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Perfume: The Story of a Murderer


Patrick Suskind's "Perfume" is a classic novel of death and sensuality in Paris. 'In eighteenth-century France there lived a man who was one of the most gifted and abominable personages in an era that knew no lack of gifted and abominable personages. His name was Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, and if his name has been forgotten today, it is certainly not because Grenouille fell short of those more famous blackguards when it came to arrogance, misanthropy, immorality, or, more succinctly, wickedness, but because his gifts and his sole ambition were restricted to a domain that leaves no traces in history: to the fleeting realm of scent...' "An astonishing tour de force both in concept and execution". ("Guardian"). "A fantastic tale of murder and twisted eroticism controlled by a disgusted loathing of humanity...Clever, stylish, absorbing and well worth reading". ("Literary Review"). "A meditation on the nature of death, desire and decay ...a remarkable debut". (Peter Ackroyd, "The New York Times Book Review"). "Unlike anything else one has read. A phenomenon...Everyone seems to want to get a whiff of this strange perfume, which will remain unique in contemporary literature". ("Figaro"). "An ingenious and totally absorbing fantasy". ("Daily Telegraph"). "Witty, stylish and ferociously absorbing". ("Observer"). Patrick Suskind was born near Munich, in 1949. He studied medieval and modern history at the University of Munich. His first play, "The Double Bass", was written in 1980 and became an international success. His first novel, "Perfume", became an internationally acclaimed bestseller. He is also the author of "The Pigeon" and "Mr. Summer's Story", and a coauthor of the enormously successful German television series "Kir Royal". Patrick Suskind lives and writes in Munich. Hide synopsis

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Reviews of Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

Overall customer rating: 4.401
Meryl F

strange but hypnotic and gripping

by Meryl F on Mar 15, 2012

I read some reviews of this book before buying it and did not really know how it was going to read. I found it hard to get through the first chapter, and read the remainder over several days. The story was fascinating and unlike anything else I had read. Once I got about a quarter through I was amazed by the author's ability to describe the protagonist.who is a very strange person. It's almost like science fiction - another universe. I am going to re-read it since it was so full of interesting characters, locations and a description of France in the 19th century. Fascinating unusual book. Cannot imagine how the author thought of this tale.


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by Ohrenberg on Oct 30, 2007

Perfume is brought to life by a powerfull narrative crafted by Suskind. Never before have smells been described so deftly. The reader becomes intimately involved in the life of Jean-babtist, set in 18th century france this books does not read like a boring historical drama. Perfume is a refreshing tale about of all things a serial killer. Dont take my word for it go read it yourself



by ewag on Sep 20, 2007

very bizzare, and set back centuries. Keeps you on your toes, and you want to know what will happen next. surprising ending.


Haven't seen the movie, glad I read the book!

by daughter2 on Aug 21, 2007

We experience our world with all of our senses, at times one sense being stronger than another, as we take in our environment. But our character, Jean-Baptiste, experiences his world through his sense of smell. He trolls his world in search of the perfect scent. The author's descriptions are so tangible! The scents of Paris are so unpleasant, almost to the point of unbearable, that you may well find yourself repulsed and gagging as you read. Yet, when we are taken into the perfumeries of Paris and Grasse our entire experience is transformed into a world of beauty, fragrant like the flowers and citrus Jean-Baptiste uses in the art of perfume-making! But then again we are pulled down into the dark place that is Jean-Baptiste's soul. . .or lack of one? The ending is superb! Totally unexpected! It is almost like a. . .well, I'll leave you to interpret it for yourself.

Customer rating: 4 out of 5 4 out of 5
Would recommend?: Yes  1 out of 1
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