Jitterbug Perfume Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 45 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Jitterbug Perfume.
This section contains 531 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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Jitterbug Perfume Summary & Study Guide Description

Jitterbug Perfume Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins.

"The beet is the most intense of vegetables" (Today's Special, p. 1). This is the line that opens the whole saga of Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins. Beets are different than other vegetables. Beets are not lusty as tomatoes. They are melancholy and can suffer; they can also be guilty, such as the murderer who returns to the scene of the crime. The beet was the favorite of Rasputin. There are different kinds of beets, but it is the red beet that is the subject of concern here.

The book begins with people in Seattle (Priscilla), New Orleans (Madame Devalier and V'lu) and Paris (Marcel and Claude LeFever) all receiving beets. The beets are just left at the doorstep or tossed in through an open window. In Paris, they are delivered with the mail. No one knows where they come from or what the reason is for the beets. These beets begin by tying three modern time frame groups together without the reader knowing why. After the introduction of these characters, the action skips back to medieval times and the Citadel, which is the home of King Alobar. King Alobar looks into a looking glass in his harem and panics. They don't know why but he walks out and takes his dog for a walk to a pond when he plucks out a grey hair.

The king is panicked at the existence of a grey hair because it is a sign of aging and in his kingdom it is tradition to slay the king at the first sign of aging. Alobar does not want to die and enlists the aid of one of his wives in helping him to escape. This begins what for him is a thousand year journey through time as he and a woman he meets, Kudra, learn the secrets of immortality. They travel around, meeting up with the god Pan on and off. Pan is a pagan god who is half goat and half human. Pan begins to weaken with the acceptance of Christianity so he becomes weaker and weaker throughout the book. The purpose of the fragrance is to try to cover up the horrid scent of Pan. They always know that he is there, even if he is invisible.

Immortality means certain things. It basically means that Kudra and Alobar can't stay in one place for more than fifteen or twenty years, or people want to know why they don't age. It also means they have to practice the processes that they learned in the Bandaloop caves if they are to maintain their immortality.

Jitterbug Perfume is an interesting and humorous book that will hold the reader's interest, almost like a who-dunnit will, as the reader wants to know what happens next. What is the significance of the perfume bottle that Priscilla has? Is it really some elixir that leads to immortality? What happens to Kudra when she disappears? Why can't Alobar find her?

The quest for immortality and the love story between Kudra and Alobar are the subject of the book and so interesting questions are brought up about death and immortality. Readers will also find the book fun to read.

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This section contains 531 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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