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Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins
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Jitterbug Perfume (1984)

by Tom Robbins

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,486621,091 (4.17)132
  1. 70
    Skinny Legs and All by Tom Robbins (jennyl.keen)
  2. 30
    American Gods by Neil Gaiman (jennyl.keen)
  3. 10
    Bluebeard by Kurt Vonnegut (Alialibobali)
  4. 00
    Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami (Alialibobali)
  5. 00
    The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break: A Novel by Steven Sherrill (Littlemissbashful)
    Littlemissbashful: Two books with two different takes on what happens to the old Gods and creatures of myth we leave behind. Tom Robbins delivers the usual multi-stranded story interwoven with flights of fantasy and a meditation on the 'seriousness of beats' while 'The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break' is the more low key minimalist story.… (more)
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» See also 132 mentions

English (61)  German (1)  All languages (62)
Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
This is... well, it's hard to describe. It's weird. Maybe I'll start by summarizing it.

For 3/4ths of the book, there's one main plot about a king in the past seeking immortality. We focus on him 75% of the time, and the other 25% is three other plot lines in the present. One is about a starving artist in Seattle trying to hit on a blockbuster amateur perfume, one is about a perfumer in New Orleans, and the other is about the brother co-owners of a fragrance company in France. The remaining 1/4th is all these plotlines merging together.

The main hook of the story is the colorful prose. And it is very colorful. The prose is fantastic to read -- jazzy metaphors, extravagant similes, splashy hyperbole. It's like every sentence is dessert.

But the problem is, you eat enough dessert, you start to get sick of it. And you want some meat and potatoes. I would love a short story written like this, but it's too intense for an entire novel. It hinges on style over substance, and fore gos plotholes and cohesion for what's neat and creative. There's a lot of weird stuff, a lot of graphic sex. It feels like it was written by a hippie for hippies. ( )
  theWallflower | Mar 17, 2014 |
I started this one aaaages ago but had the roughest time finishing it, it was the first book of his that's been such a drag. its about these people and the quest for immortality, and the best perfume. but there are too many people and its forever jumping back and forth and all around, and neither immortality nor perfume interest me much, and it generally wasn't my favorite story. also, there's a hell of a lot of sex (it seemed like). i'm no prude, and this is tom robbins after all, but somehow it seemed there was too much of it, and it was pointless.

there was one thread in the story i REALLY liked, though, which was the early bits with Alobar, who is this mediaeval king trying to escape death. ( )
  allisonneke | Dec 17, 2013 |
A would-be epic of converging stories. The most prominent of those stories are: (1) a promising character - an ancient King - whose story is abandoned halfway though the book; (2) an annoying, self-absorbed character, who is repeatedly referred to as a "genius" although everything she ever does indicates that she's a complete idiot; and (3) lectures. Lots and lots of rambling lectures. So many lectures. 20 pages from the end of the book, I nearly gave up on it, it got that bad. ( )
  comfypants | Nov 27, 2013 |
I need to reread this before I can give it a real review. All I can say is that I was enthralled, a bit appalled, and a lot delighted. Which is pretty much Tom Robbins in a nutshell. Which is why he is probably my number 1 favorite author. ( )
  PolymathicMonkey | Nov 10, 2013 |
I abandoned this book after only reading the first chapter or so. It was all over the place with odd references to beets everywhere. I know it was supposed to be funny, but I just didn't get into it.

Having said that I did enjoy the story of the king in it. It was kind of interesting. ( )
  alsocass | Oct 12, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
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The beet is the most intense of vegetables.
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Book description
Obowiązkowa lektura dla miłośników „Pachnidła” Patricka Süskinda, a zarazem kolejne dzieło amerykańskiego prześmiewcy, autora m.in. książek: "Martwa natura z dzięciołem", "Na wpół uśpieni w żabich piżamach", "Kalekie dzikusy z gorących krajów" oraz kultowej, sfilmowanej przez Gusa Van Santa z Umą Thurman w roli głównej "I kowbojki mogą marzyć". 

„Perfumy w rytmie jitterbuga” to powieść, której akcja rozpoczyna się w lasach dawnych Czech, a kończy dziś o dziewiątej wieczorem (czasu paryskiego). Bohater książki, dozorca, poszukuje pewnej butelki, niebieskiej, baaardzo starej i ozdobionej wizerunkiem bożka o kozich rogach. Jeżeli znajdujący się w niej płyn to faktycznie sekretna esencja wszechświata, jak uważają poniektórzy, dozorca musi się pośpieszyć, gdyż butelka cieknie i pozostała w niej ledwie kropla lub dwie. 

"W powieści „Perfumy w rytmie jitterbuga” znajdziemy plejadę niecodziennych postaci, zafascynowanych nieśmiertelnością oraz perfumami. Warto samemu sprawdzić, dlaczego ta książka jest fascynująca, a przy tym gwarantuje świetną zabawę". "The Washington Post" 

[Zysk i S-ka, 2004]
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553348981, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:44:01 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

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 because it is leaking and there is only a drop of two left.… (more)

» see all 3 descriptions

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