Perfume The Story of a Murderer Author:Patrick Suskind An acclaimed bestseller and international sensation, Patrick Suskind's classic novel provokes a terrifying examination of what happens when one man's indulgence in his greatest passion-his sense of smell-leads to murder. — In the slums of eighteenth-century France, the infant Jean-Baptiste Grenouille is born with one sublime gift-an absolute sens... more »e of smell. As a boy, he lives to decipher the odors of Paris, and apprentices himself to a prominent perfumer who teaches him the ancient art of mixing precious oils and herbs. But Grenouille's genius is such that he is not satisfied to stop there, and he becomes obsessed with capturing the smells of objects such as brass doorknobs and frest-cut wood. Then one day he catches a hint of a scent that will drive him on an ever-more-terrifying quest to create the "ultimate perfume"-the scent of a beautiful young virgin. Told with dazzling narrative brillance, Perfume is a hauntingly powerful tale of murder and sensual depravity.
Translated by John E. Woods
"A fable of crimial genius.... Remarkable."
--The New York Times
"Superb storytelling all the way...the climax is a savage shocker."
--The Plain Dealer
"An astonishing performance, a masterwork of artistic conception and execution. A totally gripping page-turner."
I was skeptical and didn't think I'd be crazy about this book, but, I was hooked from the beginning. Very intriguing, I was waiting with baited breath to see what odd events in the life of Grenouille would pop up next. A creepy story, while far-fetched, it was oddly believable. Great descriptions of the unsanitary living conditions in 18th century France. What an absolutely enthralling tale. I recommend it!
What a strange, beautiful and yet somewhat gruesome book. It's a fantastical story, an awful lot like Isak Dinesen's European tales. In odoriferous 18th century France, a strange child is born who has an extraordinary gift of comprehending the world by all its various scents. He himself is a conscienceless little monster. Eventually, he becomes a master parfumier, and discovers that the finest essence he's ever smelled is that of virginal young girls on the very edge of maturation. He decides he must somehow possess that essence, a resolution that leads him into violence. This is a lyrically written book -- the description of the various scents of daily life are incredible. Some readers are likely to find the prose rather mannered. The authorial voice is definitely fairy-tale-ish. But it's also a rather gruesome story. I think this is a love it/hate it book. You have to be able to tolerate a despicable anti-hero as the main character. I'm teetering in my verdict even now, as I mull it over. I think its allegorical elements go too far toward the end. But that the texture of Ancient Regime France is wonderful and again, the description of the smells! It's only February but I'm sure it will be one of the most unusual books I've read this year.
This novel was strange yet brilliant. The story of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille who was born without an odor in 18th century Paris -- a city of stench. Yet he has an amazing sense of smell which is the essence of this novel. Grenouille is possessed by this sense of smell and his ability to recall and recreate smells. He uses this "gift" to become a master perfumer but he is constantly seeking and must possess the essence of a young woman. This story kept me engrossed clear through to its startling conclusion.
The prose is eloquent including the descriptions of the smells of the stench of the city and the smells of the perfumes created by Grenouille. Some of the descriptions reminded me of another interesting novel I read last year: The Great Stink by Clare Clark. Ill have to watch for the movie version of Perfume to see how well it translates to the screen. Overall, I would recommend this novel.
this is a book that I wouldn't have read except that my bookclub chose it. it is the type of book that has enough ambiguity in it to generate a lot of discussion. on the surface, the book is an interesting story about a man with a superb sense of smell and how he chooses to use that gift.
if you are looking for a light easy read, this is NOT the book for you.
truly disturbing book about a boy born in 18th century Paris who has no scent, but who does have an otherworldly sense of smell of all that surrounds him. His apprenticeship with a perfumer instills in him a desire to produce the most beautiful, unique perfume in the world. The method he uses to reach his goal is truly horrifying. Grenoville (the boy) is a unique monster in that he enthralls without warmth - we want to have sympathy for an abused orphan and one who lacks that most essential physical persona of all humans: their scent - but we never do. The mores and culture of 18th century Paris are depicted beautifully, but Grenville is a hard character to care about.