Perfume ~ by Patrick Suskind

This is a very strange book, but it comes up on the lists of All-time Best Mystery Novels and it’s closing in on Halloween.  I suppose the book comes up a lot more on literary type lists than on thriller lists.   Anyway, okay fine.  I enjoy reading a book or two to match the season between October and Valentine’s Day.  A second book this month might be Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier – we’ll see. I’ve read it before but it’s a good book.  

Perfume: The Story of a MurdererB
y Patrick Suskind – 1985 Translated by John E. Woods
Read by Nigel Patterson – 9h
Rating – 6 / literary crime 

Anyway, as I said, this is a strange book concerning a young man whose olfactory senses are extraordinary but everything else about him seems rather pathetic.  Jean-Baptiste Grenouille is born in Paris in the 18th century and immediately orphaned, abandoned to foster care.  He is profoundly influenced by the smells around him.  One day he becomes obsessed with an adolescent girl and murders her for the smell. (Yes.) 

 Life goes on and he works at tanning and then a perfume making apprenticeship for a wealthy businessman.  The story kind of curls around and around like smoke and I’ll not get into spoilers.  I suppose it’s a good story for Halloween, but I didn’t particularly care for it because of the content.  

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2 Responses to Perfume ~ by Patrick Suskind

  1. Lisa Hill says:

    It’s one of the very few books that I’ve really loathed.
    I’m sure there’s some deeply intellectual reason why it gets the attention that it does, but I thought it was disgusting.


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