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.
If you want another kooky but laugh-out-loud novel like Robbin's bizarre masterpiece, check out these titles.
Andrew Yancy, soon-to-be-late of the Key West Police, has a human arm in his freezer. There is a logical explanation for that, but not for how and why it parted from its owner. Yancy thinks the boating-accident/shark-luncheon explanation is full of holes, and if he can prove murder, his commander might relieve him of Health Inspector duties, aka Roach Patrol. But first Yancy will negotiate an ever-surprising course of events, from the Keys to Miami to a Bahamian out island, with a crew of equally ever-surprising characters, including: the twitchy widow of the frozen arm; an avariciously idiotic real estate developer; a voodoo witch whose lovers are blinded-unto-death by her particularly peculiar charms; Yancy's new love, a kinky medical examiner; and the eponymous Bad Monkey.
Ignatius J. Reilly of New Orleans, - selfish, domineering, deluded, tragic and larger than life - is a noble crusader against a world of dunces. He is a modern-day Quixote beset by giants of the modern age. In magnificent revolt against the twentieth century, Ignatius propels his monstrous bulk among the flesh posts of the fallen city, documenting life on his Big Chief tablets as he goes, until his maroon-haired mother decrees that Ignatius must work.
The birth of Jesus has been well chronicled, as have his glorious teachings, acts, and divine sacrifice after his thirtieth birthday. But no one knows about the early life of the Son of God, the missing years - except Biff, the Messiah's best bud, who has been resurrected to tell the story in the divinely hilarious yet heartfelt work.
Malachi Constant, "the richest man in America," gives up his indulgent lifestyle to follow an urgent calling to probe the depths of space. He participates in a Martian invasion of Earth, mates with the wife of an astronaut adrift on the tides of time, and follows the lure of the "Sirens of Titan."
This wild-spirited tale tells of a bitter strike that rages through a small lumber town along the Oregon coast. Bucking that strike out of sheer cussedness are the Stampers. Out of the Stamper family's rivalries and betrayals, Ken Kesey has crafted a novel with the mythic impact of Greek tragedy.