24 Books to Christmas – Day 17

baublesToday’s recommendation is an oldie but a goodie.  It’s called Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins.  If you haven’t read anything from Tom Robbins all I have to say is what rock have you been reading under.  He’s probably one of the most creative writers out there.  Count on a rip roaring story full of satire, social commentary, and the unexpected.  It sort of looks like a car crash in the beginning but, don’t worry in the end it’s all going to work out.

Tom Robbins is an author from the the twentieth century that challenges readers to look at what a story can be and how language adds to the originality of what can be conveyed.   If it’s your first attempt at reading a Robbins novel I urge you to try it and hang on to it even though things are just plain weird.  It’s worth it and you’ll love the originality of his writing. He’s just that special.  As he says in the video below, “A good story is not the same thing as a well told story.”

It’s been a while since I read Jitterbug Perfume but since I’m writing about it I’m anxious now to maybe do a reread of it next year. I recommend this book to readers who want to read something different, something satirical, something backlist vintage! Check out the video of Tom Robbins below. It will give you a sense of who he is, why, and how he writes.  Let me know below if you’ve read Tom Robbins’ novels and what you think of them. Which one(s) are your favorites?  My two factories are Jitterbug Perfume and Skinny Legs and Alljitterbug perfume



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.” (Jitterbug Perfume, cover)


Jitterbug Perfume – Tom Robbins

Publisher:  Bantam

Pages:  352

My rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

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15. B is for Beer

You might want to grab a cold brewski before sitting down to read B is for Beer by Tom Robbins.  You’re going to need one to get through it.  This is another book I picked up two years ago and didn’t get around to it until today.  This is the latest from Robbins but unfortunately not his best.  It came out in 2009.  I’m a real die-hard fan of Robbins, especially Jitterbug Perfume, Skinny Legs and All, and Another Roadside AttractionB is for Beer doesn’t have a really absorbing storyline like Robbins usually writes, nor is there the strong character building.

This is a fairy tale about beer and Gracie Perkel.  At the beginning of the story, Gracie is five years old and curious about the customary liquid substance of choice of her father that makes him go pee-pee. His refusal to let her have a sip while watching a football match leads her to getting one from her Uncle Moe.  Her Uncle Moe schools her a little on life and of course on beer.  Henceforth, commences her interest and slight obsession with beer.  He leaves the day of her sixth birthday for Costa Rica and doesn’t get to honor his promise to take her to visit the Redhook brewery.  Disheartened she guzzles her first beer, gets sick, meets the Beer Fairy, and the adventure begins.  Yes, I said the Beer Fairy.

I really have to say not an interesting book other than to find out facts about beer and to learn how it’s made.  If you know that already there’s no need to read this.  You do get funny info like; “Speaking of inventions, did you know that the tin can was invented in 1811, but can openers weren’t invented until 1855?” B is for Beer p. 15 or”….thirty-six billion gallons of beer are sold in the world every year.” B is for Beer p. 83   Since it’s a fairy tale you can guess how it ends.  Robbins does every now and then show his talent for witty one liners and funny descriptions, but I wouldn’t suggest you read this if it’s your first time reading Robbins.  I would suggest Jitterbug Perfume.  Overall I’d rate this 125 page, two and a half hour read two and a half stars.  I was disappointed.  The cover was promising.  I was expecting a whirlwind ride and I got B is for Boring.  If you do decide to read it, for God’s sake don’t buy; have a friend lend it to you, check it out from the library, or buy it for a couple of dollars on your Kindle!  I hope this won’t be Tom Robbins’ last word because I do love his crazy, outlandish, adventurous, and unpretentious storytelling.  It’s refreshing!  It would be a shame for him to finish his career like this.