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Jitterbug Perfume (1984)

by Tom Robbins

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,895861,713 (4.16)156
Fiction. Literature. HTML:Jitterbug Perfume
is an epic.
Which is to say, it begins in the forests of ancient Bohemia and doesnĺt conclude until nine oĺclock 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.
… (more)
  1. 80
    Skinny Legs and All by Tom Robbins (jennyl.keen)
  2. 40
    American Gods {original} by Neil Gaiman (jennyl.keen)
  3. 20
    The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break 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)
  4. 10
    Bluebeard: a novel by Kurt Vonnegut (Alialibobali)
  5. 10
    Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami (Alialibobali)
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» See also 156 mentions

English (85)  German (1)  All languages (86)
Showing 1-5 of 85 (next | show all)
I liked parts of this a lot, but some of the characters (including the narrator) were sooooo long winded. When I was younger I'm sure I would've been ape over this book, but now I feel annoyed that it all sounded like Robbins' own diatribe against death and seriousness. Nearly all the characters talk in the same voice and the message is way too message-y.

At the same time, Robbins has such a fun style and everything is so wacky it's hard not to smile when you're reading this.

And--this is totally random--when I was reading the part about the four elements, I suddenly became really upset about the band Earth, Wind & Fire. What did they have against Water? (According to Wikipedia, it has something to do with the band leader's astrological sign.)

If you're looking for an excuse to take hot baths, have lots of sex, breathe rhythmically, eat hella beets, and live forever, this book is your ticket! ( )
  LibrarianDest | Jan 3, 2024 |
A hormonal, Luciferian comedy of the singularity, infused with a sort of hippy-dippy spiritualism, filtered through a lens of mid-80's pseudoscience, and brought to life with a scattershot approach to verbal acrobatics.

I liked it. ( )
  3Oranges | Jun 24, 2023 |
When I first read this book it was the 1980's and I was an almost 30 something dabbling in different philosophies. It became one of my favorites - it's off the wall, deadpan humor was refreshing. But for me, this book has not aged well - what seemed fresh now seems trite, and what seemed adventurous now strikes me as mere escapism. It's still funny as hell in places, and still worth a read if you've never read it. But I must say I wish I'd not picked it up again. Some books are best left as fond memories - this is one of them. ( )
  dhaxton | Feb 3, 2023 |
Probably my favorite novel of all time. I like Tom Robbins's other novels but this one has it all: his linguistic pyrotechnics, his wacky characters, a storyline that's both epic and down-to-earth, and his mordant observations about religion, politics, human nature... and the trials and tribulations of taking a longevity potion. ( )
  Ricardo_das_Neves | Jan 14, 2023 |
Hmm it seems I am never sure quite where to start with Tom Robbins' books. I will admit though that I do much prefer this one to Still Life with Woodpecker. It had more of a storyline and dare I say it, the almost random musings did seem to actually tie in with the book and become relevant (although they are talked about to DEATH - e.g Beets, Pan, scent ect).
I struggled in the beginning to stay interested and almost decided to give up, but I am glad I continued as the story and characters became more interesting as it went on (although it could definitely do with some heavy handed editing of chapters).
Whilst at times the writing is beautiful, I still find all of his references to sex to be lewd and jarring, I am no prude but his way of talking about sex cheapens it for me and always seems out of place in his novels.

Overall I thought the book was OK. There are a few things I will take away from it (the whole immortality thing) but the rest I will forget and it's not a book I would read again. ( )
  spiritedstardust | Dec 29, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 85 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (30 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robbins, Tomprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hansen, NikolausTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
LePere, LeslieCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Belongs to Publisher Series

rororo (15671)
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Dedication
For Donna and the Water Music
And for those whose letters I still haven't answered.
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The beet is the most intense of vegetables.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Fiction. Literature. HTML:Jitterbug Perfume
is an epic.
Which is to say, it begins in the forests of ancient Bohemia and doesnĺt conclude until nine oĺclock 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.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Obowi─ůzkowa lektura dla mi┼éo┼Ťnik├│w ÔÇ×Pachnid┼éaÔÇŁ Patricka S├╝skinda, a zarazem kolejne dzie┼éo ameryka┼äskiego prze┼Ťmiewcy, autora m.in. ksi─ů┼╝ek: "Martwa natura z dzi─Öcio┼éem", "Na wp├│┼é u┼Ťpieni w ┼╝abich pi┼╝amach", "Kalekie dzikusy z gor─ůcych kraj├│w" oraz kultowej, sfilmowanej przez Gusa Van Santa z Um─ů Thurman w roli g┼é├│wnej "I kowbojki mog─ů marzy─ç".┬á

ÔÇ×Perfumy w rytmie jitterbugaÔÇŁ to powie┼Ť─ç, kt├│rej akcja rozpoczyna si─Ö w lasach dawnych Czech, a ko┼äczy dzi┼Ť o dziewi─ůtej wieczorem (czasu paryskiego). Bohater ksi─ů┼╝ki, dozorca, poszukuje pewnej butelki, niebieskiej, baaardzo starej i ozdobionej wizerunkiem bo┼╝ka o kozich rogach. Je┼╝eli znajduj─ůcy si─Ö w niej p┼éyn to faktycznie sekretna esencja wszech┼Ťwiata, jak uwa┼╝aj─ů poniekt├│rzy, dozorca musi si─Ö po┼Ťpieszy─ç, gdy┼╝ butelka cieknie i pozosta┼éa w niej ledwie kropla lub dwie.┬á

"W powie┼Ťci ÔÇ×Perfumy w rytmie jitterbugaÔÇŁ znajdziemy plejad─Ö niecodziennych postaci, zafascynowanych nie┼Ťmiertelno┼Ťci─ů oraz perfumami. Warto samemu sprawdzi─ç, dlaczego ta ksi─ů┼╝ka jest fascynuj─ůca, a przy tym gwarantuje ┼Ťwietn─ů zabaw─Ö".┬á"The Washington Post"┬á

[Zysk i S-ka, 2004]
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