Buy Used
Used - Good See details
Price: £1.74

Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Tell the Publisher!
I’d like to read this book on Kindle

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (International Writers) [Paperback]

Patrick Suskind
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (243 customer reviews)

Available from these sellers.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover --  
Paperback £6.29  
Paperback, 1987 --  
Audio, Cassette, Audiobook, Unabridged --  
Audio Download, Unabridged £11.37 or Free with 30-day free trial Trade-In Store
Did you know you can use your mobile to trade in your unwanted books for an Gift Card to spend on the things you want? Visit the Books Trade-In Store for more details or check out the Trade-In Amazon Mobile App Guidelines on how to trade in using a smartphone. Learn more.
There is a newer edition of this item:
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer Perfume: The Story of a Murderer 4.1 out of 5 stars (243)
In stock.

Book Description

1987 International Writers
Survivor, genius, perfumer, killer: this is Jean-Baptiste Grenouille. He is abandoned on the filthy streets of Paris as a child, but grows up to discover he has an extraordinary gift: a sense of smell more powerful than any other human's. Soon, he is creating the most sublime fragrances in all the city. Yet there is one odor he cannot capture. It is exquisite, magical: the scent of a young virgin. And to get it he must kill. And kill. And kill.

Product details

  • Paperback: 263 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; Paperback edition (1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140120831
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140120837
  • Product Dimensions: 1.7 x 13.1 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (243 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 181,719 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

About the Author

Patrick Suskind was born near Munich, in 1949. He studied medieval and modern history at the University of Munich. His first play, The Double Bass, was written in 1980 and became an international success. His first novel, Perfume became an internationally acclaimed bestseller. He is also the author of The Pigeon and Mr. Summer's Story, and a coauthor of the enormously successful German television series Kir Royal. Patrick Suskind lives and writes in Munich.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
In eighteenth-century France there lived a man who was one of the most gifted and abominable personages in an era that knew no lack of gifted and abominable personages. Read the first page
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

Sell a Digital Version of This Book in the Kindle Store

If you are a publisher or author and hold the digital rights to a book, you can sell a digital version of it in our Kindle Store. Learn more

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A definite alternative classic 27 Jun 2005
By A Customer
I was astonished at some of the negative reviews on here. Yes, the central character is repulsive, and most of the people he interacts with are not much better, but it's not a book that looks for empathy.
This is a complex psychological analysis that balances Grenouille's obsessive attention to scientific detail, and his warped perception of meaning, with the narrative of a grim fairy-tale that slowly unravels the extent of his depravity and amorality.
It may not be a mainstream classic, and claiming that it is may make it seem over-rated, but the style and brutal pointedness of the writing make it a very special book in its own right.
Probably not for those readers who can't tell the difference between author and narrator, however.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
60 of 63 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strange, Beautiful and Compelling. 30 Dec 1999
By A Customer
I have to say that you either love or hate the character of Grenouille in Suskind's novel. In some respects, he is not unlike Mary Shelly's Frankenstein; a monster almost, but not quite human - an outcast from society, evoking in turn disgust, ridicule and sympathy. It is indeed a very strange book - I don't think you could easily classify it simply as historical, romantic or horror - it is a combination of all plus that extra something - smell - in all it's wonderful, descriptive glory. This much overlooked sense is brought to vivid life - it adds that extra dimension that helps to make this novel such a strangely compelling read. I could not make up my mind whether or not I was actually enjoying the book, but once I had started it, I could not put it down. Even several months after reading it, it lingers in the memory like the smells and settings it describes in such glorious detail. I know that I will read it again and again with the same mixture of repulsion and fascination. If that is the mark of a good book, then this is it.
Was this review helpful to you?
47 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A pungent classic 19 Jan 2004
I’d heard a lot of good things about Patrick Suskind’s Perfume before I read it. It seemed to be one of those rare books that came out of no where and has slowly, effortlessly become a classic of modern European literature.
In many ways it is unique – the life story of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, the unloved, abandoned street urchin born in a putrid gutter in eighteenth-century Paris moments before his mother died. What makes Grenouille different to all the other orphans though is the fact that he has no odour, no smell at all; and he has the most remarkable nose that can not only pick out a scent from miles away but can also unravel its strands until every element has been teased out. As Grenouille ambles through his life from friendless child to a tanner’s labourer, and then onto the position of apprentice to Baldini, a washed-out, cheating perfumer, it becomes clear that Grenouille has not only the ability to pluck scents from the air but also to create the most wondrous perfumes the world has ever known.
Grenouille doesn’t want to just produce magical scents that will take Europe by storm and give him unimaginable wealth though. He wants to create something else, something just for himself, and he will stop at nothing to achieve this. So, his journey takes him out of Paris and finally to Grasse in southern France where the true abomination of this creature truly comes to light.
Perfume is in many ways an epic novel and whilst it wanes a little in the middle, the plot glides with a steady pace across France, over many years and a sizeable cast of fascinating and colourfully drawn caricatures. Suskind succeeds in the seemingly impossible.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
57 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stinkingly fabulous novel! 4 May 2001
By A Customer
Poor Grenouille! Born in 18th century Paris on one of the hottest days in summer, amid a stinking pile of fish guts. Not a great start to life but it gets worse...he has no personal odour to speak of and as such, people don't seem to like him, though they can't say why. Grenouille is special however, he has one of the finest 'noses' in Paris, able to distinguish and isolate odours like no other. His talent therefore, is considered quite valuable, particularly in the perfume business. But it is not perfume that Grenouille wants to create, rather, it is a special kind of scent that will make people feel attracted to him. In order to create this special scent he must extract the odours from a special kind of woman and the only way to do that is to kill them. This is a fascinatingly sick tale with a sad and haunting ending you will remember for a long time to come.
One of the things that I found so fascinating about this book was Susskind's in-depth knowledge of the olfactory senses; the way people, places and objects have certain kinds of odours which can be stored in the memory and recalled at a later date. His descriptions were so well written and convincing that I could almost smell them. Susskind's style of writing and use of language, brings to life the decadence and stench which must of existed in 18th century Paris, giving the reader and insight into the realities of the era.
I cannot say that this novel is unputdownable as I had to put it down many times in order to absorb much of what I had read, and also to bring me back up for some fresh air. This would have to be one of the most bizarre books that I have ever read but I am so glad that I did read it because it now belongs to my collection of favourites. The sheer brilliance of Perfume places it in a genre of its own.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Well written. How anyone would imagine writing a book about perfume and make a story out of its smell is an amazing talent.
Published 1 month ago by Emer
1.0 out of 5 stars hate this
did not like at all....a very dark tale.... did not finish the book gave it away not for me at all
Published 2 months ago by amazonlady
5.0 out of 5 stars great read
this was a sensational read and kept me occupied through the otherwise emotional trip of leaving my son to college far away. Read more
Published 2 months ago by smits
3.0 out of 5 stars A Very Different Novel
This was the choice for our Book Club meeting for February 2014. I found it pretty easy to get through but it is not one of those books that so deeply impressed me that I would... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Tomtiger
3.0 out of 5 stars Perfume. The Story of a Murderer.
Interesting but quite unpleasant.Not light reading.Book club choice and not a hit. Was in the Classic section of book shop!
Published 3 months ago by Mrs D Randle
1.0 out of 5 stars My mistake
When this arrived it was a rather yellow old paperback, it was my fault for miss reading what i had brought but it ended up going out with the recycling
Published 3 months ago by Castle58
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!
This is one of the best books I have ever read. The descriptions are breathtaking and really make you feel you are a part of the story. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Chocobrownie
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriuging
Not what I expected, but nevertheless drew me in to the dark and macabre - easy to get into and read quickly. For me it was a real page turner.
Published 3 months ago by KarenM
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark and unexpected
I watched the film (because I love Alan Rickman)and it was possibly the weirdest thing I had ever seen... so then I just had to read the book. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Ms J
3.0 out of 5 stars Unusual
I bought this as it was someone else's choice for my book group. Not a book I 'enjoyed', but it did provoke some interesting discussions.
Published 4 months ago by French
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category