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Jitterbug Perfume Paperback – April 1, 1990
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“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 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
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Top Customer Reviews
One gets the feeling that Robbins had a grand time writing this book. I was laughing out loud on one page, underlining passages of exquisite wisdom the next. Everything flows so naturally; the feel of this book is LIGHT, airy, featherweight. Yet like a drone or mantra, its rhythm and texture winds its way into you until you have been relaxed by Robbins' prose into another mindscape: HIS, or perhaps, yours, expanded.
Robbins is a master of metaphors. And comedy. And when he combines the two, you WILL be re-reading passages wondering "how did he do that?" Robbins is truly a master and has a strong, unique, comedic, wise, wild, creative voice. Highly recommended. I guess I will soon be reading "Jitterbug Perfume" for a second, third, fourth, etc. time.
Part of what makes this book irresistable is its clever and lyrical language. Robbins describes a character getting out of a spring this way: "when he surfaced, spewing and sputtering, dead leaves and the addresses of a dozen hibernating frogs strewn throughout his beard...". He describes one character's internal experience this way: "... inside her swelling head... a music was rising, a happiness was rising; her dumpy old heart was rising, made buoyant and girlish again, a lost beach ball blown miles across a levee, illuminated by heat lightening."
The book is amazing, really. I'm not sure I've ever seen a more unusual plot handled so deftly, or read a book with as full a canvas of unusual characters and locations. Most of all, the language will keep you hooked from sentence to sentence. There could be no plot at all and you would still keep reading.
While the plot was entertaining, I was also smitten by Robbins' writing style. As another reviewer remarked, it is "cute" in some places, and perhaps some may even think it a bit vulgar. I found it clever and wholly enjoyable. His metaphors (and imagery) were unlike anything I have previously read. Whether it was "forced" or not is a matter of opinion; I liked the word play, which added to the playful, frolicing tone of the book. This is clearly not intended to be serious literature, and should not be read as such. Yes, Robbins makes some wry observations about perfume, the month of February and politicians - but the book is fun - and joyful and entertaining. And based on these merits, I strongly recommend it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Absolutely fantastic read! One of those books that has you thinking about 5 different aspects of existence all at the same time.Published 1 day ago by Amazon Customer
I read this first at age 18 and it changed my life. I've loved all of Tom Robbins work since. His recent memoir is also one of my favorite books ever. Read morePublished 9 days ago by Jessica Spurling
As a Tom Robbins fan but not a professional critic, I think I can say that this novel is simply not his best. I mean, I enjoyed several pages, but not every page. Read morePublished 9 days ago by Danny
Love this book! I buy it all the time to give to friends to read. This was a great deal!Published 11 days ago by anna
Jitterbug Perfume is both light and thought provoking with a narrative style that kept me smiling. Five stars because I'd recommend it to a friend.Published 13 days ago by Pete
This guy is an analogy genius! He seems to have access to an endless supply of them, nearly all are wonderful, many borderline-brilliant. Read morePublished 17 days ago by Jim Wormington
Love Tom Robbins, he is so elequant with words, have read a few of his books, and will read more in his collection, funny and serious at the same time !!Published 26 days ago by Chris Pretorius
this is the greatest book ever written. it only gets better the older i get. i wish i could live in this book. ok, i will amend my review a wee bit . . . Read morePublished 28 days ago by Lise Lange