Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

ISBN: 0140120831
ISBN 13: 9780140120837
By: Patrick Süskind John E. Woods

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Genres

Classics Crime Favorites Favourites Fiction German Horror Mystery Thriller To Read

About this book

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 frest-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 brillance, Perfume is a hauntingly powerful tale of murder and sensual depravity.

Reader's Thoughts

طَيْف

لأول مرة أجد "أنفي" متورطا في قراءة رواية!!!0مع زوسكند والقراءة الثالثة له...في رواية ذات حبكة فريدة، وفي عالم يضج بالروائح ما قرأت له مثيلا...وفي موضوع يلامس الحاسة الحادة عندي...فالروائح تسكن ذاكرتي...تستوطنني...ولبعضها تأثير السحر عليّزوسكند...بعالمه الغرائبي الذي بناه على الروائح قوّض عالمي وهزّه من أعماقه...فأن يسمي روايته بالعطر فذلك قمة الغرائبية...فالمفردة تمثل لنا تصورا مختلفا عما جاء به...فلا هي العطر بالمفهوم الطبيعي...ولا هي كذلك فقط قصة قاتل...ولا هي مرعبة كقصص الرعب!!!0إلى أي عالم غريب أراد هذا العبقري أن يقودنا بخياله الواسع...أو يقود أنوفنا؟؟!!!0وأي فكرة تلك التي أراد زوسكيند تمريرها؟؟وأي روحٍ تلك التي منحها للروائح حتى تنطق بحقيقة الأشياء وتمنحها هويّتها؟؟بناء فني محكم وعالم خصب بالخيال والتشويق والكثير من الجنون، أبدعه زوسكيند...مازج فيه بين السرد الروائي والسينمائي...ليهبنا القدرة على تصور المشاهد إضافة لشم روائح أجوائهافي فرنسا، وفي القرن الثامن عشر، وفي مجتمع يحفل بالعطر ويهتم به، ويقبل خاصّته على اقتناء أفضل العطور وأجملها، والعطارين على استخلاص المميز منها...يولد "جان باتيست غرنوي" لقيطا...في أحد الأحياء الفقيرة والمعدمة، ويبدأ حياته بإعدام والدته التي قررت تركه يموت بعد ولادته مباشرة...يولد "غرنوي" بشخصية بغيضة حتى تلفظه المرضعات، وبأنف خارق يتحسس أدق الروائح، وذاكرة شميّة يختزن بها كل رائحة يلتقطها أنفه بل ويشمها حال تذكّرها، ويملك القدرة على تحليلها وتركيبها وتصنيفها وصنع أجودها بخياله قبل أن يركبها في قارورة، رغم خلوه منها!!...وفي الوقت الذي يميز فيه الآخرين اتجاهاتهم ببصرهم وسمعهم، يعتمد هو على أنفه في تحديدها، ويحيا بشخصية غريبة مرهوبة متنقلا من بيت لبيت، حتى يلتقي بأحد أفضل العطارين ويتعلم منه أسرار المهنة ويجد المكان المناسب لموهبته، والتي لا يريد الاغتناء ماديا بها، وإنما فقط الاستمتاع بتلك المهارة وإثبات وجوده من خلالها...واستخلاص الروائح من كل ما يقع عليه نظره...والتوق لروائح لا مثيل لها، واستخلاصها بأشد الظروف غرابة ووحشية...بدءا بتقطيرها من الزهور وحتى استخدام أجساد الكائنات الحية وانتهاء بأجساد الفتيات العذراوات الجميلات.من الصعب اختزال أحداث القصة...فأحداثها مليئة بالغرابة والتنوع، ولكن السرد يتصاعد ليتحول هذا الفتى إلى قتل خمس وعشرين فتاة، من أجل استخلاص العطر الأكثر فتنة وتأثيرا من أجسادهن...محاولا تجربته من أجل أن يمنحه انتباه الآخرين والإحساس بوجودهوحين ظننت أن زوسكيند ينهي روايته بنجاة "غرنوي" من الإعدام بفضل عطره...فاجأتني النهاية الحقيقية القاسية بقتله في بلدته القديمة وعلى أيدي عدد من المشردين...ولنفس السبب الذي أنجاه...رائحة العطر الذي استخلصه من أجساد الفتيات...والذي كرّس حياته وجهده وتفكيره للحصول عليه وجمعه.أرغمني زوسكيند على التعاطف مع شخصيته الرئيسية، رغم ظلاميتها وتشوهها، وقسوته في وصفها ظاهرا وباطنا...وخشيت في لحظة نجاته من القتل، من ابتسامة رضى ارتسمت على شفتي، وكأنني رغبت فعلا بنجاته رغم شناعة فعلته، ربما هي طفولته البائسة التي أتقن زوسكيند وصفها وأحاطنا بها...وربما لأنه فعل ذلك حتى يحصل على الحب الذي حرمه، والسعادة التي ما شعر بها يوما، ولتحقيق ذاته وإبراز داخله...وربما لأنه كشف الأقنعة الزائفة وعرّى البشر أمام أنفسهم وأبرز دواخلهم الملتويةأبدع زوسكيند في مشهد إعدام "غرنوي"، فصدمته من موقف الآخرين تجاهه حطمت قناعاته، وأدرك أن الحب الذي جذبته الرائحة لم يعد شيئا يذكر بالنسبة له...ولم يعد مطلبا و "تصاعد فيه القرف من الإنسان ودسّ المرارة في نصره، فلا يمتنع عليه الفرح فحسب، بل ولا يشعر حتى بالتشفي. فما كان يحلم به، حب الناس، صار في لحظة النصر عبئًا لا يُطاق".العطر...رواية تحمل الكثير من تفاصيل صناعة العطور وتقطيرها وتفرد صفحات لبيان مراحل استخلاصها وتقنيات إبداعها...وتحمل كذلك الكثير من المعاني المختفية خلف الأحداث الظاهرة...وتضعك أمام العديد من التساؤلات حول الرائحة والحب والهويّة والعلاقة بينهم...فالرائحة برأي زوسكيند تعد مفتاحا للحب، وللإحساس بالآخرين ووجودهمرواية قد تكرهها جدا وقد تحبها جدا...وقد تخلف مشاعر متناقضة في نهايتها كما فعلت معي...ولكنها بالتأكيد جذبتني من أول حرف فيها

Cindy

"Odours have a power of persuasion stronger than that of words, appearances, emotions or will. The persuasive power of an odour cannot be fended off, it enters into us like breath into our lungs, it fills us up, imbues us totally. There is no remedy for it.""For people could close their eyes to greatness, to horrors, to beauty, and their ears to melodies or deceiving words. But they could not escape scent. For scent was a brother of breath. Together with breath it entered human beings, who could not defend themselves against it, not if they wanted to live. And scent entered into their very core, went directly to their hearts, and decided for good and all between affection and contempt, disgust and lust, love and hate. He who ruled scent ruled the hearts of men."3/4 of the way through Perfume, I was going to tell you all in my review that if you're a fan of Dexter or maybe even True Blood, you might enjoy this book. Then I realized at the end that I was being too simplistic. It's for lovers of words, language, history, descriptions and loving to hate a character.It's a strange thing writing a whole book about smell. Smell is one of our few senses that doesn't translate to images, words, or descriptions. I always find perfume ads amusing, because they have to evoke an emotion they are hoping consumers will feel when they do finally smell the scent. Young mother hanging the laundry! Sexy woman in a bustier in the basement of a Speakeasy! Man on a horse holding jewels! Yet scent, at its heard, instantly takes us to our memories. I think I've finally figured out that the distinctive smell that infused my grandparents' house in South Dakota was a mix of talc, pine scented cleaner and fresh baked cookies. I might be wrong, but every once in a while I whiff something close to this and am immediately back in their 50's era kitchen with the big round drawer pulls.I think Süskind succeeded in drawing the reader a scented picture of mid-eighteenth century France. He then layers that with the development of a poor, weird creature who only has his hyper-olfactory nerves as an asset. The story ends up being bizarre, fascinating, and altogether horrifying, with layers upon layers of scent.Definitely not a book for everyone.Oh, and by the way, the lead character's name, Grenouille, means frog in French. Do frogs have a smell?

Jacob

This book was lent to me by a friend. This friend was really a great writer and kind of a genius but also an asshole. I should have known about this friend. Her name means sadness and she carried herself either in awkwardness or fierceness or hipper than you savagery or a combination of all of those or none of them and I’m just constructing a mythic version of her. Her writing was amazing. It was zany, rich, violent and grotesque. It would reach down into intense emotional depths and then get completely silly but even that was colored with a sort of darkness that was irrepressible. But that friend and I had a falling out, which involved a writing project a mutual friend of ours was putting together, of all things to cause a falling out but I guess some of us are more serious about some subjects than others, that led to a poisonous blog entry that she wrote on myspace and then there was a drunken party where she head-butted me in the nose and then she vanished and by vanished I mean moved to Ohio at which point we were no longer friends and I never got to return the book. To be fair, about the whole head-butt thing, according to several people at the party not only did I egg her on and say repeatedly, go ahead, do it, go ahead, but she also tried once and missed, and I being the genius I was at the time, still courted danger like a sucker. When her head did connect my nose made a crunching noise. I think it was broken and it hurt for a long time afterwards but again it was kind of my fault. I held off on reading Perfume for months and months partially because of my hurt nose and partially because it looked like a cheesy piece of shit. Then I read it and I read it quickly. It was funny, romantic, revolting, and very something I would like and I liked it. At dinner at my apartment one night, I lent it to a friend of my girlfriend. That girl never returned the book but as far as I know she hasn't read it. My girlfriend and I broke up and her and the friend are no longer friends. This makes me think that Perfume, or at least this copy of it, has some weird mojo. Well people, I will say this, if a really little, partially Jewish, partially hip, girl, with red hair, and a big sexy nose, tries to lend you a battered copy of Perfume, think twice about it. Say, to yourself, Do I want my relationships to be tested? Do I want to be head-butted?

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..

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.

Carmo Santos

Gostei de tudo neste livro. Desde a história magnifica que não se assemelhou a nada que já tivesse lido e que o autor desenvolveu de forma criativa e surpreendente, à linguagem clara e requintada, sem ser pretensiosa. As descrições são ricas, sem monotonia,e os diálogos expressivos e diretos, sem conversas inúteis. A escrita adapta-se às variadas situações, por vezes tão melancólica que deixa um nó na garganta, outras subtilmente irónica, ou ainda divertida capaz de levar ao riso. As personagens são elaboradas e bem estruturadas com personalidades fortes e singulares.Patrick S. leva-nos a Paris em pleno sec.XVIII, a uma época em que a imagem da cidade luz era bem diferente daquela que conhecemos hoje. A partir daí é uma viagem pelos aromas de França guiados pelo narizinho de Jean-Baptiste.Jean-Baptiste Grenouile nasceu no sítio mais fedorento da cidade, no seio da maior imundície e da mais profunda miséria humana, literalmente despejado naquele terreno estéril onde não vingavam afetos.Dotado de uma maldade intrínseca e desprezando todos à sua volta, esquivou-se à morte, revelando uma tenacidade que haveria de o acompanhar ao longo da vida, e trilhou o seu caminho sem se prender a nada nem a ninguém, vivendo como um animal solitário e evitando contacto humano, a não ser que daí colhesse algum beneficio.Nasceu com um olfato capaz de captar o mais ínfimo aroma. Desde bebé que olhava com as narinas, devassava o intimo de quem com ele se cruzava, e era meticuloso a selecionar e catalogar todos os cheiros que guardava na sua memória, para nunca mais os esquecer.Ele, que por um bizarro capricho do destino havia nascido sem odor corporal, vai dedicar-se à criação de um perfume o mais parecido possível com o cheiro do corpo humano, aquele que representará a sua própria identidade. Para isso, reuniu meticulosamente os ingredientes necessários e através do método mais macabro, vai criar a fórmula mágica para um perfume hipnotizante. Tinha a fantasia louca de ser adorado, idolatrado e amado sem limites. Aqui, os nossos corações amanteigados podem pensar : Coitado, ficou assim pelas circunstâncias em que nasceu e viveu, pela falta de amor e carinho. Puro engano. Jean- Baptiste Grenouille era genuinamente mau e calculista, sabia-o, e tinha orgulho nisso. Apesar da personagem principal dominar toda a história, foi por Giuseppe Baldini, que fiquei encantada mal me foi apresentado.Este egocêntrico tradicionalista, preso às glorias passadas, hostil a toda e qualquer inovação, consagrou-se perfumista famoso mais por uma sucessão de felizes acasos do que por genuíno talento. Agora, que o declínio se avizinha rói-se de inveja do seu rival, Pélissier, um "vinagreiro" inovador que tem a ousadia de criar perfumes novos como se não houvesse amanhã, e ainda por cima - que descaramento... com sucesso! Baldini rebaixa-o, chama-lhe sarcasticamente: "porquinho" e "animal fedorento" entre outras pérolas, mas de forma tão divertida que se torna hilariante. Claro que paralelamente,vai criando estratagemas para lhe roubar as formulas. Uma personagem deliciosa. Desempenhou um papel fundamental na vida de Jean-Baptiste, e vice-versa.Das restantes personagens, nenhuma me marcou especialmente. Desempenharam o seu papel na devida altura e o autor teve o cuidado de lhes dar um rumo e um final, ainda que isso não fosse fundamental para o desenlace da história. Vi o filme, li o livro, vi o filme outra vez, e não tenho a menor duvida. O filme é bom mas o livro é extraordinário.

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.

Michael Fierce

Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer is simply one of the greatest horror novels ever written. Taking place in 18th century, France, it begins with an infant born with one difference from the rest of the world: Jean-Baptiste Grenouille is born with the ability to smell anything and everything in the world around him. Although not a novel of the supernatural as commonly defined, in a sense, it is, because his ability can only be defined as that of supernature. While not being the most prolific author, Patrick Süskind, has made his permanent mark not only in horror and gothic fiction, but in the circles of high literature, as well. More a modern descendant of Edgar Allan Poe or Robert Louis Stevenson and other great gothic writers of that period than to most writers working today, Perfume, is a unique, fresh, story of mystery, suspense, and madness. For those of you tired of books you can see right through, anticipating where the storyline is going and how it's going to end, this is the book for you. I can't imagine anyone figuring out the ending, or even trying to, because you wil be so caught up in the book, you will savour every page and description until the end. It's really hard to find good modern gothic fiction, horror or otherwise, that's done with a literate touch from someone that conveys the feeling of actually being there inside a rich, period piece setting. A book no one with literate reading interests should miss. Though different, it will appeal to readers of newer masters of horror; Thomas Ligotti, Patrick McGrath, Laird Barron, and Matt Cardin. And to older masters; Edgar Allan Poe, Robert Louis Stevenson, Arthur Machen, M.R. James, Edith Wharton, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry James, Sheridan Le Fanu, and Bram Stoker. * I do like the cover to the more modern version of this book but, if you are a true book connoisseur like me, track down the 1987 September edition, 1st paperback printing by Pocket Books with the shiny red embossed lettering on a red & black book. It's just fantastic and reminds me of a combination of the artwork for the film, Amadeus (1984), the infamous murderer, Jack The Ripper, and to The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde.My highest of all recommendations!!!!!

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.

Martine

A cross between The Silence of the Lambs and a period drama. That's how I would describe Perfume, the great German classic of the 1980s. Basically, it's an eighteenth-century murder story, except that it doesn't focus on the victims and the hunt for the killer, but rather emphasises the life and times of the murderer, who is an unusual protagonist to say the least.Perfume tells the story of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, an eighteenth-century Parisian with a unique gift: a prodigiously well-developed olfactory sense which allows him to recognise pretty much any scent or smell. After a childhood full of hardship, he is apprenticed to a perfumier who teaches him all he knows about distilling smells. Unbeknownst to the perfumier, however, Grenouille isn't in it for the fashionable perfumes. Rather than extracting scents from flowers and petals, he wishes to extract smells from living objects -- more specifically, from the beautiful virgins he comes across every now and then, who smell like heaven to him. And so he plies his trade, hoping to learn that elusive trick which will enable him to trap the scents of the lovely young ladies he covets from afar, so that he can create the perfume he really wants -- essence of maiden.Perfume is a riveting look into the mind of an obsessed man -- a murderer whose immorality and eccentricity put him on a par with Thomas Harris' unforgettable serial killers. As unlikeable and depraved as Grenouille is, you almost sympathise with him. He may be a monomaniac, but his perseverance and creativity and the originality of his quest are such you almost wish him to succeed, or at least to see how far he will get before he gets caught. Suskind does such a great job describing his obsession that you simply keep turning the pages, waiting to see what fate has in store for this horrible yet ever so original murderer.The writing on display is beautiful. A tremendous lot of research went into Perfume, and it shows. The descriptions of the various perfume-making techniques are rich, detailed and thoroughly impressive. Suskind frequently devotes whole pages to explanations of parfumiers' secrets; it is testimony to the quality of his writing that they never get tedious. He also does a marvellous job evoking the odours of Grenouille's world and the way in which they affect him. With its many powerful descriptions of odours (both pleasant and unpleasant), the book is a veritable smellscape which makes you increasingly aware of the smells surrounding you. However, it is not without its problems. The middle chapters are a bit of a drag and the ending is so over the top that many readers will be put off by it. I was a bit put off by it myself, yet I can see why Suskind went for the grotesque touch. For all its scientific detail, Perfume is essentially a fairy tale, and anything but a strange ending would have been a betrayal. It's weird, but if you read the story as if it were fairy tale, the ending makes sense. It's a fairy tale with a fairy-tale ending, and then some.

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.

Talal Alshareef

في البدء دعوني آخذ نفساً عميقاً .. شكراً لكم. لماذا احتجت لذلك النفس؟ لسببين: الأول لأن الرواية تبحر بك في عالم الشمّ، والثاني كي لا أفقد اتزاني حين أخبركم كم هي مجنونة رائعة مذهلة ساحرة هي هذه الرواية!فتحت صفحتها الأولى ظنّاً مني أنها سترافقني لبعض الأيام لأجد أنني قد أنهيتها في نفس اليوم الذي بدأتها فيه. قد يكون هذا هو عيبها الوحيد الذي تستحق عليه نجمة أخرى.أما عن ماذا تتحدث الرواية، فهي باختصار تدور حول "غرينوي" ذلك المولود الذي أرادت أمه التخلص منه حين ولادته كما فعلت بأخوته الأربعة من قبله ولم تنجح في ذلك. يتميز غرينوي هذا بأمرٍ واحد، أو أمرين إن شئت: الأول أنه يملك حاسة شمّ رهيبة تمكنه من إدراك وتحليل الروائح المركبة شديدة التعقيد، والثاني أنه لا رائحة له. على هذه القاعدة البسيطة يسير بك المؤلف في أحداث آسرة وتفاصيل دقيقة تجعلك تحكّ أنفك بين الحين والآخر.لن أزيد في الشرح والوصف وسأترك لك الاستمتاع بهذه الرائعة.ملاحظة: كنت قد شاهدت الفيلم المقتبس من الرواية، والفرق بينهما جدّ كبير، لصالح الرواية بالطبع. إذا كنت قد شاهدته فلا يكن ذلك سبب في عدم قرائتك لها.

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.

مهدي

رواية العطر عمل بديعباتريك زوسكند يملك سحراً خاصاً ولغة مدهشة ومفرطة في عذوبة الوصف وإحساس عميق في حقل الروائح الطيّارةكيف استطاع أن يصف لنا العطور والروائح وكأنه يتبختر في كل صفحة بعطر جديد أشمه بنقاءوتركيز عالباتريك الكاتب الألماني الذي درس التاريخ كتب هذا العمل بثقافة عالية وأسلوب جديد وباهر جداً الرواية التي تدور في القرن الثامن عشر - ومزامنة مع أحداث تاريخية لا تبعدنا عن أحداث القصة - كانت بفكرة مستحدثة , اللغة كانت جميلة والمفردات كان مُعطرة , الوصف عميق جداً ومُتقن استمتعت كثيراً بكل فصل في الروايةإلا فصل وواحد بدا فيه (غرينوي) بائساً ووحيد في جحر كان ممل عمل رائع هذه الرواية لم أقرأ له شيء مشابه قرأتها بترجمة كاميران حوج عن منشورات الجمل , مثالية *

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