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on 26 March 2017
Very dark, complex. Very well written... The author uses suspense brilliantly... BUT the penultimate chapters are plain stupid and the climax (apt word) is completely stupid. The ending itself is suitably gruesome. It's worth reading, but be prepared to feel creeped out, violated and possibly want to rip out your mind's eye!
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on 29 December 2013
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.

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.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 6 November 2014
If being different is taken as synonymous with originality, then this novel scores on that count. If you are heavily into things olfactory, then you could scarcely ask for more. If you are taken with the rather mannered and self-conscious style in which it is written then again it may have its appeal.

In view of its reputation, I came to this book with high expectations and without any presuppositions as to its nature. After reading I feel that Patrick Suskind might well be capable of writing a fine novel, but most certainly this is not it. I found it dull and pretentious. I’m at a loss to understand how one reviewer can claim that it shows deep psychological insight, when at its centre is a two-dimensional freak, who invites neither sympathy – fair enough – nor interest. As far as it carries an allegorical meaning, that seems to me to be, like much of what I take to be humour, laboured at best. Although, personally I dislike the style in which it is written, I’d accept that it suits Suskind’s purpose here and shows some grace. Unfortunately, it lacks variety, never shifting from its minor baroque key. Certainly I wished the book no longer, relatively short as it is. I suppose it comes more than most into the love or hate category. As is obvious I’m firmly in the second camp.
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on 7 October 2009
Perfume is a brilliantly written story about a man so unloved that he is incapable of ever loving or having any positive human feeling. The story of Grenouille is desperate, you can't hate him as he has no moral compass, but he is an ogre, an abomination of a man. His wretched life is played out against the pit of 18th century France, where illness, exploitation and decay oozes from every pore. People embody their personality for good and bad, they also smell of who they are. This is what I love about the book - the vivid and powerful nature of scent,which pervades the whole novel. The description of how everything smells adds another level to the writing, which I've never found in any other novel. It's hugely evocative and as a literary tool it makes the book live in a way no other book ever has. It appeals to another sense while reading and I love it for that. My only criticism is that it loses pace in the mid-section during Grenouille's self-imposed exile. That whole episode seems to be an opportunity for the author to indulge himself by describing a fantastical, unreal world. But for me it was stodgy and held up the narrative. I was glad when it ended. The final chapters though are carnal and brutal. They strip bare the human animal exposing them as easily-corrupted and driven by desire. The ending was unexpected and apt. A very powerful novel, which is beautifully written, succinct yet lyrical.
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on 19 September 2016
Have been extra busy this summer so have had a job to finish the book but when I am reading it, I can't put it down. Very good piece of literature and the research on such perfumes/essential oils must have been extensive. Very clever piece of writing and very different to anything I have ever read before. Not sure if I would want to see the film of it though. Maybe a bit gruesome.
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on 4 September 2009
This book could have been a 10. It started as a quite gothic tale and introduced an olfactory world that had me suddenly sensing my day to day surroundings. The characterisations were exact and the plot moved rapidly until the point where Grenouille left his perfumier master. Then it degenerated to an introverted tale of a hermit. After the hermit hiatus it recovered and the Grasse methods of scent extraction enlivened the plot. Grenouille's ultimate victim was profiled but then he went on a rampage of two dozen murders with barely a mention, taking the twenty-fifth and final life without any real prelude. Perhaps it was intentional to gloss over the loss of life as an indication of how little it meant to Grenouille but there could have been real story in that section of the plot. The mass hysteria at his execution and pardon is fascinating but stretches believability and the final scene in the Paris graveyard goes too far. There is little coverage of Grenouille's despair as he realises that everything he did was in vain and ultimately unsatisfying to both him and the reader.
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on 31 August 2015
This book is beautifully written. It is maybe difficult to explain, but the description used in this book actually makes you feel like you can physically smell what the author is describing.I couldn't put this book down and would definitely read it again. The cover is also nice, if like me you like to have nice books sitting out in your house. The cover is glossy and nicely illustrated.
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on 6 April 2017
Bought this book as I am a huge fan of Kurt Cobain and heard him mention he had read this book more than six times. It's the inspiration for one of the bands songs, but I won't spoil it by saying which one.
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on 23 January 2013
This book is fantastic! It's set in 18th century Paris and narrates the story of a killer who kills beautiful young virgins for their scent with which he makes perfumes that enslave those who smell them. Although I enjoyed it, I should stress that it is horror and will not be everyone's cup of tea because it is quite disturbing. However, for those of you who love horror and gothic fiction then this book will make a wonderful addition to your library. Although I enjoy horror and gothic fiction I sometimes find these books poorly written. It made a refreshing change reading something that had literary merit.
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on 1 December 2015
Very interesting book. I had been curious about this book for a long time, as soon as I starting reading it I felt sorry for poor Grenouille with his lack of scent, how his mother rejected him. As I progressed into this book I was hooked, I honestly didn't know what was to come next. This book is a real classic. If you like something different, this is really different.
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