Jitterbug Perfume
by Tom Robbins
Paperback- $10.87

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 ...

Overall rating:

 

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Member ratings

 
  "Highly recommended" by spunkee83 (see profile) 01/24/07

Loved this book - dense at times, but so wonderfully quirky and random.

 
  " Too hard to summarize! The above make just about as much sense as anything else." by lshea (see profile) 01/25/07

Took me a while to get into it, but liked it by the end. I actually like it more after our discussion. Lots of things to talk about. It may not be your favorite read, but I bet you will find it one of your favorite discussions.

 
  "Try this book - get past the first few pages and you will not be able to put it down. There are tons of interesting topics for discussion!" by JennieUNC (see profile) 01/28/07

 
  "perfectly fine for what it is" by peteharris2017 (see profile) 04/30/08

I bought this on the back of the frankly stunningly good amazon reviews. On the positive side it is a thoroughly enjoyable romp with some entertaining characters and interestingly presented ideas. On the downside it isn't, IMHO the masterpiece some deem it to be.

If you are looking for a book to read on holiday, or on a long journey, I would definitely recommend this book to pass the time. If you are looking for a masterpiece to illuminate the human condition sadly this book isn't it. The characters are too two dimensional, the style too self conciously quirky and the philosphy a disturbing mixture of new age nonsense and Reaganistic individulalism.

The story is that of Alobar and Kudra, ancients who wish to live for ever, of the God Pan, and of a Seattle waitress, and perfumiers in New Orleans and Paris who live with their legacy.

The first two thirds of the book are worthy of four stars, the story cracks along , the characters are engaging, and the ideas entertaining. Sadly the last third is a bit of a mess. Wiggs Dannyboy (the name says it all) is one of the most irritatingly twee characters I've come across for some time, and plot lines are either allowed to peter out, or are tied off with little conviction. The adolescent/male lid-life crisis (probably the same thing) sexulaity is also rather dull.

So, as a piece of light reading, an enjoyable romp, this is perfectly fine and worth reading. More than that it is not.

In a similar vein, certainly to the first two thirds, but to my mind better, are Umberto Eco's "Baudolino" and Neal Stephenson's "Baroque Cycle".

 
  "Jitterbug Perfume" by floccart (see profile) 04/29/11

It took me a while to get into this book and see the direction it was taking. I liked the way the author wove the stories together. The characters were interesting, but odd. It's the first time I've read one of his novels.

 
  "Jitterbug Perfume" by austen (see profile) 01/18/17

The book was a great story that provided lots of conversations--Tom Robbins is a very iconoclastic writer that uses the stage of expansive history to tell his story. The book is from the 80's but not dated at all.

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