El perfume: Historia de un asesino

ISBN: 8432216062
ISBN 13: 9788432216060
By: Patrick Süskind

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Classics Crime Favorites Favourites Fiction German Horror Mystery Thriller To Read

About this book

Jean-Baptiste Grenouille tiene su marca de nacimiento: no despide ningún olor. Al mismo tiempo posee un olfato prodigioso que le permite percibir todos los olores del mundo. Desde la miseria en que nace, el protagonista escala posiciones sociales convirtiéndose en un afamado perfumista. Crea perfumes capaces de hacerle pasar inadvertido o inspira simpatía, amor... Para obtener estas fórmulas debe asesinar a jóvenes muchachas vírgenes, obtener fluidos corporales y licuar sus olores íntimos. Su arte se convierte en una suprema e inquietante prestidigitación.

Reader's Thoughts

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 airFeel the Harley spinning out of control as it hit the sand. No pain justThe smell of wet leather and silk Bob Seger singingMoonlit endless sandThe taste of beer and cigarettesHis 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.

Madeline

Creepy, amazing, beautifully written, with another dose of creepy.Perfume is the story of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, who is born into absolute poverty, but is gifted with an extraordinary sense of smell. The book describes his life, beginning with his birth in a fish market (his mother gives birth to him under her fish stall and then leaves him there) to his totally bizarre death. In between, Grenouille becomes obsessed with preserving scents - human scents in particular, because Grenouille does not have a scent. He is especially obsessed with preserving the scents of beautiful young girls, and discovers that the best way to do this is to kill them, then wrap their bodies in oil-soaked cloths and then distill the oils to get the essential oils of each girl's scent.That's where the creepy part comes in. Grenouille is methodical and completely emotionless when it comes to killing - he barely even looks at his victims, and focuses only on their smell. The girls themselves never get to be more than victims - Laure, the girl whose scent Grenouille is most obsessed with obtaining, is probably only given a name so we can distinguish her from the twenty-five other girls Grenouille kills, and she never gets so much as a single word of dialogue. The reader never gets to learn anything about her personality or if she can even walk unassisted - she and the other girls in the story exist only as scents and pretty faces, and this makes it really hard to feel anything when Grenouille kills them. I know the author did this on purpose, and I'm still trying to decide if I liked it or not. That being said, I still really liked this story. It's a horror story from beginning to end, and a good one at that. Read it for that nice "I-feel-like-less-of-a-human-being-for-enjoying this" feeling.

Nina

** spoiler alert ** This book starts out interesting, I will give it that much. It is a story of a reclusive man, who, born without a personal odour, becomes obsessed with creating the perfect human scent. The description is interesting, and while Suskind paints a perfect picture of the scene, the idea itself is void of true substance of meaning, and tires quickly. The only thing to be valued in this book is Suskind's style of writing. The underpinning values or morals in this book is simply non existent, there is no need to probe into it, as its concepts lay obviously on the surface, with no real meaning to deduce from the work. As a read for entertainment, it may be worth it. It seems to be a fairly empty novel; which is supported by a brief synopsis. - Man kills 25 virgins, wraps them in lard to collect their scent, creates a perfume, wears the perfume on the day of his exucution, and since the scent is so "divine" it catalyses love and captures the town, weaving a spell over all its people. An orgy follows, and then Grenoiulle decides he wants to die and covers himself with the perfume, walks into a derelick park and allows himself to be eaten by those who want a piece of him due to his amazing scent. All in all, the crazy perfumer gets eaten by cannibals. Wow! - Shitty read if you ask me

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 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.

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 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.

أحمد أبازيد Ahmad Abazed

للعطر قوّة أإناع أقوى بكثير من الكلمات , لستُ قاتلا و لا أملك نبوغا شمّيّا عاليا ولكن الأثر الآسر لامرأة واحدة تمرّ عرضا في شارع ما يكفي لأصدّق و أنتمي لهذا العطر !للسابقين إلى مساحات لم يكتب فيها غيرهم قبلا حظّ من الريادة و حقّ الاكتشاف , لا أعلم إن كان أحدهم كتب من قبل رواية مركزها العطر و الرائحة , أو عالج العطر كما عالجه زوسكند بالنموذج الذي صاغه كبلّورة لا مكان فيها لغيره , هذا التحقّق الأعلى للعطر و تأثّرنا به , هو ما سبق إليه , و هذا النموذج الذي صاغه لا يكون طبعا من غير المبالغات , لأنّ ما خرج عن العاديّ في داخله فلا بدّ أن يختار لخاجه مثل خروجه .هذه المبالغات التي قد تكون مزعجة أحيانا , و لكنّها فكرة " التحقّق الأعلى للفكرة " أو " النموذج المتبلور " هي ما أراد أن يوصلها .الرواية ستكون ممتعة فاقرؤوها , فهي غنيّة كرواية ولكن لا أقارنها بما اعتدته من ديستويفسكسي أو كونديرا أو تولستوي أو كتب أدب السجون من فلسفة و تحليل و تجلّ للعبقريّة و ألغاز الإنسان في الرواية , ربما هي فقيرة من هذه الزاوية , فلسفة العطر و عمق النفس المستغرقة في حاسة واحدة و روح التبعيّة في العامة والسرد و البنية هي غنيّة هنا فقط !!

eleonora -

Sublime. Irriverente. Geniale. Solitamente le 5 stelline le riservo ai quei romanzi per i quali provo un certo valore affettivo, che ho riletto più volte o che so che rileggerò più volte. Romanzi che sono diventanti come degli migliori amici o che lo diventeranno. Probabilmente non rileggerò Il Profumo, perché penso che sia uno di quei libri che ti rimangono talmente impressi da non aver bisogno di un rilettura per essere meglio compresi.Ma passiamo a lui. Passiamo a Jean-Baptiste Grenuille. Questo personaggio è geniale, coerente con sé stesso dall'inizio alla fine, magnificamente descritto, terribilmente dissacrante e macabro al punto giusto. Questo libro non è un libro leggero, non è neanche un libro per stomaci leggeri. Ma non preoccupatevi, nonostante io abbia il sonno leggero, in quel caso non da complicazioni. Non voglio dirvi troppo, non leggete la trama e astenetevi persino dal leggere il sottotitolo che in alcune edizioni compare.Da prima di metà libro io avevo già intuito come sarebbe andata la faccenda, e quando il tutto tardava ad andare come supponevo io, mi sono sentita quasi tradita, messa in secondo piano, quasi giudicata inferiore e ignorante. Ebbene sì, proprio così. Non come quando si legge un giallo supponendo di conoscere il colpevole e poi ci si sbaglia: no, questa volta mi sentivo quasi offesa. Perché è tale il coinvolgimento che da questo libro, tale da leggerlo in spiaggia alle due del pomeriggio mentre i termometri misurano più di 40°, tale da svegliarsi mezz'ora prima la mattina solamente per poter leggere qualche pagina. Eppure, ora non sono più delusa, perché le mie supposizioni iniziali si sono rivelate veritiere! E, nonostante ciò, quasi differenti, stupefacenti, geniali. Leggetelo, perché questo libro vi stupirà completamente. Mentre leggevo alcune parti, mi veniva da sorridere. Il mio vecchio professore di Biologia diceva sempre che noi non amiamo col cuore, amiamo col cervello. Che sono solamente impulsi elettrici. Che lui, su un albero, non incideva un cuore con le iniziali, ma un cervello. Grenuille vi proverà che sì, è tutta questione di cervello e di impulsi, ma in particolar modo di profumi. E che, in ogni caso, non si ama una persona, non si ama un corpo, un cervello, un pensiero, un sorriso. Si possono amare solo i profumi, per Grenuille.

أروى

قرأته بالعربية(العطر..قصة قاتل)مذ قرأت هذه الرواية وأنا أشعر أن حاسة جديدة لدي قد تيقظت إلى أقصى مدى ..ولعلي منذ زمن مولعة بذلك الأثر الساحر المخفي المربك لمجرد "رائحة جميلة"..دعوني أبدأ قصة هذا الكتاب من البداية..!كنت أضع هذه الرواية ضمن قائمة طويلة من الكتب والروايات التي قرأت عنها أو سمعت عنها كي أحصل عليها ريثما تيسرت الأمور..صادف أن قرأت تقريراً عن السينما الأسبوعية ومن ضمن الأفلام المعروضةكان فلم perfumeوالمأخوذ عن هذه الرواية.اتصلت صديقة بي كانت موجودة في ذلك الوقت في دبي، سألتني عن كتب يمكن أن تشتريها فأخبرتها عن هذه الرواية .المهم صديقتي تحمست ، وعانت حتى تحصل عليها..موجودة، غير موجودة..عودي غداً.انتظري نبحث في المخزن..حتى عادت إلى جدة بهذا الصيد الثمين..بعدها بأسبوع قابلت صديقتي..نظرت إلي بنظرة يملؤها الشرر ودفعت لي بالكتاب قائلة: خذيها ..لا تعيديها إلي..لا أريدها..ولن أستمع إلى نصيحتك ثانية!أسقط في يدي..قلت لها : أنا لم أقرأها، فقط سمعت عنها..خبأتها في حقيبتي حتى وجدتها ذات ملل..كنت الفريسة .وكانت الصياد..!بكل فكرتها..أحداثها..تداعيها..رسم ملامح شخصياتها..كنت أقرأ "بأنفي"...!!!!!!!كيف يمكن لكاتب أن يحصر كل هذا الكم من الروائح المقرفة والجميلة والبشرية والحيوانية.. ثم يقبض عليها..ويكتبها بكل هذه الدقة..!كيف يمكنه أن يجعل من الفتيات الصغيرات الجميلات زهوراً قابلة للسحق من أجل تقطير أروع رائحة في الوجود كما يشمها هو!إنها رواية تخلط لك الفانتازيا بالنزعات الشريرة..لتمنحك رائحة أخرى!طبعاً بعد أن انتهيت من قراءتها لم أفكر برؤية الفلم أبداً ولن أفعل..فالأفلام ذات الشر البارد..ترعبني أكثر من أفلام الرعب الحمقاء..

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 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.

La Petite Américaine

** spoiler alert ** UPDATE: I do have to admit that going through the first trimester of pregnancy did have me thinking back to the main character in this book. I mean, smelling everything just SUCKS.Who knew everything stank so bad?? I mean, I wouldn't go around killing redhead virgins like he did to rectify the situation, but the time he spent alone in the scentless air of the mountaintop in France suddenly sounded so appealing. :)I only finished this book for 2 reasons, 1)my brother recently paid for it for me when we were travelling in German Switzwerland because I lost my ATM card, and 2) to review it on this (suddenly addictive) site.So, we have here a German author who, from page 1, likes to beat us over the head with adjectives and nouns: "streets ... of manure ... courtyards of urine ... rat droppings ... spoiled cabbage and mutton fat .... greasy sheets, damp featherbeads .... congealed blood." Is this German creativity? Adjective-noun bombardment? Heh. Enter some scenes, i.e. a woman who gives brith (and attempts infanticide) on a pile of fish guts. The baby lives. The mother's head is chopped off. The baby has no personal odor yet somehow he grows up in horrid circumstances and becomes an expert perfumer. Here are some more words our narrator beats us over the head with, all describing what our protagonist smells and later uses in his perfumes: "old cheese, stale vinegar .... spermy smell .... virginal smell, cat shit, pig shit, ... [stop, it's time to kill a puppy in graphic detail:].... anal sweat ... menstrual blood." Yummay. Ok, cut to a few more scenes, each more ludicrous and banal than the last in their descriptive value (although the shock value is rather great, of course -- why else would it be so popular in Germany and the USA, then made into a movie??)Let's end it with caannibalism, shall we?? Puh-lease. Yet another book that in Europe costs the equivelent of $25 that, shocker, is a time-wasting piece of "cat shit," (quoting the author here.) In the end? The words of a far wiser California surfer blonde suffice: "OH MY GAH! HELLA GROSS! EWWWw! SICK!!! That is so VILE! Let's smoke some bud, surf some waves, and forget about it!"I can't give you better than that.

Angela

this book sounded really interesting, but i really didn't like it. couldn't wait to be done with it, but also had a hard time just finishing it cause i really didn't like it. felt like the writing and plot was just very amateurish. hopefully the movie is better.

Wigs

So I'm a huge fan of the movie, it's in my top ten favorite movies simply because it has gorgeous imagery and the best ending in the history of movies, haha, in my opinion. So I decided I had better read the book.Short review, but I really enjoyed the book. The prose is very vivid and visceral, at times disgusting and at other times delicious. What I really like is how much it makes you think of smells, since often we don't consciously use that sense. When I was reading it I kept smelling stuff when I went outside trying to 'dissect' scents like in the book. Often I found the prose was full of dry humor and was totally hilarious, though to point out any of my favorite quotes would be spoilery, I'm afraid. It's a short book so I do very much think it's worth a read.I do however, find the movie a better piece overall, as it takes what's weak about the book (the finding oneself surrealist nonsense) and cuts it out, and emphasizes and spends more time on the parts of the book that are exciting (the experiments and murders.) I do think they follow each other close enough though, so if you're already a fan of the movie you'll still find it enjoyable to read. I found the writing really refreshing, it feels so complex and detailed in all the right places. And I find it curious that it feels like a book written in the time that it's set in, the late 1700s, even though it was written in the 1980s. It's both readable and smart. I had a great time with it but watch out if you're at all squeamish as there are some weirdo upsetting things. I don't want to spoil too much in case you haven't seen the movie and don't really know what any of it is about (I mean clearly from the title you can tell it's about murders but...what happens and why is just so very strange and disturbing.) But it's creepy and voyeuristic and probably nothing like you've read before and all ending with one of the best story endings ever!I do highly recommend both the book and the movie! If you only can do one, however, see the movie at least. It's gloriously beautiful (and has Alan Rickman, how can you refuse?) And while I recognize the book had it's weaknesses, I still had a good time with it and I'm glad I chose to read it!

Bonnie

'Perfume' tells the story of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille a boy who grew up on the streets of Paris. Jean-Baptiste was no ordinary boy, he had a gift... a sense of smell that could not be rivaled. Naturally he found his niche by becoming an apprentice to a master perfumer who teaches him the art of making perfume. He excelled at this and people were scrambling to buy his product. As he branched out and started searching for new scents to include in his perfumes, his fascination with trying to find the "ultimate perfume" takes a morbid turn when he finds that ultimate scent is coming from a beautiful woman, and he has to capture it by any means necessary.I picked this book up on a whim at a used bookstore one day simply thinking that I'd like to read something different for a change. 'Perfume' managed to root itself so deep in my mind that I still remember this novel in vivid detail to this day; I must have read it at least ten years ago. The story is disturbing in so many ways yet so unbelievably brilliant and fascinating that you can't help but be enthralled. The novel is extremely graphic at times but that's what really makes the story. Highly recommended, I love this novel it's one of my absolute favorites.Interested in more of my reviews? Visit my blog!

Rinda Elwakil

قرأتها و شاهدتها فيلما ..كاتب متميز فكر خارج الصندوق و أنتج فكرة عجيبه لا أدري من أي مكان جاء بها من تلك الوديان البعيده التي يأتي للشعراء و الكتاب جميعا منها الإلهام ..A master piece ..لطالما احببت الأعمال الفنية اللتي تترك في فمك مذاقا ما .. التي لا تعود الحياة بعدها كما كانت , منها العطر ..رأيت أثناء قرائتي البطل طفلا يشم كل شئ في جشعأشفقت عليه طفلا بالرغم من نفور جميع من حوله منه..و هو يقوم بخلط العطور بدون قواعد .. رأيته و هو يري الفتاه قتيلته الأولي في منامه .. يتذكر شذاها , يحاول الإمساك به الإحتفاظ به للأبد و من ثم يراه كالزئبق ينسل من بين يديه ... فيصرخ و يستيقظ رأيت ذلك الجنون في عينيه و هو يستخلص مكونات سحره , العطر ..انتهيت من قرائتها و من ثم شاهدتها فيلما , كان أفضل مما توقعت من الأفلام ألا تكون بمستوي الروايات دوما .. النهايه رائعه ..عمل لن أمل من إعادة قرائته , و رؤيته علي الشاشه .. العطر ..أنصح بها بشدة , علي مسئوليتي الشخصية :))

Bryce Wilson

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.

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