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 sense 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 fresh-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 brilliance, Perfume is a hauntingly powerful tale of murder and sensual depravity.
Translated from the German by John E. Woods.
About Patrick SuskindSee more books from this Author
...Suskind's storytelling, short on memorable supporting players, lacks the Candide-like brio needed to sustain involvement in such an arch and stagy (if frequently impressive) exercise.Read Full Review of Perfume (International Writers) | See more reviews from Kirkus
It has elements of mystery, drama, suspense, romance, morality and many more, but the element of fantasy is particularly attractive. Perfume, the story of a murderer, is a tribute to the mind and imagination of Patrick Suskind, who so wonderfully combined all of the elements needed to sustain a great story.Read Full Review of Perfume (International Writers)
I would never have picked up this novel had I not been dared by Ana – but I absolutely loved it. Perfume is an unforgettable bouquet indeed.Read Full Review of Perfume (International Writers)
I did not like this grotesque little book. It seems to me to be drenched in gratuitous unpleasantness, punctuated by nasty deaths.Read Full Review of Perfume (International Writers)
This is a book for those who can revel in word-pictures and can let their imagination take-off under the spell of this excellent author. They will find they can hardly put the book down, while those of a more literal and logical turn of mind may find it just too unbelievable and perhaps a little too wordy.Read Full Review of Perfume (International Writers)
It is one of the most gloriously descriptive novels you will ever read. It is an unforgettable commentary on depravity, unfettered arrogance, and ironically misplaced idealism.Read Full Review of Perfume (International Writers)
The conceit of the novel is to introduce a supernatural agent who can manipulate the baser aspects of human nature...Overall though I found the tone unnecessarily parodic and the humour cruelly callous. To be honest I far prefer Lemony Snicket’s tragic fables.Read Full Review of Perfume (International Writers)
Extravagant, visual and surrealistic the story spins out of reality’s control, demolishes the rules with a bulldozer and show like a grand theatre hall how the least likely things happen.Read Full Review of Perfume (International Writers)
My adjective of choice would be “creepy” and if I’m allowed a second , I’d call it brilliant. It’s not quite a masterpiece. It’s spoiled by that second section, the one in which Grenouille crawls into his cave for 7 years. I found that quite boring and simply too fantastical.Read Full Review of Perfume (International Writers)
The thing is, though, Perfume is a plot-driven story. And in my opinion, the plot goes off the rails badly. The scene of the hanging was ... beyond absurd, and for me, the book dragged itself brokenly from that point on to what felt like a failed conclusion.Read Full Review of Perfume (International Writers)
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