Hot Best Seller

Das Parfum: Die Geschichte Eines Morders (Fiction, Poetry & Drama)

Availability: Ready to download

Book annotation not available for this title...Title: .Das Parfum..Author: .Suskind, Patrick..Publisher: .Distribooks Inc..Publication Date: .1994/06/01..Number of Pages: ...Binding Type: .PAPERBACK..Library of Congress: .


Compare

Book annotation not available for this title...Title: .Das Parfum..Author: .Suskind, Patrick..Publisher: .Distribooks Inc..Publication Date: .1994/06/01..Number of Pages: ...Binding Type: .PAPERBACK..Library of Congress: .

30 review for Das Parfum: Die Geschichte Eines Morders (Fiction, Poetry & Drama)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies

    I was predisposed to love this book no matter what. I love perfumes. The fact that this book had blood and murder was just a bonus. For me, perfumes and scents are a visceral thing. I love perfume. I have never been a visual person, my memories are composed of layers of scent. I remember as a child, growing up in Vietnam, visiting my elderly neighbor's house and having him give me a cup of black tea infused with jasmine. Those jasmines would put the pitiful little star jasmines to shame. They were I was predisposed to love this book no matter what. I love perfumes. The fact that this book had blood and murder was just a bonus. For me, perfumes and scents are a visceral thing. I love perfume. I have never been a visual person, my memories are composed of layers of scent. I remember as a child, growing up in Vietnam, visiting my elderly neighbor's house and having him give me a cup of black tea infused with jasmine. Those jasmines would put the pitiful little star jasmines to shame. They were huge, each petal as wide as a fingernail. White, waxen, and filled with the most beautiful, deep, richly floral scent that even as a 5-year old I could feel was seductive without ever knowing the meaning or the existence of the word. I remember sleeping with the window open, as the night air was filled with the scents of the flowering trees that grew outside my grandparents' house. I remember the green, earthy smell of the rice paddies where I grew up. I remember the bitter, smoky smell of the pits (so environmentally destructive, but whatever) that my neighbors dug in which they burned wood slowly for months to make a small supply of coal. Not all the smells were pleasant, of course, because hello, I did grow up on a farm, but my memories are built upon scent. My love of perfume grew when I was a teen. I learned about perfumes, and how they were made. I learned about how flowers were distilled for their scents, an enormous quantity of raw ingredients required for a few precious drops of essential oils. I learned about making aromatic compounds in an organic chemistry lab, and that my beloved scent of jasmine (and tuberose) smelled as beautifully seductive and sexual as it did because it contained a compound called indoles, which smells like poop. Who knew! I learned that each perfume as a top note, which quickly dissipates, the middle notes, which remains, the base notes, which lingers onto your skin like the touch of a long-gone lover. I learned that musk can smell rank, like sweaty, animalistic sex on top of a slice of Muenster cheese, or it can smell like the warmth of a mother's embrace. There are certain scents I will never be able to wear again, because one I wore for months, while longing after a guy I thought I could never have. Another I can't smell without wincing, because it reminds me of heartbreak and tears, despite the fact that it came in a rose-colored bottle and smelled like green tea and lemons. This book is a perfume lover's dream come true. The entire book could have had no mystery at all, and I would still read it and revel in the descriptions alone. The Summary: Jean-Baptiste Grenouille was a bastard, born in 1738 to a syphilitic, consumptive woman working in a stinking fish stall as a gutter. After delivering the unfortunate child, she was promptly arrested for abandoning said child, and hanged. A most auspicious beginning. Even in the beginning, his wet nurse---paid for by the state---noticed that something was wrong with Grenouille. “I don’t mean what’s in the diaper. His soil smells, that’s true enough. But it’s the bastard himself, he doesn’t smell.” Babies have a smell, some stink, but underneath it, there's always a warm, cuddly smell that even a cold, heartless, child-hating woman such as I can appreciate. Grenouille has no scent. People notice. His fellow children notice. They could not stand the nonsmell of him. They were afraid of him. As a teen, he sought work at a tannery in Paris. Paris is a stinking pit of hell. To Grenouille...it is heaven, with its amalgamation of scents. It was a mixture of human and animal smells, of water and stone and ashes and leather, of soap and fresh-baked bread and eggs boiled in vinegar, of noodles and smoothly polished brass, of sage and ale and tears, of grease and soggy straw and dry straw. Thousands upon thousands of odors formed an invisible gruel that filled the street ravines, only seldom evaporating above the rooftops and never from the ground below. Grenouille knew he was not normal, but his obsession for the pursuit of a scent never really gained traction until he committed his first murder, for love of a virgin's scent. ...the sweat of her armpits, the oil in her hair, the fishy odor of her genitals, and smelled it all with the greatest pleasure. Her sweat smelled as fresh as the sea breeze, the tallow of her hair as sweet as nut oil, her genitals were as fragrant as the bouquet of water lilies, her skin as apricot blossoms... and the harmony of all these components yielded a perfume so rich, so balanced, so magical, that every perfume that Grenouille had smelled until now, every edifice of odors that he had so playfully created within himself, seemed at once to be utterly meaningless. The scent of a living human being that he must commit to memory, that he must capture, in the way a flower collector dries a specimen within parchment, in the way an insect lover kills and pins to a page the very thing he loves. When she was dead he laid her on the ground among the plum pits, tore off her dress, and the stream of scent became a flood that inundated him with its fragrance. He thrust his face to her skin and swept his flared nostrils across her, from belly to breast, to neck, over her face and hair, and back to her belly, down to her genitals, to her thighs and white legs. He smelled her over from head to toe, he gathered up the last fragments of her scent under her chin, in her navel, and in the wrinkles inside her elbow. His is an obsessive quest that will lead him to murder again, and again, and again, in this desperate search. Grenouille knew for certain that unless he possessed this scent, his life would have no meaning. This is a book in which the title is completely self-explanatory. It is about a murderer, and his obsessive quest for a perfect perfume. It's something I understand, in my constant search for the Holy Grail of fragrances. But I have yet to succumb to the urge to murder. >_>

  2. 4 out of 5

    Bryce Wilson

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Because sometimes you just have to read about an 17th century perfumer who may or may not be the Anti Christ and goes on a killing spree, before starting aa giant omnisexual fuckfest and being voluntarily cannabilized. Ah literature. That's why I read you, the class. The class.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sean Barrs the Bookdragon

    “He possessed the power. He held it in his hand. A power stronger than the power of money or the power of terror or the power of death: the invincible power to command the love of mankind. There was only one thing that power could not do: it could not make him able to smell himself.” Perfume is a story about social isolation; it’s a story about not belonging in the world and the negative effects this can wrought on one’s mind. It’s also a story about obsession, a singular pursuit for perfection “He possessed the power. He held it in his hand. A power stronger than the power of money or the power of terror or the power of death: the invincible power to command the love of mankind. There was only one thing that power could not do: it could not make him able to smell himself.” Perfume is a story about social isolation; it’s a story about not belonging in the world and the negative effects this can wrought on one’s mind. It’s also a story about obsession, a singular pursuit for perfection regardless of the costs. Consequences simply do not matter for Jean. He is completely detached from reality; he lives in his own world of scent, invisible to all others. Murder means nothing to him because he does not fully understand what he is murdering. He has no feelings. He cannot comprehend what it is to snuff out a life because he is not truly alive himself. He is dead inside and numb to all else in his differentness. “He realized that all his life he had been a nobody to everyone. What he now felt was the fear of his own oblivion. It was as though he did not exist.” “He had withdrawn solely for his own personal pleasure, only to be near to himself. No longer distracted by anything external, he basked in his own existence and found it splendid.” As such befalls misery for all those that meet him. His talent is remarkable and his motivation (when roused) is unstoppable. His singular pursuit for his goal is uncompromising and he will stop at nothing to achieve the most perfect of scents. The secret ingredient he has been looking for comes his way and he cannot rest until he has it. Innocence is a mighty hard thing to harvest, though it is the missing piece he has been looking for; it will give his perfume the power to inspire love: it will be irresistible. However, as the tale of Icarus taught us, those who fly too high will burn. As such the ending of this is simply perfection. The moment captures the heart of the book in one beautifully horrific frenzy of emotions and desire. The delivery is masterful. I knew it was coming (I’d seen the film many years previously) though I don’t think the film could every quite capture the intensity and euphoric nature of the situation. The only reason I have not given this five stars is because I found it rambled a little in places. I think the story could have been cut back and made tighter and more effective, though I loved the prose and the plot. Jean makes for an interesting character study for sure.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Will Byrnes

    In 18th Century France a baby is born who lacks any scent. He does, however, have a deep and strong survival urge. Although he is treated as a pariah by many for his condition, he possesses a parallel condition, a heightened sensitivity to aroma. It is his quest to experience life through smell, and he does so. He is also a cold-hearted sociopath who seizes opportunities where he can to advance his particular desires. It ends badly for him, but that is a good thing. The author This is a very In 18th Century France a baby is born who lacks any scent. He does, however, have a deep and strong survival urge. Although he is treated as a pariah by many for his condition, he possesses a parallel condition, a heightened sensitivity to aroma. It is his quest to experience life through smell, and he does so. He is also a cold-hearted sociopath who seizes opportunities where he can to advance his particular desires. It ends badly for him, but that is a good thing. The author This is a very interesting book. I was rapt. Until I was done it was an unhappy thing to have to put it down unfinished, due to interruptions like work, sleep and eating. Thankfully I was able to complete it. Perfume is an odd story, perhaps, but also very interesting, providing some payload in depictions of 18th Century Europe and information about aroma in general and perfumery in particular. Much recommended but not for all tastes.

  5. 4 out of 5

    John Wiswell

    I had a heck of a time thinking who I'd recommend this to. It won a Fantasy award, yet I can't call it Fantasy. It's set in a bygone period, but it doesn't play with history, so it's not Historical Fiction. It's about a murder, yet it's not terrifying like Horror, nor is it a mystery. It's just the story of a peculiar boy who became a dangerous and most interesting man. He was born without an odor, you see, and lacking that part of identity, became obsessed with smell. That identity crisis I had a heck of a time thinking who I'd recommend this to. It won a Fantasy award, yet I can't call it Fantasy. It's set in a bygone period, but it doesn't play with history, so it's not Historical Fiction. It's about a murder, yet it's not terrifying like Horror, nor is it a mystery. It's just the story of a peculiar boy who became a dangerous and most interesting man. He was born without an odor, you see, and lacking that part of identity, became obsessed with smell. That identity crisis triggers philosophical, religious and morbid chords in the book, yet none dominate. If anything, a dark curiosity dominates it. The book has a slightly menacing monotone about it that is almost hypnotic, and lays a surreal lens over the brilliant and crisp descriptions Suskind provides for his world. It's an angry, dangerous little book that baffled literary critics and inspired Nirvana. Read it and label it for yourself.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Molly

    I want my last 2 weeks back. I dove into this book expecting a hell of a lot more than I dragged out of it. From the very beginning I did not like the author's writing style and should have known then that this book just wouldn't be for me. This book is set in the mid-1700's France and centers around a horrid man who has no redeeming qualities other than the fact that he has likely the most perfect sense of smell in the history of mankind. But he uses this skill for selfish and evil purposes and I want my last 2 weeks back. I dove into this book expecting a hell of a lot more than I dragged out of it. From the very beginning I did not like the author's writing style and should have known then that this book just wouldn't be for me. This book is set in the mid-1700's France and centers around a horrid man who has no redeeming qualities other than the fact that he has likely the most perfect sense of smell in the history of mankind. But he uses this skill for selfish and evil purposes and we get to come along for the story of his life - if you could call it that. The premise of the story seemed interesting enough, and of course the title tells us that there is going to be murder so that always makes for interesting reading. But I just found it to be extremely boring and tiresome. The author obviously did his research relating to all things perfume - the methods involved in it's creation - both chemically and artistically - and the importance of it's purpose in that point in history. But he goes overboard with list after exhaustive list of ingredients or steps within a process or varieties to be found. He can't help but describe every minute detail, not just of perfume, but of the landscape or the people. I love descriptive writing - I truly do - but I do also like to have an exciting plot to keep me involved. By the time he finished describing a scene I forgot why we were there. This book lulled me to sleep and caused me to welcome distractions rather than turning the page so it took me a lot longer than a book of this length normally would. I know that it is loved by many and was recommended to me by several whose opinions I value. But this one just didn't cut it. Even when the action picked up in the last 50 pages or so, it became extremely bizarre and made me wonder what the heck the point was exactly.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

    This book was different and brilliant. The story of an orphaned boy born without a scent, but with an incredibly refined sense of smell, the book drags a bit in parts, but the ends justify the means, in more ways than one. All things considered, the book is a valentine to the beauty, elegance, and power of smell. A truly underrated sense, Suskind reminds the reader of just how powerful an effect our sense of smell can have. Although Jean-Baptiste Grenouille (one of the great names in contemporary This book was different and brilliant. The story of an orphaned boy born without a scent, but with an incredibly refined sense of smell, the book drags a bit in parts, but the ends justify the means, in more ways than one. All things considered, the book is a valentine to the beauty, elegance, and power of smell. A truly underrated sense, Suskind reminds the reader of just how powerful an effect our sense of smell can have. Although Jean-Baptiste Grenouille (one of the great names in contemporary fiction)'s amazing sense of smell seems the sort of thing that is unquantifiable in most any medium, Suskind makes it work perfectly. His vivid descriptions almost evoke the smells he is describing into reality, and his characterization of Grenouille is nothing short of perfect. Grenouille is, of course, an abhorrent, vicious, loathsome character, and Suskind takes great pains to point this out literally at various intervals throughout the story. However, despite his actions and the way he is described, Suskind cleverly says one thing and shows another, presenting Grenouille as the unquestioned hero of the story, allowing him to come across as, at the very least, sympathetic (if not pitiable), and at most, a man whose single-minded drives and desires leads to the reader outright rooting for him to succeed in his horrific acts. As the subtitle of the book is 'The Story of a Murderer', I don't think it gives anything away to say that the book climaxes in the brutal murders of 25 women that Grenouille uses to create the most perfect smelling perfume the world has ever known. Despite all the difficulties Grenouille encounters, all the opposition and roadblocks (and it's indisputably true that Grenouille was dealt a bad hand in life), he still takes his lumps admirably and never wavers from his pursuit of his dream, which, at its heart, is something I think everyone aspires to be able to do. Furthermore, when Grenouille finally does achieve his dream, he is heartbroken to discover that, after everything, it was not what he'd envisioned. Sadly, I think that is something people can relate to as well. And so it is that the story of a murderer ends up as something everyone can relate to. One of the ways Suskind is able to so perfectly pull this off is to disassociate Grenouille from these abhorrent acts. Throughout the story, we see only Grenouille striving and working hard to achieve his goal. Then, at the cusp of putting it into motion, the story suddenly changes perspective from the actions of Grenouille to their aftermath and the perspective of the local townspeople. It's a jarring and effective method that allows the reader to still root for Grenouille, as they still are very much aware that Grenouille is responsible for these horrific actions, but disassociates him from the brutality of them by only speaking of them in an offhand manner (i.e. the chaos they create, rather than the actual detailed acts themselves). All that said, the end of the book is insane, but wonderfully so. It's completely out of left field and it's almost hard to accept that what is happening is real and not some sort of dream (which it isn't). The reader is left waiting for the moment when Grenouille opens his eyes and we're told what really happened, but it never comes. Compared to the climax, the end of the story almost makes perfect sense, when in any other story it would be seen as equally insane, if not more so. But don't let it detract you from reading the book. It's true, you'll either love it or hate it, but no matter what you'll be unable to say it wasn't worthwhile.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Steven Godin

    Due to a bit of a cold lately, I couldn't smell the cinnamon sprinkled on my Frothy Coffee, nor the aromas of fresh croissants walking past the patisserie, or the preparation of an evening meal consisting of mussels cooked in garlic butter. I love these smells, they are just as important to me as taste, damn this cold!, if only I had the nose of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, having a cold wouldn't have made any difference, I could smell the fresh fish markets from a mile away!. No interest though in Due to a bit of a cold lately, I couldn't smell the cinnamon sprinkled on my Frothy Coffee, nor the aromas of fresh croissants walking past the patisserie, or the preparation of an evening meal consisting of mussels cooked in garlic butter. I love these smells, they are just as important to me as taste, damn this cold!, if only I had the nose of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, having a cold wouldn't have made any difference, I could smell the fresh fish markets from a mile away!. No interest though in hunting virgins for their scent thank God. Süskind's novel (which I didn't even realise has been so popular) is Set in 18th century France, and tells the grim story of one Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, a physically and emotionally abused orphan who is blessed with a supernatural gift, the great sense of smell. His frenzied obsession for odours guides him in a ghastly perverse way to search for the lost origin of his identity. A genius of aroma, Grenouille himself lacks a personal odor, signifying an absence of individual identity, but never mind, he can just go about stealing that of others. As he discovers his olfactory virtuosity, he becomes increasingly obsessed with inventing new fragrances, particularly his own, which he attempts to create artificially by extracting and blending the corporeal scents of young virginal women he murders. His great hope is to create the ideal perfume that will give him the magical essence of identity. He despises the rest of mankind, but still is solely driven by a desire for the attention and affection of others, he wants to be top dog, the hell with everybody else. At the moment of his crowning glory, however, Grenouille knows that the aura of identity created by his magic perfume is an illusion, and that it has been hate rather than love that drove him to become a genius of perfuming. After this epiphany, Grenouille goes barking mad, and surrenders himself to a gory finale. This book was good, I enjoyed it for the most part, but for me, it wasn't great, as viewed by a lot of others. The plot is unique and skilfully done, not only in Grenouille’s characterization, but also because Süskind has done his homework on 18th century France and the science behind perfume. He describes Grenouille and his actions with a detached demeanor, thereby heightening the horrific nature of Grenouille’s actions by not commenting on that nature, this leads to the problem though of very little coverage in Grenouille's despair as he realises that everything he did was in vain and ultimately unsatisfying to both him and me as the reader. And the repetitive prose and unfocused paragraphs had me skimming the odd page here and there. I can see why it has had big appeal, because on the surface, the premise is so startlingly different, so kudos there, and he gets a range of emotions from sympathy when a filthy young orphan, to disgust and hatred when he starts his murderous quest. Even tough the chilling horrors of Grenouille's actions are painted in such realistic tones, the novel on the whole never really got under my skin as I thought it would, it's good in places but pretentious in others, and summing up the central character he was just too two-dimensional for my liking. Not the sort of book I would normally read, so at least it was a break from the norm. Although I am still a long way off wondering around in grandpa slippers, I felt this novel was maybe intended for a younger audience. Forget the fish guts, cow hide, boiled puppy and dead virgins, I will stick to the mint, lavender, bergamot, sandalwood and tonka bean of Jean Paul Gaultier. A lightly scented 3/5

  9. 4 out of 5

    Nandakishore Varma

    There are some books which can be called unique. They may be good, bad or indifferent: but their authors strike out from the trodden paths of narrative themes and structure to explore totally new vistas, so that the product becomes unique. Perfume by Patrick Suskind is such a book. Jean Baptiste Grenouille is "an abominable and gifted personage, in an era which was not lacking in abominable and gifted personages". Born a bastard in the stinking heart of the city of Paris in the eighteenth century There are some books which can be called unique. They may be good, bad or indifferent: but their authors strike out from the trodden paths of narrative themes and structure to explore totally new vistas, so that the product becomes unique. Perfume by Patrick Suskind is such a book. Jean Baptiste Grenouille is "an abominable and gifted personage, in an era which was not lacking in abominable and gifted personages". Born a bastard in the stinking heart of the city of Paris in the eighteenth century under a gutting table, the first cry he utters sends his mother to the scaffold for abandoning an infant. Grenouille grows up by sucking many wet nurses dry, survives the horrendous childhood of an orphan in an age without mercy, and grows up to become a successful perfumer. For this is his unique gift: the child who does not emit any smell himself is blessed with extraordinary olfactory capabilities, which allows him to recognise, separate and catalogue in his mind all the different odours he comes into contact with. But simple identification is not enough for Jean. He is driven by the insatiable urge to possess any smell he likes for himself; he will move heaven and earth to extract it from its origin, make a perfume out of it and keep it with him. He is not bothered that the object which originates the smell will be destroyed in the process of extraction: he is a "smell-vampire". And like a vampire, it is the smell of virgins which drives him wild. Ultimately, Grenouille's gift and single-minded obsession proves to be the cause of both his uplift and undoing... Suskind has written a gripping novel which will hook and pull the reader in from the first sentence onwards. However, this is not a simple horror story or thriller: it has got layers of meaning hidden beneath one another which will come out on careful reading. Jean Baptiste Grenouille is a masterly creation. His insatiable thirst for smells makes him a truly terrifying "collector": one who cannot enjoy his passion the normal way, but must possess the object of his desire (I was reminded of Frederick Clegg in John Fowles' "The Collector") completely. The fact that he lacks a characteristic odour himself enhances his vampiric nature. Also, all the people who profit from him come to a grisly end, like the poor misguided souls who make a pact with the devil. Joseph Campbell has made the slogan "Follow your bliss" very popular - but how to know whether your bliss is good or bad? I have always wondered about the concept of "negative bliss". Both Gandhi and Hitler could have been said to be following their bliss in different ways. While reading this novel, I was struck by the realisation that the difference is in one's attitude. If one is doing it because one cannot be doing anything else - following one's karma, if you want to put it that way - then it is bliss. But if one is driven by an insatiable need which feeds on itself, one ends up being a vampire. Ultimately, it consumes oneself. Highly recommended.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Tedb0t

    I'd like to make something very clear with my review of this book. I normally don't go overboard with the whole "the movie vs. the book" argument because I'm not interested in making people's decisions for them, even though I'm strongly opinionated about the subject. But this is a case where I have to speak out. Süskind has created here a work of literary art in prose, and I take that seriously. I admire lots of books but I wouldn't say this about any old novel. The movie "Perfume" makes an I'd like to make something very clear with my review of this book. I normally don't go overboard with the whole "the movie vs. the book" argument because I'm not interested in making people's decisions for them, even though I'm strongly opinionated about the subject. But this is a case where I have to speak out. Süskind has created here a work of literary art in prose, and I take that seriously. I admire lots of books but I wouldn't say this about any old novel. The movie "Perfume" makes an utter mockery of this artwork, its incredible language (even in translation) and its profoundly disturbing character. The movie is to this book what a smudge of dirt is to a brilliant, glowing star. The movie not only fails to capture the depth and profundity of the prose but also of its unique darkness and unsettling moral bleakness. "Perfume"'s central character (in many ways, its only character) is far beyond some simplistic "good" or "evil." Rather, he is utterly disconnected from humanity. He lacks a fundamental concept of agency in other people, who are essentially conveyors or producers of smells and nothing more. He kills, not with any idea of transgression, but simply as he would break an object in order to smell it. In this he is far more terrifying than any serial killer or other contrived "evil" character, and the story of his incredible and absurd life leaves one with a deep darkness that takes a long time to dissipate after the novel is closed and shelved or passed on. The movie, as I saw it, conveyed none of this existentially disturbing character, but merely his salient features; i.e., his uncanny ability to smell and dissect smells, and even then can't possibly describe what he senses with the book's vividness and detail. In short, viewers are left with a paltry, thin gruel that denigrates and shames the original book and its author.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Michael Fierce

    Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer is simply one of the greatest horror novels ever written. Taking place in 18th century, France, it begins with an infant born with one difference from the rest of the world: Jean-Baptiste Grenouille is born with the ability to smell anything and everything in the world around him. Although not a novel of the supernatural as commonly defined, in a sense, it is, because his ability can only be defined as that of supernature. While not being the most prolific Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer is simply one of the greatest horror novels ever written. Taking place in 18th century, France, it begins with an infant born with one difference from the rest of the world: Jean-Baptiste Grenouille is born with the ability to smell anything and everything in the world around him. Although not a novel of the supernatural as commonly defined, in a sense, it is, because his ability can only be defined as that of supernature. While not being the most prolific author, Patrick Süskind, has made his permanent mark not only in horror and gothic fiction, but in the circles of high literature, as well. More a modern descendant of Edgar Allan Poe or Robert Louis Stevenson and other great gothic writers of that period than to most writers working today, Perfume, is a unique, fresh, story of mystery, suspense, and madness. For those of you tired of books you can see right through, anticipating where the storyline is going and how it's going to end, this is the book for you. I can't imagine anyone figuring out the ending, or even trying to, because you wil be so caught up in the book, you will savour every page and description until the end. It's really hard to find good modern gothic fiction, horror or otherwise, that's done with a literate touch from someone that conveys the feeling of actually being there inside a rich, period piece setting. A book no one with literate reading interests should miss. Though different, it will appeal to readers of newer masters of horror; Thomas Ligotti, Patrick McGrath, Laird Barron, and Matt Cardin. And to older masters; Edgar Allan Poe, Robert Louis Stevenson, Arthur Machen, M.R. James, Edith Wharton, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry James, Sheridan Le Fanu, and Bram Stoker. * I do like the cover to the more modern version of this book but, if you are a true book connoisseur like me, track down the 1987 September edition, 1st paperback printing by Pocket Books with the shiny red embossed lettering on a red & black book. It's just fantastic and reminds me of a combination of the artwork for the film, Amadeus (1984), the infamous murderer, Jack The Ripper, and to The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde. My highest of all recommendations!!!!!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    243. Das Parfum. Die Geschichte eines Mörders, Patrick Süskind = Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, Patrick Suskind Perfume: The Story of a Murderer is a 1985 literary historical fantasy novel (published originally in German as Das Parfum) by German writer Patrick Süskind. The novel explores the sense of smell and its relationship with the emotional meaning that scents may have. The story mainly concerns Jean-Baptiste Grenouille (French for "frog"), an unloved 18th-century French orphan who is 243. Das Parfum. Die Geschichte eines Mörders, Patrick Süskind = ‎‬Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, Patrick Suskind Perfume: The Story of a Murderer is a 1985 literary historical fantasy novel (published originally in German as Das Parfum) by German writer Patrick Süskind. The novel explores the sense of smell and its relationship with the emotional meaning that scents may have. The story mainly concerns Jean-Baptiste Grenouille (French for "frog"), an unloved 18th-century French orphan who is born with an exceptional sense of smell, being able to distinguish a vast range of scents in the world around him. Grenouille becomes a perfumer but becomes interested in murder when he encounters a young girl with an unsurpassed wondrous scent. عنوانها: عطر: سرگذشت یک جنایتکار؛ عطر؛ نویسنده: پاتریک سوسکیند (زوسکیند)؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز بیست و دوم از ماه سپتامبر سال 2002 میلادی عنوان: عطر: سرگذشت یک جنایتکار؛ اثر: پاتریک سوسکیند (زوسکیند)؛ ترجمه مهدی سمسار؛ مشخصات نشر: مهدی سمسار، 1372، در 311 ص؛ شابک: ایکس 964875818؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان آلمانی - سده 20 م عنوان: عطر؛ اثر: پاتریک سوسکیند (زوسکیند)؛ مترجم: رویا منجم؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، نگاه سبز، 1379، در 272 ص، شابک: 9645639115؛ عطر: قصه یک آدمکش رمانی است که پاتریک زوسکیند نویسنده آلمانی آن را در سال 1985 میلادی منتشر کرده‌ است. در زاغه های فرانسه ی سده ی هجدهم میلادی، نوزادی به نام «ژان بپتیست گرنویی» با استعدادی ناباورانه به دنیا میآید؛ او حس بویایی بی نهایت قدرتمندی دارد، و تشخیص بوهای مختلف حتی از راه دور، برای او کاری بسیار ساده است. او در کودکی، وقت خود را صرف رمزگشایی بوهای مختلف پاریس میکند، و شاگرد عطاری برجسته میشود، که به «ژان»، هنر کهن ترکیب عطرها، و گیاهان ارزشمند را آموزش میدهد. اما کار در یک مغازه ی عطرفروشی، اصلاً برای نبوغ «گرنویی» کافی نیست. «ژان بپتیست» در یک روز به رایحه ای برمیخورد، که او را وادار میسازد زندگی خود را صرف خلق «عطر غایی» کند. رمان «عطر سرگذشت یک جنایتکار»، با ارائه ی داستانی درخشان، و حیرت انگیز، بدون شک یکی از برترین آثار ادبی چند دهه ی اخیر است. این کتاب به چهل و پنج زبان ترجمه شده، و بیش از پانزده میلیون جلد از آن در جهان به فروش رفته‌ است. براساس داستان همین کتاب، در سال 2006 میلادی نیز فیلم «قصه یک آدمکش»، به کارگردانی «تام تیکور» ساخته شده است. نقل از متن: «در فرانسه ی سده ی هجدهم میلادی، مردی میزیست که یکی از بااستعدادترین و پلیدترین شخصیتهای عصری بود، که شخصیتهای با استعداد و پلید کم نداشت.»؛ پایان نقل از متن کتاب؛ ا. شربیانی

  13. 4 out of 5

    Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥

    To be entirely honest I still haven't decided whether I loved the book or hated it. XD I loved the writing style and the idea behind it but at the same time I was disgusted by the vivid pictures it provoked. It was way too easy to get lost in the "Perfume" and I swear I could literally smell the book while I read it. *lol* All things considered it actually was a very good read and I can recommend it to everyone who's into haunting stories. I read that book a while ago and I'm still thinking To be entirely honest I still haven't decided whether I loved the book or hated it. XD I loved the writing style and the idea behind it but at the same time I was disgusted by the vivid pictures it provoked. It was way too easy to get lost in the "Perfume" and I swear I could literally smell the book while I read it. *lol* All things considered it actually was a very good read and I can recommend it to everyone who's into haunting stories. I read that book a while ago and I'm still thinking about it! So yeah I guess Patrick Süskind did an amazing job! ;-)

  14. 4 out of 5

    Christy

    Let me begin by telling you that this book is hilarious, and I am mildly obsessed with it. I loved it. Grenouille is my new favorite literary character. I’ve even started doing little impersonations of him when I'm feeling particularly annoying, which I think is going over pretty well around my house. He lurks in the shadows, is mildly hunchbacked, and sniffs the air like a total freak. Anyway, as you may know, Perfume is the story of Grenouille, a man born with the ability to smell every little Let me begin by telling you that this book is hilarious, and I am mildly obsessed with it. I loved it. Grenouille is my new favorite literary character. I’ve even started doing little impersonations of him when I'm feeling particularly annoying, which I think is going over pretty well around my house. He lurks in the shadows, is mildly hunchbacked, and sniffs the air like a total freak. Anyway, as you may know, Perfume is the story of Grenouille, a man born with the ability to smell every little thing in the world, but who has no scent of his own. His nose is his compass; he relies on it more than most rely on their eyes or ears. He lives to smell, to identify each layer of fragrance in everything from a sweaty Paris street to a brass doorknob. He can deconstruct even the most complex aromas. His early days are spent creating an olfactory map of the world, a vast catalogue of odors which serves as his memory bank and through which he can leaf and re-experience, or invent new experiences by combining, in his mind, fragrances that have never before been layered with one another. While one might expect a nose like his to be revolted by foul odors, he is actually well suited to dealing with them, and as such is able to endure the most unappealing tasks without much thought. Inevitably, he becomes horrified by his own lack of odor and sets out with an enhanced drive to create the ultimate perfume, the source for which he has managed to sniff out and isolate using that incredible nose of his. Since this smell becomes what he lives for, he does whatever he must to obtain it. This is a man on a mission, and he is surprisingly determined, crafty, and always successful, without coming off as malicious in any way. Every page of this book is funny. There is an almost Dickensian charm about the peripheral characters, whose quirks help save this book from ever becoming too morbid. Suskind does not miss an opportunity to remind us that Grenouille is disgusting to behold. When he is a creepy baby nobody wants anything to do with him. He goes unnoticed for most of his adulthood and is only barely tolerated when it is in someone’s financial interest to do so. The author also has this cutely subtle way of letting us know that Greanouille is a bit of a walking curse on people who become involved with him. Suskind clearly delights in describing, in uncomfortable detail, things like oozing, seeping pustules. The ending is utterly fantastic. It is a totally unabashed celebration of freakishness.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I don’t know what compelled me to finish this book but it was the worst book I’ve ever read. I get that Jean-Baptiste has an extraordinary sense of smell and that his obsession leads him to murder. I understand the irony of it all: that he was born abandoned and died in an act of love. Even so, there was nothing about the story that was vaguely likable. I know it’s fiction but it seemed completely unrealistic and ridiculous to be even remotely appreciated. Furthermore, it takes forever to reach I don’t know what compelled me to finish this book but it was the worst book I’ve ever read. I get that Jean-Baptiste has an extraordinary sense of smell and that his obsession leads him to murder. I understand the irony of it all: that he was born abandoned and died in an act of love. Even so, there was nothing about the story that was vaguely likable. I know it’s fiction but it seemed completely unrealistic and ridiculous to be even remotely appreciated. Furthermore, it takes forever to reach the part of the book where Jean-Baptiste actually starts to murder people because there’s a huge, useless portion of the book dedicated to 10 years of his life when he goes into hiding in a mountain. Also, there is no climax (unless you count the execution/orgy scene which I thought was the stupidest scene ever). How could someone be compelled to write such a useless piece of crap and worse, how could a book gain such fame as to be deemed an international bestseller? I hate this book. It was a waste of time. I don't recommend anyone should read this book... not even my worst enemy!! **EDIT: I’m reading my review 11 years later and it makes me laugh. Although I still don’t like the book and stand by my review I don’t know why my tone sounds so crazy. 🤷🏻‍♀️ LOL.***

  16. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    It's hard for me to put into words how much I loved this story. The pacing, the characters, the overall plot - everything was perfection. However, the most amazing thing for me was the writing style. So much eloquence and beauty, without ever being over the top. I've seen some people complaining about how "simple" some of the heavy plot points were treated. I do understand and respect those opinions, but I especially liked that aspect. Yes, this is a book about a murderer, but it isn't a crime It's hard for me to put into words how much I loved this story. The pacing, the characters, the overall plot - everything was perfection. However, the most amazing thing for me was the writing style. So much eloquence and beauty, without ever being over the top. I've seen some people complaining about how "simple" some of the heavy plot points were treated. I do understand and respect those opinions, but I especially liked that aspect. Yes, this is a book about a murderer, but it isn't a crime novel. It's much more than that. To me, it was a wonderful exploration of a man I loved to hate and hated to love.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Duane

    If I could only have one word to describe this novel it would have to be "original". What an idea, what a concept Suskind came up with for this story, for this character. Fortunately I have more words available and I have to use them. Words like creepy, disgusting, sick, vile, etc. etc. It's the story of a serial killer in 18th century France. The victims - young girls, virgins. Predictable you say, well not so much. Sherlock Holmes would have struggled solving this case I believe. Very well If I could only have one word to describe this novel it would have to be "original". What an idea, what a concept Suskind came up with for this story, for this character. Fortunately I have more words available and I have to use them. Words like creepy, disgusting, sick, vile, etc. etc. It's the story of a serial killer in 18th century France. The victims - young girls, virgins. Predictable you say, well not so much. Sherlock Holmes would have struggled solving this case I believe. Very well written, but difficult to read in some parts. 4 stars

  18. 4 out of 5

    Manny

    "So what did you think of it?" she asked. "I've been trying to write something, but all I can come up with is that it's a weird story about a guy who has an unusually good sense of smell." She stopped, struck by a thought. "Wait a minute. You've got a pretty acute sense of smell yourself. I've noticed, don't try to deny it. That thing with the toaster. Right?" He was cornered, and vaguely assented, hoping she would drop the subject. But she persisted. "So you must have read it too. What did you "So what did you think of it?" she asked. "I've been trying to write something, but all I can come up with is that it's a weird story about a guy who has an unusually good sense of smell." She stopped, struck by a thought. "Wait a minute. You've got a pretty acute sense of smell yourself. I've noticed, don't try to deny it. That thing with the toaster. Right?" He was cornered, and vaguely assented, hoping she would drop the subject. But she persisted. "So you must have read it too. What did you think?" "Well," he said reluctantly after a while, "You can't really describe it with words. That's the point. But you could describe it as... as a smell." "As a smell?" "You'd actually have to create the smell," he said. "I thought about it quite a lot." "What would it smell like?" she asked, amused. "Beautiful young virgins?" "A bit," he said. "But that isn't the dominant note." "What is, then?" He hesitated. It sounded so absurd. "Epistemology," he said after a long pause. "And moral philosophy. You know. Kant." "It smells of Kant?" she asked. "But what does Kant smell like? I wouldn't have thought he had a smell." "Oh, he does!" he said. She had never seen him so animated. "And you can extract it. Süskind is absolutely right. Grease-soaked linen, that's the way to do it. Enfleurage. Distillation. People who are reading Kant have a special aroma." "But don't they have to be dead for you to be able to get it?" she asked, raising an eyebrow. "That is the main problem," he replied. He looked at her, and now all the excitement was gone. "It's a problem," he repeated. "But it's one you can solve. If you're persistent." She was staring at him as though she had never seen him before. What was he doing? He had already told her far too much. "Just kidding," he said, and he moved the corners of his mouth upward as he had learned to do. "Just kidding. Actually, I can sum it up in a couple of words. People stink."

  19. 4 out of 5

    Arah-Lynda

    Smell, they say, is the strongest of the senses. Hmmmmm, I remember a time, years ago, on the beach. I could smell the lake, the night air Feel the Harley spinning out of control as it hit the sand. No pain just The smell of wet leather and silk Bob Seger singing Moonlit endless sand The taste of beer and cigarettes His scent……..mine….mingled. That’s the thing about smell; it commands an immediate and visceral response. It is instinctive, automatic; void of conscious thought or will, all the while Smell, they say, is the strongest of the senses. Hmmmmm, I remember a time, years ago, on the beach. I could smell the lake, the night air Feel the Harley spinning out of control as it hit the sand. No pain just The smell of wet leather and silk Bob Seger singing Moonlit endless sand The taste of beer and cigarettes His scent……..mine….mingled. That’s the thing about smell; it commands an immediate and visceral response. It is instinctive, automatic; void of conscious thought or will, all the while affecting a wide range of behaviours; emotion, motivation …..memory. Perfume is an olfactory experience. Murder most monstrous is afoot. Suskind takes you on a bloody, smelly, insane quest.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Martine

    A cross between The Silence of the Lambs and a period drama. That's how I would describe Perfume, the great German classic of the 1980s. Basically, it's an eighteenth-century murder story, except that it doesn't focus on the victims and the hunt for the killer, but rather emphasises the life and times of the murderer, who is an unusual protagonist to say the least. Perfume tells the story of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, an eighteenth-century Parisian with a unique gift: a prodigiously well-developed A cross between The Silence of the Lambs and a period drama. That's how I would describe Perfume, the great German classic of the 1980s. Basically, it's an eighteenth-century murder story, except that it doesn't focus on the victims and the hunt for the killer, but rather emphasises the life and times of the murderer, who is an unusual protagonist to say the least. Perfume tells the story of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, an eighteenth-century Parisian with a unique gift: a prodigiously well-developed olfactory sense which allows him to recognise pretty much any scent or smell. After a childhood full of hardship, he is apprenticed to a perfumier who teaches him all he knows about distilling smells. Unbeknownst to the perfumier, however, Grenouille isn't in it for the fashionable perfumes. Rather than extracting scents from flowers and petals, he wishes to extract smells from living objects -- more specifically, from the beautiful virgins he comes across every now and then, who smell like heaven to him. And so he plies his trade, hoping to learn that elusive trick which will enable him to trap the scents of the lovely young ladies he covets from afar, so that he can create the perfume he really wants -- essence of maiden. Perfume is a riveting look into the mind of an obsessed man -- a murderer whose immorality and eccentricity put him on a par with Thomas Harris' unforgettable serial killers. As unlikeable and depraved as Grenouille is, you almost sympathise with him. He may be a monomaniac, but his perseverance and creativity and the originality of his quest are such you almost wish him to succeed, or at least to see how far he will get before he gets caught. Suskind does such a great job describing his obsession that you simply keep turning the pages, waiting to see what fate has in store for this horrible yet ever so original murderer. The writing on display is beautiful. A tremendous lot of research went into Perfume, and it shows. The descriptions of the various perfume-making techniques are rich, detailed and thoroughly impressive. Suskind frequently devotes whole pages to explanations of parfumiers' secrets; it is testimony to the quality of his writing that they never get tedious. He also does a marvellous job evoking the odours of Grenouille's world and the way in which they affect him. With its many powerful descriptions of odours (both pleasant and unpleasant), the book is a veritable smellscape which makes you increasingly aware of the smells surrounding you. However, it is not without its problems. The middle chapters are a bit of a drag and the ending is so over the top that many readers will be put off by it. I was a bit put off by it myself, yet I can see why Suskind went for the grotesque touch. For all its scientific detail, Perfume is essentially a fairy tale, and anything but a strange ending would have been a betrayal. It's weird, but if you read the story as if it were fairy tale, the ending makes sense. It's a fairy tale with a fairy-tale ending, and then some.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Helen 2.0

    This book had me like... Unlike anything I've ever read, but I loved it. Especially the whole last chapter had me laughing morbidly at scenes the author probably did not intend to be satire. The circumstances of Jean-Baptiste's birth and upbringing were also hilariously awful to me. During the rest of the book my general reaction was this: I wasn't sure if I was gonna be sent straight to hell for rooting for the main character so I tried to keep my opinion out of the general reading process. (I say This book had me like... Unlike anything I've ever read, but I loved it. Especially the whole last chapter had me laughing morbidly at scenes the author probably did not intend to be satire. The circumstances of Jean-Baptiste's birth and upbringing were also hilariously awful to me. During the rest of the book my general reaction was this: I wasn't sure if I was gonna be sent straight to hell for rooting for the main character so I tried to keep my opinion out of the general reading process. (I say this because Jean-Baptiste murders several innocent people and despises every person he meets in the entire story. Not a role model.) Overall, good book, not for the faint of heart.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Johann (jobis89)

    "For people could close their eyes to greatness, to horrors, to beauty, and their ears to melodies or deceiving words. But they couldn't escape scent." The story of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, who was born without his own scent but with a heightened sense of smell. Set in Paris in the late 1700s, Perfume tells the tale of his search for the perfect scent. Perfume has to be one of the most unique stories I've encountered, at times it is as equally beautiful as it is grim and disturbing. The story "For people could close their eyes to greatness, to horrors, to beauty, and their ears to melodies or deceiving words. But they couldn't escape scent." The story of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, who was born without his own scent but with a heightened sense of smell. Set in Paris in the late 1700s, Perfume tells the tale of his search for the perfect scent. Perfume has to be one of the most unique stories I've encountered, at times it is as equally beautiful as it is grim and disturbing. The story focuses on the life of Grenouille, right from his birth up until his later adult years. It's absolutely captivating and unique in that Suskind uses scent and smells as a way to explore so many different themes, such as power, obsession and the strong desire to obtain perfection. The character development of Grenouille is incredibly well-written, you can't help but feel sorry for him as he becomes quite a loner in his quest (he literally fucking lives under a mountain for a number of years, for gods sake!!). But then... he's also kinda creepy at times too. Don't go into this book expecting a fast-paced murder-mystery thriller - oh no, this book is so much more subtle in its execution. The story travels along at a relatively slow pace, but you will NEED to know what happens next as events unfold. Perfume reads like a classic, but without being incredibly verbose or dense. The writing is simply beautiful, one of those books where you feel like you want to constantly highlight every section. The scientist in me was geeking out majorly over the different processes described in the production of perfumes, such as distillation etc. I am also a huge fan of perfumes in general, so I did find it really interesting to learn more about the process. How do you capture a scent? How do you bottle that scent? Those parts were really enjoyable to read. That ending though... WHAT THE HECK WAS I READING? It was fucking off the wall! It felt like it came out of nowhere and initially I wasn't really on board... but when I thought about it and certain explanations were given I wasn't only on board, I was steering the goddamn ship! That ending is pretty crazy but makes perfect sense within the story. Overall I highly recommend Perfume, particularly if you are looking for something a little different, a little dark, and a completely unique reading experience. 4 stars.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Emelia

    To say this book is just a book of murder is to confine Patrick Suskind's words to banality. It is a story of love and obsession. Of one destined to be a captive of the senses. Jean-Baptiste Grenouille is a slave to scent. As some people are captivated by the scent of roses or lilacs, so Jean-Baptiste is captivated by the scent of women. In his dementia, in his lonely mind, he seeks to forever hold this scent of innocence and beauty, so much so it drives him to the brink of insanity, forcing him To say this book is just a book of murder is to confine Patrick Suskind's words to banality. It is a story of love and obsession. Of one destined to be a captive of the senses. Jean-Baptiste Grenouille is a slave to scent. As some people are captivated by the scent of roses or lilacs, so Jean-Baptiste is captivated by the scent of women. In his dementia, in his lonely mind, he seeks to forever hold this scent of innocence and beauty, so much so it drives him to the brink of insanity, forcing him to commit the utmost atrocities as his mind takes him down a path of darkness from which he will never return. Perfume is a story of the dark recess of the mind, where some madmen dwell for moments, and some dwell forever.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jacob

    This book was lent to me by a friend. This friend was really a great writer and kind of a genius but also an asshole. I should have known about this friend. Her name means sadness and she carried herself either in awkwardness or fierceness or hipper than you savagery or a combination of all of those or none of them and I’m just constructing a mythic version of her. Her writing was amazing. It was zany, rich, violent and grotesque. It would reach down into intense emotional depths and then get This book was lent to me by a friend. This friend was really a great writer and kind of a genius but also an asshole. I should have known about this friend. Her name means sadness and she carried herself either in awkwardness or fierceness or hipper than you savagery or a combination of all of those or none of them and I’m just constructing a mythic version of her. Her writing was amazing. It was zany, rich, violent and grotesque. It would reach down into intense emotional depths and then get completely silly but even that was colored with a sort of darkness that was irrepressible. But that friend and I had a falling out, which involved a writing project a mutual friend of ours was putting together, of all things to cause a falling out but I guess some of us are more serious about some subjects than others, that led to a poisonous blog entry that she wrote on myspace and then there was a drunken party where she head-butted me in the nose and then she vanished and by vanished I mean moved to Ohio at which point we were no longer friends and I never got to return the book. To be fair, about the whole head-butt thing, according to several people at the party not only did I egg her on and say repeatedly, go ahead, do it, go ahead, but she also tried once and missed, and I being the genius I was at the time, still courted danger like a sucker. When her head did connect my nose made a crunching noise. I think it was broken and it hurt for a long time afterwards but again it was kind of my fault. I held off on reading Perfume for months and months partially because of my hurt nose and partially because it looked like a cheesy piece of shit. Then I read it and I read it quickly. It was funny, romantic, revolting, and very something I would like and I liked it. At dinner at my apartment one night, I lent it to a friend of my girlfriend. That girl never returned the book but as far as I know she hasn't read it. My girlfriend and I broke up and her and the friend are no longer friends. This makes me think that Perfume, or at least this copy of it, has some weird mojo. Well people, I will say this, if a really little, partially Jewish, partially hip, girl, with red hair, and a big sexy nose, tries to lend you a battered copy of Perfume, think twice about it. Say, to yourself, Do I want my relationships to be tested? Do I want to be head-butted?

  25. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    Bizarre and unusual tale set in eighteenth century France. Grenouille is born without an odour and becomes obsessed with odours. He gradually moves through the novel learning all there is to know about perfume and scent and how to make, extract and distill it. Unfortunatley Grenouille is completely amoral with no feeling for anyone else. The story becomes increasingly bizarre and the ending is strange; difficult to stomach you might say! It is a well written, beautifully crafted with rich Bizarre and unusual tale set in eighteenth century France. Grenouille is born without an odour and becomes obsessed with odours. He gradually moves through the novel learning all there is to know about perfume and scent and how to make, extract and distill it. Unfortunatley Grenouille is completely amoral with no feeling for anyone else. The story becomes increasingly bizarre and the ending is strange; difficult to stomach you might say! It is a well written, beautifully crafted with rich language and an empty heart. Take it out of its historical context and stick it in a modern city and what do you have. Scent obsessed loner murders 26 young girls for their hair and scent; we do not know their names (apart from one), they are merely victims; all very young. None of the victims are male and there are no significant female characters in the book (Ok. I know teenage boys don't smell that sweet! But I did wonder at Grenouille choosing young girls as he didn't seem to find any odour offensive). A heart warming story of a serial killer, who objectifies women. American Psycho anyone!! As you may have guessed I didn't find the story all that convincing and as for the orgy at the end, I think the author ran out of ideas; or possibly forgot himself and thought he was writing for Playboy. Nevertheless, it passed a wet afternoon and there were a few laugh out loud moments (not entirely sure they were meant to be funny though!)

  26. 5 out of 5

    Joey Woolfardis

    Read as part of The Infinite Variety Reading Challenge, based on the BBC's Big Read Poll of 2003. The first thing I want to say is that, even though I didn't really enjoy it, I do fully recommend you read this book. It has a wonderful concept and will make you think so much about a lot of things-life, people, senses, smells, the way you see the world-that I think the enjoyment of the story is a little unimportant. This is the story of a late-Seventeenth-Century French man who is born with an Read as part of The Infinite Variety Reading Challenge, based on the BBC's Big Read Poll of 2003. The first thing I want to say is that, even though I didn't really enjoy it, I do fully recommend you read this book. It has a wonderful concept and will make you think so much about a lot of things-life, people, senses, smells, the way you see the world-that I think the enjoyment of the story is a little unimportant. This is the story of a late-Seventeenth-Century French man who is born with an extraordinarily sensitive sense of smell, but does not smell of anything himself. This unusual concept means the whole story is wrapped tightly around the theme of smell: all about it, smelling it, knowing it, seeing it, wanting it and remembering it. I did want to enjoy this book and I thought the beginning was quite wonderful. It really set up the themes of the book, and the plot, and the character, to such an extent I went through it with hope. Sadly, it falls away quite dramatically. It was unapologetically brutal and harsh; brash, brazen, quick, dark. The ending in particular I found exceedingly pointless, though I think that the ending itself was appropriate not only for the character but also, metaphorically, for the book, too. It was a disappointing ending, but I thought it very fitting that it were as abrupt as it was. The concept of a man seeing the world and everything within it as smells is wonderful but I don't think it was executed to its full potential. In fact, I think it was so mis-used that it left the work a bit hollow at the end. Grenouille doesn't think like other people and as a result he is a social outcast, which both hinders and emphasises his talent for smelling. He sees everything as smells and, through him, we do, too. But I think there were many times when we didn't get the full sense of what he was smelling: I wasn't convinced of some of the smells-the description of a place-it wasn't evocative to me. Perhaps because I don't have as powerful nose as others, or perhaps because I'm a visual person, but there were times when it didn't read as wonderful descriptions of people and places in the medium of smell, but instead was just an obvious statement of what had already been described before. Unfortunately, Grenouille and other characters are neither likeable nor particular fleshed out. Even though I believe the 2D nature of the characters was done on purpose to illustrate Grenouille's own view of human beings, the fact that the book was in 3rd Person narrative meant it was felt wholly. What I didn't like was the idea that virginity is something so utterly important that it has a special kind of scent. This is such a man idea of what virginity is-and weird from a character that has no concept of religion and god-that, whilst the idea of sexual desires and senses is intriguing, it holds no bearing on virginity and the act of losing it. It has nothing to do with puberty, with the beginning of the menstrual cycle or the end of it. It is simply a bit of skin that, quite often, isn't even there. Whilst I understand the concept of the need for virginal scent in this character, the whole idea really infuriated me, particularly considering this was written in the 80s and not, in fact, in the 18th century: you can have ideas of what virginity is in the 18th century but you cannot alter the proven fact: the scent of it. That made no sense. It probably shouldn't have annoyed me so much, but it did, and the book lost a lotof it's meaning. The obvious sexual themes of the book-wherein Grenouille uses smells as a proxy for sex, intimacy and other such things-were rendered completely meaningless by this, despite their intrigue. The other things, the art of perfume making, the way Paris smelt back then, the way a man can lose himself in a hole completely, all felt a little lacklustre and simply ways to make the story get to where it was heading, as opposed to being part of a journey. It is a wonderful concept and I really enjoyed that part of it, but otherwise it was just another bloody book. Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Pinterest | Shop | Etsy

  27. 4 out of 5

    Aishu Rehman

    After decades of hearing about this book, I finally settled in to read it. It is quite disturbing, terribly engaging, and a bit haunting. I found myself reading through it in a matter of several days. As I read, I could almost smell the book. I've never read a book that stimulates one sense so strongly. The English translation reads like a 19th-century French realist novel, in a good way. This is exactly why I felt so ... betrayed? ... by the ending. Now, I realize the author was making a After decades of hearing about this book, I finally settled in to read it. It is quite disturbing, terribly engaging, and a bit haunting. I found myself reading through it in a matter of several days. As I read, I could almost smell the book. I've never read a book that stimulates one sense so strongly. The English translation reads like a 19th-century French realist novel, in a good way. This is exactly why I felt so ... betrayed? ... by the ending. Now, I realize the author was making a statement, but I feel this novel took the easy way out, so to speak. There needs to be a balance between the statement and making the content acceptable to the reader. Don't get me wrong - I'm not saying the ending was offensive. To me, it felt rushed and hokey, and dispelled the effect that the chapters leading up to it had worked to create. Also, please understand that I still strongly recommend that everyone reads this at least once, but in my opinion it does not merit five or even four stars.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Petra-X

    Original story, well-written, a bit creepy, a lot silly, morality turned on its head for sex and drugs, it put me in mind that it was the Pied Piper in reverse. Not an exact analogy, just what it put in my mind. I've just downloaded the film. It will be interesting to see how much humanity is allowed Grenouille.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Bill Khaemba

    2nd time around: Still eerie, deeply disturbing but a beautiful surreal experience! Grenouille is still one of the most fascinating characters I have ever encountered PHENOMENAL!!!!!!!!!!!!! I [email protected]! loved it “He succeeded in being considered totally uninteresting. People left him alone. And that was all he wanted.” 18thCentury France, Grenouille is a man who has no human scent or body odor but is gifted with a very sharp sense of smell. He has the gift of recognizing and creating smells that would 2nd time around: Still eerie, deeply disturbing but a beautiful surreal experience! Grenouille is still one of the most fascinating characters I have ever encountered PHENOMENAL!!!!!!!!!!!!! I [email protected]£! loved it “He succeeded in being considered totally uninteresting. People left him alone. And that was all he wanted.”  18th Century France, Grenouille is a man who has no human scent or body odor but is gifted with a very sharp sense of smell. He has the gift of recognizing and creating smells that would appeal to other people. He works as an apprentice perfumer and journeyed to explore all available human scents in Paris. He wanted to have a scent of his own. A scent that would give him the body odor that every person has that he did not have. It was his desire to be one of them that he makes concoctions of various perfumes to find a human scent that would make him smell like everyone else.  I think my head has stopped spinning enough for me to say why this book is absolutely phenomenal. The book follows the life of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille (a f*cking name and a half) born in the late 1700s Paris in a very dark period where sanitation facilities and pollution were not at the best state.  (Fair warning foul descriptions at every page) With a remarkable gift of super scent and being odorless is the only thing that is going for him. This gift comes at a huge cost as it drives him to sort out the perfect perfume and it will come at a cost of someone else's life. “Odors have a power of persuasion stronger than that of words, appearances, emotions, or will. The persuasive power of an odor cannot be fended off, it enters into us like breath into our lungs, it fills us up, imbues us totally. There is no remedy for it.”  Words I would use to describe my experience reading this book "Intoxicating Complex" For such a short book it really had a depth of a thousand pages. The character study was one of the strong points of the book, using scent as a perspective to explore power, obsession, perfection and so much more was just mind-blowing. The idea of how lonely perfection can be was an interesting POV, how as humans we desperately try to fill that emptiness but in the end, it just grows wider disintegrates till we àre left as empty vessels. As I was following this person slowly evolving into this monster I found myself feeling sympathetic towards him because that feeling of emptiness was what was driving him to commit these atrocities. His view of the world was just so dark and depressing leading him to become so introverted and isolated with no idea of what is good or bad. *Don't go into this book expecting a fast paced thriller* “He possessed the power. He held it in his hand. A power stronger than the power of money or the power of terror or the power of death: the invincible power to command the love of mankind. There was only one thing that power could not do: it could not make him able to smell himself.”  . The writing was where it got really juicy, I honestly thought this book was published in the early 1900s because of the slow descriptive atmospheric prose but it was actually translated in 1990s and the translator did an incredible job. The Gothic setting was just everything and this wasn't the conventional "murder mystery" it was a slow build up that really engulfed me placiñg me dead center into the time period.  Totally caught by surprise with a scent driven book and I will be haunted by it for a long time, I can't wait to reread this modern classic again 👌 trust me you will never meet any character or premise like this one so bloody unique.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Cila

    Needless to say, this book will not be everyone's cup of tea; but it takes a particularly talented writer to make you pity and sympathize with a murderer, and Süskind just happens to be that kind of writer. I remember when I first read this books years ago, the finishing paragraph left me breathless, and as I placed the book down the first thing that came across my mind was, "What the hell did I just read?" However once you understand the unique motivation behind the protagonist's cruel Needless to say, this book will not be everyone's cup of tea; but it takes a particularly talented writer to make you pity and sympathize with a murderer, and Süskind just happens to be that kind of writer. I remember when I first read this books years ago, the finishing paragraph left me breathless, and as I placed the book down the first thing that came across my mind was, "What the hell did I just read?" However once you understand the unique motivation behind the protagonist's cruel art-form, you might love or hate him, but I guarantee this book will make you feel something.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.