Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (Penguin Essentials) Paperback – 1 Apr 2010
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About the Author
Patrick Süskind was born near Munich in 1949 and 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 was also an internationally acclaimed bestseller and continues to be considered a classic.
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 Süskind lives and writes in Munich.
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It's quite hard to even begin to describe this book to someone who hasn't read it. You will never have read another anything like it. The story line is very strange. The book is sensuous and very beautifully written. Read the first few pages on here and you will see what I mean.
I can't say I would recommend this book to a friend as it is very unconventional and I would be worried they would think I was a bit twisted. But I absolutely loved it and I wish I'd written it. In fact it is a very strong contender for my #1 favourite book ever. If you read it, you'll never forget it.
Most of the problems you’ll have with this book are if you fail to embrace that it is a fantasy – or, perhaps, a fable. The author does nothing to hide it. From Grenouille’s super (or sub) human powers through a series of utterly implausible events this is a book entirely engaged in magical reality. But Suskind’s recreation of 18th century France feels so real that as events become extreme we can’t help but feel a certain shock, to the point that the book’s fabulous climax can actually feel unsatisfactory because it steps too far from the realism we have fooled ourselves into accepting. Suskind has done his job too well.
So, embrace the fantasy. This is not a story of the real world. It is Grenouille’s world. Breath in deep. Take in the smell. Go where Suskind takes you. It is worth the ride.