Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

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

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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

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.

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

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.

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 !!

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.

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.

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!

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.

Katy

Book Info: Genre: Literary FictionReading Level: AdultRecommended for: Those who enjoy dark, strange, twisted, yet lushly beautiful writingPlease note: I picked up and first read this book several years ago in the early aughts; I wanted to watch the movie subsequently made of this book, but wished to re-read it first to refresh my memory about the book itself. I’m not aware of having written a review for this book the first time around, as at the time I was not writing a review for everything I read.Synopsis: 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 fresh-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 brilliance, “Perfume” is a hauntingly powerful tale of murder and sensual depravity My Thoughts: What you have to understand about this book is this: it is dark. It is ugly. It is full of amazingly horrible things. This book is a love-it or hate-it book, and I have seen very few middle-of-the-road impressions of it. It is so extreme that it engenders extreme opinions. And me? I loved it! The descriptions are so incredibly vivid – you could smell the vile putrescence of Paris. “The rivers stank, the marketplaces stank, the churches stank, it stank beneath the bridges and in the palaces. The peasant stank as did the priest, the apprentice as did his master’s wife, the whole of the aristocracy stank, even the king himself stank, stank like a rank lion, and the queen like an old goat, summer and winter.” You could see how horrible everything was, but at the same time be made aware that those living there – were just living. Take Grenouille’s mother, for instance. “Grenouille’s mother, however, perceived the odor neither of the fish nor of the corpses, for her sense of smell had been utterly dulled, besides which her belly hurt, and the pain deadened all susceptibility of sensate impressions... and [she], who was still a young woman, barely in her mid-twenties, and who still was quite pretty and had almost all her teeth in her mouth and some hair on her head and – except for gout and syphilis and a touch of consumption – suffered from no serious disease, who still hoped to live a while yet, perhaps a good five or ten years, and perhaps even to marry one day and as the honorable wife of a widower with a trade or some such to bear real children... Grenouille’s mother wished that it were already over.” Amazing! This perfectly captures the ennui of Paris, I think.Grenouille is a sort of wunderkind, in that he is extraordinarily tough – “He had a tough constitution. Whatever has survived his own birth in a garbage can is not so easily shoved back out of this world again... In the course of his childhood he survived the measles, dysentery, chicken pox, cholera, a twenty-foot fall into a well, and a scalding with boiling water poured over his chest.... He was as tough as a resistant bacterium and as content as a tick sitting quietly on a tree and living off a tiny drop of blood plundered years before.” – and in that he has a phenomenal ability to differentiate scents. “At age six he had completely grasped his surroundings olfactorily. There was not an object in Madame Gaillard’s house, no place along the northern reaches of the rue de Charonne, no person, no stone, tree, bush, or picket fence, no spot be it ever so small, that he did not know by smell, could not recognize again by holding its uniqueness firmly in his memory.” However, he has no scent himself. Eventually he creates a scent to make himself smell human, but then decides to improve upon it. “He would be able to create a scent that was not merely human, but superhuman, a angel’s scent, so indescribably good and vital that whoever smelled it would be enchanted and with his whole heart would have to love him, Grenouille, the bearer of that scent. Yes, that was what he wanted – they would love him as they stood under the spell of his scent, not just accept him as one of them, but love him to the point of insanity, of self-abandonment, they would quiver with delight, scream, weep for bliss, they would sink to their knees just as if under God’s cold incense, merely to be able to smell him, Grenouille... 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.”Grenouille lives … exists... in a state of barely there, at least until he first smells the scent that will send him on his lifelong quest. Then... ah, then he is obsessed. “Never before in his life had he known what happiness was. He knew at most some very rare states of numbed contentment. But now he was quivering with happiness and could not sleep for pure bliss. It was as if he had been born a second time; no, not a second time, the first time, for until now he had merely existed like an animal with a most nebulous self-awareness. but after today, he felt as if he finally knew who he really was: nothing less than a genius... He had found the compass for his future life. And like all gifted abominations, for whom some external event makes straight the way down into the chaotic vortex of their souls, Grenouille never again departed from what he believed was the direction fate had pointed him... He must become a creator of scents... the greatest perfumer of all time.” Scents are the only things that matter to him: “That scented soul, that ethereal oil, was in fact that best thing about matter, the only reason for his interest in it. the rest of the stupid stuff – the blossoms, leaves, rind, fruit, color, beauty vitality, and all those other useless qualities – were of no concern to him. they were mere husk and ballast, to be disposed of.” His misanthropic nature is further expressed once he leaves Paris. “...it became clear to Grenouille for the first time that for eighteen years their compacted human effluvium had oppressed him like air heavy with an imminent thunderstorm. Until now he had thought that it was the world in general he wanted to squirm away from. But it was not the world, it was the people in it. You could live, so it seemed, in this world, in this world devoid of humanity.”This book is not just about Grenouille, of course – it is about a time, and about Grenouille as a product of that time. It was a time of great change, a time of revolution, a time when the long-established way of things was being overturned. “What did people need with a new perfume every season? Was that necessary? the public had been very content before with violet cologne and simple floral bouquet that you changed a soupçon every ten years or so... Or this insanity for speed. What was the need for all these new roads being dug up everywhere, and these new bridges? … What was the advantage of being in Lyon in a week?... Or crossing the Atlantic, racing to American in a month – as if people hadn’t got along without that continent for thousands of years... People even traveled to Lapland... The very attitude was perverse.” Of course, this general attitude could easily fit an older, established person’s thinking about any specific time you want to discuss. Also, the 18th century, like many centuries, ended in war. “Meanwhile war raged in the world outside, a world war. Men fought in Silesia and Saxony, in Hanover and the Low Countries, in Bohemia and Pomerania. The king’s troops died in Hesse and Westphalia on the Balearic Islands, in India, on the Mississippi and in Canada, if they had not already succumbed to typhoid on the journey. the war robbed a million people of their lives, France of its colonial empire, and all the warring nations of so much money that they finally decided, with heavy hearts, to end it.”Additionally, it was a time of many beliefs that to us, from the distance of centuries, appear to be nothing but superstition. Yet, at the same time, fear reduces us all to a similar state of suspicion, such as when young virgins in Grasse begin being murdered. “People suspected the gypsies...however, no gypsies around at the time, not a one, near or far... For lack of gypsies, people decided to suspect the Italian migrant workers. But there weren’t any Italians around either...Finally the wig-makers came under suspicion... To no avail. Then it was the Jews...then the monks of the Benedictine cloister... then the Cistercians, then the Freemasons, then the lunatics from the Charité, then the charcoal burners, then the beggars, and last but not least the nobility, in particular the marquis of Cabris, for he had already been married three times and organized – so it was said – orgiastic black masses in his cellars, where he drank the blood of virgins...”I was astonished to find this opinion about the state of an infant’s soul, given by a priest no less: “An infant is not yet a human being; it is a prehuman being and does not yet possess fully developed soul.” Yet infanticide is serious enough to warrant the death penalty, as one sees when it is discovered Grenouille’s mother would have left him to die as she did her first four babies. One wonders if modern pro-life activists with their “a child is a human as soon as it is created” ideas are aware of this amazing opinion of the 18th century Catholic church? But it’s not just the church with these thoughts. The perfumer, Baldini, thinks of children thus: “...one of those unapproachable, incomprehensible, willful little prehuman creatures, who in their ostensible innocence think only of themselves, who want to subordinate the whole world to their despotic will, and would do it, too, if one let them pursue their megalomaniacal ways and did not apply the strictest pedagogical principles to guide them to a disciplined, self-controlled, fully human existence.”The ending is, of course, just as shocking as the entire story, and very strange, dark and twisted – then again, that describes generally the whole story. Not at all recommended for people who don’t have a bit of darkness lurking in their soul, but if you don’t mind dabbling into the darkness and want to enjoy some unbelievably beautiful and lush writing, definitely check out this book.

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.

John Wiswell

I had a heck of a time thinking who I'd recommend this to. It won a Fantasy award, yet I can't call it Fantasy. It's set in a bygone period, but it doesn't play with history, so it's not Historical Fiction. It's about a murder, yet it's not terrifying like Horror, nor is it a mystery. It's just the story of a peculiar boy who became a dangerous and most interesting man. He was born without an odor, you see, and lacking that part of identity, became obsessed with smell. That identity crisis triggers philosophical, religious and morbid chords in the book, yet none dominate. If anything, a dark curiosity dominates it. The book has a slightly menacing monotone about it that is almost hypnotic, and lays a surreal lens over the brilliant and crisp descriptions Suskind provides for his world. It's an angry, dangerous little book that baffled literary critics and inspired Nirvana. Read it and label it for yourself.

Aneen

يعتقدون أنهم يشاهدون كل شيء بعيونهم "..أكان شيطاناً ، مسخاً أم شبحاً لانسان؟ جسده الضئيل قد يوحي بذلك هذا الكم الكبير من اللامبالاة ، البرود والحياة وحيداً هي ما تشير لذلك .هل كنا في يوم ما نهتم بحاسة الشم أكثر من النظرأو اللمس أو التذوق ، هل كنا نرى الاشياء بعدة حواسأم نكتفي بتكثيف حاسه واحده فقط ؟كان "غرينوي" يشم ويرى ويتذوق بأنفهاستنشق كل شيء ما عدا أهم شيء وهذا ما صنع منه هذا الشخص البالغ في الهزال واللامبلاه والغيبوبة الانسانيه .التفاصيل الدقيقه افكاره حياته تشوقه المستمر لاستنشاق كل شيءخلقت جواً فلسفياً من نوع آخر لم يتطرق له في أي روايه سابقهمنذ بداية ولادته الغريبه الى المشهد الاخير حين حول العامه والنبلاء والبرجوازيين ذلك التفصيل الاخير الى محفل كما فعل هو تماماً عندما امتص رحيق خمسة وعشرين صبيه جميله طريقة غريبه لأن يهتم الانسان بالتفاصيل مهما اختلف الغرض أوالسببانانيه اتقاما او تشفي فإن الانسان يغدو شغوفاً بما يريده وبما يؤمن به مهما كان غريباً أو مُداناً ..ُ.باختصار انها روايه لا تقرأ فقط بل تُستنشق !

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.

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.

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.

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