Book Review // Perfume

Perfume^- Patrick Suskind
Review of Perfume: Story of a Murderer
Being a big fan of Alan Rickman, I first saw the film of Perfume^ many, many years ago. I enjoyed the film very much so I bought the book soon after. For the past 5 years, it has been shuffled from bookshelf to bookshelf throughout my various moves but I only recently picked it up for a second time. 

Summary of Perfume: Story of a MurdererExtract of Perfume: Story of a MurdererPerfume follows the life of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, who is born in 18th century France with an extraordinary gift for detecting and identifying scents. Although he has a troubled upbrining, Grenouille eventually discovers the perfume industry where his talents are a huge benefit to him. With his new knowledge, he becomes obsessed with bottling the scent of beautiful women, which leads him to commit the most wicked of crimes. One girl in particular, the teenage daughter of a rich governer, captures Grenouille's desire and he delves further into madness in his desperation for her scent.Review of Patrick Suskind Perfume: Story of a MurdererSuskind's writing is absolutely beautiful. There is a poetic, gothic quality to his prose that is remarkable even when translated into English from the original German. The way Grenouille's life is fraught with death and disaster leaves the reader to believe he is cursed in some way and wonder how it is that this occurred. Little is known about his mother and even less about his father- Where did he come from? In what circumstances was he brought to being? Was he predisposed to death and desire? We are left to wonder.Patrick Suskind Perfume ReviewFor the most part, Perfume has a fairly fast pace that kept the story engaging. However, I did find the details of Grenouille's self-inflicted isolation to be a little tedious and they brought the pace down which left the overall flow of the novel to stall. I understand why Suskind has done this (to create a sense of disassociation from time, as Grenouille felt) but it wasn't an effective strategy for me.Once Grenouille returned to civilised areas, however, the story picked up and was again a compelling read with a powerful ending. Plus, of course, it has the most beautiful cover in the world! Don't pretend that's not important to you...

Rating of Perfume: Story of a Murderer

There are so many stunningly beautiful elements to Perfume- the poetic prose, the dizzying fall into gothic 18th century France, the theme of morbid infatuation. My rating is eight out of ten and I definitely recommend it! 

Books like Perfume: Story of a Murderer
With his dangerous, destructive infatuation for young girls, Grenouille was reminiscent of Lolita's Humbert Humbert, which I recommend to anybody who has enjoyed Perfume.

Buy Perfume here

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  1. A friend of mine told me about this book a long time ago, and I immediately forgot the name of it! I'm so glad you posted this review and blogged my memory! I'm re-reading Jurassic Park at the moment, but when I'm done I'm going to purchase this. It's such an interesting concept.

  2. I just recently read this book and absolutely loved it too. I can't say I've read anything like that before. Grenouille is just one of those characters who love to hate.

  3. I read Lolita a few years ago and loved it, so I'll definitely be looking into reading this! I'm trying to read one book a month so this one would be good to add to the list!

  4. I read this a few years back and enjoyed it. While it's definitely one of the strangest books I've ever read, I agree that Patrick Suskind's writing style is incredible. Can't forget about the beautiful cover either! x

    Under Blue Lights

  5. I had read the book before watching the movie. I love the book and also the fact that the movie stays true to the book. Jean-Baptiste is too handsome in the movie, though. Haha :p

    Dara | Hola Darla | @DarlaOct

  6. I've read tons of great reviews on this - need to read it! I love your book reviews :) x


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