Jitterbug Perfume

One of my goals in 2019 is to read more. See other books I've read or listened to here.

Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins, written in 1984, is probably one of my all time favorite books.


Robbins 4th novel spans time and space, myth and reality, love and loss, gods and men, and does a jitterbug the whole way. Alobar, the immortal king, Priscilla, the genius waitress, Pan, the goat god, perfumers, shamans, monks, psychedelicists, and beekeepers are only a few of the people you’ll meet through this fantastic love story.

I’ve probably read this book a dozen times. It’s a great book to read every few years, as are all Robbins early novels. His fantastical but solid writing style reminds us to find the magic in the everyday, the whimsical in the mundane, the love in ourselves and others and in nature. The copy I read this time was pretty beat up. I can’t remember where I got it, but his books are those that I can never leave behind. If I see a one at a book sale, yard sale, or free for, I have to take it! Books like this, I love bc they are very helpful in kickstarting a good reading habit. If I’m having trouble getting in to new books reading an old favorite often help me get back in the groove.
Jitterbug Perfume is one of my favorites of Robbins novels bc it is an epic tale. It literally spans over a thousand years. But at it’s core, and the core of most of his novels, it is a love story. It’s hard to describe Robbins writing, at once flowery and brutal, mystical and visceral. I was struck this reading by how many passages were gross to me, but compelling. I think his secret lies in how his books make you feel; completely transported. When they are taking you to worlds just off from ours, our world but different, more vibrant and more magical, it’s hard not to want to stay there. Or at least take a little magic when you leave.
I highly recommend Jitterbug Perfume for anyone who enjoys fiction of any kind, books about drug culture or mysticism or perfume. I would also recommend this book for those who enjoy epic love stories.

What is your favorite book to read and reread? What book have you read the most?