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Jitterbug Perfume [Paperback]

Tom Robbins
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (139 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 18.95
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Book Description

April 1 1990
Jitterbug Perfume
is an epic.

Which is to say, it begins in the forests of ancient Bohemia and doesn’t conclude until nine o’clock tonight (Paris time).

It is a saga, as well. A saga must have a hero, and the hero of this one is a janitor with a missing bottle.

The bottle is blue, very, very old, and embossed with the image of a goat-horned god.

If the liquid in the bottle actually is the secret essence of the universe, as some folks seem to think, it had better be discovered soon because it is leaking and there is only a drop or two left.

Frequently Bought Together

Jitterbug Perfume + Still Life with Woodpecker + Skinny Legs and All
Price For All Three: CDN$ 41.04


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Review

"Jitterbug Perfume has a large and  exotic cast of characters, all of whom are interested  in immortality and/or perfume... Go see for  yourself; you'll have a good time."—Washington Post

“Robbins again celebrates the joy of individual expression and self-reliance. He lays before us the time honored warts and hairs of the world’s philosophies—problems with religion, war, politics, family, marriage and sex—and leaves no twist or turn unstoned. —Saturday Review

From the Publisher

"Jitterbug Perfume is an epic. which is to say, it begins in the forests of ancient Bohemia and doesn't conclude until nine o'clock tonight [Paris time]. It is a saga, as well. A saga must have a hero, and the hero of this one is a janitor with a missing bottle. The bottle is blue, very, very old, and embossed with the image of a goat-horned god. If the liquid in the bottle is actually is the secret essence of the universe, as some folks seem to think, it had better be discovered soon becaused it is leaking and there is only a drop of two left.

"Jitterbug Perfume has a large and exotic cast of characters, all of whom are interested in immortality and/or perfume... Go see for yourself; you'll have a good time."--The Washington Post


Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
THE CITADEL WAS DARK, and the heroes were sleeping. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars required reading for anyone and everyone! July 10 2003
Format:Paperback
Tom Robbins is a writer without an equal in this world today. He
has helped me deal with "reality" and keep my "sanity". He has
more insightful sightings, and ingenious prophecies than any
of the other writers I've read. You must read ALL his books,like I have, countless times, in order to get all his messages! There is no other other writers, besides Gilda Radner, that can make you cry at the begining of a paragraph,
then laugh off your seat at the end. He is also an expert on health, especially with the hot baths and cold rinse, it is a
medical standard, I'm an EMT and working on a paramedic, then doctor's degree. I feel sorry for anyone that hasn't shared his
joyous scribes, and I suggest you run to your nearest library
to enrich your imagination!! As I said before, he's an expert
in this book, with his message of heating and cooling your blood. It's cured me, along with the belly laughs that no other
other writer can give me, and believe me, I've read ALL of them. Three cheers and many, many, thanks to this very insightful man for sharing his ideas with the rest of the world.
Thanks again, a Godzillion times, for sharing your thoughts with
the rest of us in our hopeless, pitiful world. Kathleen Krol
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this book! Feb. 11 2004
Format:Paperback
I'm sorry if I don't wax all eloquent and stuff about all the stuff I love in this book, so I guess nobody will find my review helpful. that's okay. you won't hurt my feelings. I still love this book. It's all about his words and the order he puts them in. it makes me wish I could speak as beautifully as he does. but I'm just a birdygirl.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "as she tapped her tootsie roll toes" June 7 2004
Format:Paperback
At times, this book made me howl with laughter. The above quote is just one specific example. Extracted from the story, it's typical of Robbins' mind-blowing descriptive narrative. It hails from the "New Orleans" sections of the book, which detail the poignant relationship between an eccentric French Quarter dame and her assistant V'lu, an astute African-American Creole with an accent that shakes the rafters.
I had read "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues" and "Still Life with Woodpecker." It seemed that each of these novels came into my life at the most appropriate of times, helping me through some rough patches, and always, invariably, reminding me not to take life too seriously as I am want to do. "Jitterbug", however, made me weep. Yes, there's a lot packed in this book. Yes, Robbins metaphors get a little heavy-handed at times. However, the story is woven so cleverly, the descriptions so lucid, I felt as if I was a part of the book. And, afterall, isn't that the point of literature, to reel us in? As usual, after reading his work, I am forever slightly altered in my chemical makeup. Knowing that I will read the book again if I begin to backslide into jadedness, paranoia, or recalcitrant routines.
Read this book. Even if you don't enjoy Robbins, it will give you such food for thought that you will have to at least tip your proverbial hat at the cleverness of his prose. Where does this guy come up with these ideas? Could we be in the company of one of the great spirits of all time with Robbins? Can I acquire such colorful language and attitudes? I certainly hope so.
No philosophical, political, or sociological stone is left unturned. As usual, Robbins is in rare, if not always palatable, form. I adore him!
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By Jenni M
Format:Paperback
I read this novel the first time in my late teens and discovered a compelling and complex story intricately crafted in many layers, heaped, one upon the other. A few years later, I used the book for a paper on the biblical and mythological foundations of English literature. The story is overflowing with overt and covert references to things spiritual, religious and mythological, covering ground from ancient India, Egypt, Greece and Rome to modern day. (My "unorthodox" book selection did bemuse my elderly male professor, used to papers on Shakespeare or Milton, but nonetheless pulled off an A-minus.)
It is, as the editorial description says, an epic saga and touches on many topics including spirituality, nature, true love, the best [physical relations], everlasting life and the importance of the humble beet. (Ah yes, the beet - that large, reddish purple root vegetable, staining the lips and the tips of fingers with its deep, life affirming and luscious redness...)
(...) Yes. Well. It is rather difficult to explain how beets fit into the equation, so I suggest you consider reading the book and then you'll understand completely. ;-)
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5.0 out of 5 stars my favorite book ever April 7 2004
By J. Daly
Format:Paperback
I love this book so much I have to read it at least once a year. I've enjoyed all of Tom Robbins' other books, but this is by far my favorite. If I ever go through a slump of not reading, I can pull this book out and be back in the mood. The different plotlines are woven together so well, that even though I may think at the end of a section "oh, I wanted more about Alobar and Kudra now" I am immediately caught up in whichever character's story has taken over. You see very early on how all the characters are linked, and the way the whole thing unfolds never gets old for me. I find this book to be hilarious, imaginative, thought-provoking, inspirational, and very hopeful. I know that every re-read will end with a smile and a sense of fulfillment. I have recommended this book to every person who has ever asked me about something to read. In fact, I buy every thrift store copy I ever come across (and I can never believe that someone got rid of this book), so I have extra copies around to give to people who haven't read it. Jitterbug Perfume makes me happy every time I read it so I feel compelled to share the experience with everyone else! Enjoy!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This is one of my favorite books
Excellent writing. Interesting and unusual story. You'll have no idea where its going but enjoy getting there. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Gal Gone Green
2.0 out of 5 stars I guess I just wasn't ready for it.
I read and loved so many of Tom Robbins' books but Jitterbug Perfume didn't grab me like the others. Read more
Published on Jan. 2 2012 by David Sabine
5.0 out of 5 stars A mud-covered priceless jewel
The completely linear thinker; the person who demands a beginning middle and end, complete with protagonist, threatening antagonist and the girl and riches our hero gets at the end... Read more
Published on Nov. 3 2011 by Douglas Wolfe
5.0 out of 5 stars It smells great!
I read this book over 10 years ago. It was the first Robbins book I had ever read, and indeed it is like nothing else I've ever experienced. Read more
Published on Aug. 9 2005 by Sandra
5.0 out of 5 stars Jittery goodness wrapped in genius
Robbins gift for metaphor is undeniable, his talent for onomatopeia unmatched, and his ability to discover wonder in the mundane is an extraordinary gift. Read more
Published on March 26 2005 by J. Densmore
5.0 out of 5 stars orgasmic!
one of the best books of the century. anyone able to read should read jitterbug perfume before they die. t'is a piece of heaven, an orgasmic thrill cloaked with words!
Published on Aug. 21 2004 by carmellimorgaine
5.0 out of 5 stars Scent from heaven
The canvas that Robbins chooses to work with is sprawling and vast, reminding me of some of T.C. Boyle's novels or perhaps those of Jackson McCrae (Bark of the Dogwood). Read more
Published on July 23 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
If you have a keen sense of smell, you'll really appreciate this tale as it follows the trail of a bottle of jasmine-scented perfume down through the ages... Read more
Published on July 1 2004 by Zeeshan Hasan
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Weekend Read
I thought that this book was a wonderful 'weekend at the lake; kind of book. Tom Robbin's writing is funny and filled with nuances that are rare in these these type of books. Read more
Published on June 22 2004 by "viric_celestius"
1.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish
One star because I finished the book. Perhaps I am lucky to have read good fiction? This book is rubbish. The language use and style are terrible. Read more
Published on May 26 2004 by Cordell G. Weir
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