Is this the Tom Robbins I've read? In contrast to the novels of John Barth, the book descriptions for Tom Robbins make his plots sound like a brand (in the advertising sense) of surrealism someone can read too early. It seems Robbins hangs his hat on well-pegged cultural symbols. So that might explain why his work didn't seem surreal enough to me in my 20s. Then again, I'd already seen a kind of surreal which was rare and real, even by American standards.