bit of educational subtext. The story doesn't say Beer is Good or Beer is Bad, but presents scenes to highlight both viewpoints and to allow the reader -- or the young Gracie -- to form his or her own opinion.I definitely recommend this to beer lovers and abstainers alike. A very fun read.
  • (4/5)
    Cute book. It aptly says on the cover: "grown up book for children and Children book for grown up", it is quite an accurate description. It follows the story of Gracie Perkel 5 years old, nearly 6, who becomes curious about beer. She eventually experiment and ends up meeting the beer fairy, who will teach her, how beer is made, why grown-up drink beer, what beer does to you etc...
  • (4/5)
    A fun, quick read from Tom Robbins. I enjoyed his book "Still Life with Woodpecker" too.
  • (3/5)
    I'm usually a big fan of Tom Robbins, but this was a disappointment. There was the colorful language, the vivid imagery, the happy mockery, but this mix of fairytale and beer simply did not have the same pizazz and wit I've come to expect. A moral tale is Robbins' specialty but this one lacked subtlety.
  • (4/5)
    B is for Beer is basically Tom Robbins Lite. While there are hints and traces of the writing that makes Robbins such a wonderful writer, the high-minded philosophical thoughts are toned down. Nevertheless, what's left is still a highly amusing and entertaining story that does encourage the reader to look at the world with a skeptical eye. In fact, Robbins seems to have packed in an extra dose of political messages criticizing the ever-scary conservatives found in the United States. The topic of the book and the intended audience - beer and kids - seems to be an obvious attempt at shocking people. Robbins admits as much at the end credits, noting that others thought he wouldn't "bloody dare". Robbins makes the book work - neither being outlandishly scandalous, nor pandering to more conservative readers. B is for Beer is a nice change of pace for Robbins, but his fully adult fiction is so wonderful, it would be a shame for him to become too enamored of writing young adult fiction. This book is certainly a good read, but it doesn't take the place of a normal Robbins novel.
  • (5/5)
    I stopped reading Tom Robbins for the story years ago, but still love to read him for the pure delight of his prose and B is for Beer doesn't disappoint. The story is simple - young Gracie gains a fascination from her nutty Uncle Moe about beer and the Beer Fairy visits to teach her more about it. The writing is the ultimate delight. Robbins is the all time master of the metaphor and supreme simile writer. I found myself smiling at phrase after phrase "a silk dress as red as a terrorism alert" "Each drizzly day limped into the next as if a falling can of Sapporo had broken the day's sunset toe and torn it's sunrise tendon". Read this book for the joy of the language, and you just might learn a few facts about beer in the process.
  • (2/5)
    I wonder if I've outgrown Tom Robbins? I haven't read one of his books in years, and I never enjoyed one of his books as much as I enjoyed my first, Still Life with Woodpecker.BUt while there were some beautiful lines occasionally, for the most part I thought this entire book was silly and contrived. I don't see a child enjoying it, it is too snide. And Gracie was far too annoying for me to enjoy her, there was very little child-like about her. Over all this was a disappointment, and I'd only weakly recommend it it to die-hard fans of the author.
  • (4/5)
    "B is for Beer" is a whimsical story about a six year old girl named Gracie Perkel and her first encounters with beer. A less then savory home life sets the backdrop for her interactions with her uncle Moe the Philosopher (who first teaches her about beer, in the highest esteem), an angry sunday school teacher (who ridicules her for merely mentioning the stuff), and the beer fairy (who teaches little Gracie the "truth" about beer).
  • (4/5)
    Tom Robbins never disappoints.