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Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick…

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (original 1985; edition 1989)

by Patrick Suskind

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
14,443352244 (3.94)373
Title:Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
Authors:Patrick Suskind
Info:Penguin Books Ltd (1989), Paperback
Collections:Your library

Work details

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind (1985)

  1. 110
    The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (spiphany)
  2. 73
    Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky (klerulo)
    klerulo: Both these works attempt to get inside the head of singularly amoral sociopathic murderers.
  3. 30
    The Bells by Richard Harvell (SimoneA)
    SimoneA: Where Perfume is about a boy who has an extraordinary sense of smell, The Bells is about a boy who has extraordinary hearing. The vivid description of sounds in The Bells remind me of the description of scents in Perfume.
  4. 20
    The Horrific Sufferings of the Mind-Reading Monster Hercules Barefoot: His Wonderful Love and His Terrible Hatred by Carl-Johan Vallgren (olyvia)
  5. 31
    Brother of Sleep by Robert Schneider (HazardMain)
  6. 43
    The Alienist by Caleb Carr (freya727)
  7. 10
    De Sade's Valet by Nikolaj Frobenius (bluepiano)
  8. 43
    The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson (norabelle414)
  9. 00
    The Mind's Eye by Håkan Nesser (KittyTwist)
    KittyTwist: The dark side of human nature, presented in compelling, addictive writing that leaves you hungry for more...
  10. 00
    Zeroville by Steve Erickson (VisibleGhost)
    VisibleGhost: An obsession with movies instead of scent.
  11. 00
    An Absolute Gentleman by R. M. Kinder (GirlMisanthrope)
  12. 22
    The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson (spiphany)
  13. 00
    Tongue by Kyung-Ran Jo (infiniteletters)
  14. 23
    The Particular Sadness Of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender (Rosey_Kim)
    Rosey_Kim: Lemon Cake also deals with supernaturally heightened human senses (taste rather than smell) and has a similarly evocative sense of environment.
  15. 25
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1980s (12)
Europe (156)

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» See also 373 mentions

English (258)  Spanish (35)  French (14)  Dutch (12)  Italian (11)  German (7)  Swedish (5)  Portuguese (Portugal) (3)  Portuguese (Brazil) (3)  Norwegian (2)  Danish (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (352)
Showing 1-5 of 258 (next | show all)
Recuerdo haberlo leído hace muchos años, y no entendí muy bien la historia. Recuerdo bien el impacto del final, mi cara de asco por las descripciones tan explícitas y vívidas. Hoy, con más experiencia lectora, lo disfruto mucho más.
El perfume es una novela muy ligera y entretenida. La historia a veces parece un poco inverosímil, pero no siempre se da uno cuenta por lo bien narrada que está. Muchas referencias interesantes al Siglo XVIII y un estilo muy influido por el romanticismo.
Buena novela, entretenida y de calidad. Hacen falta más bestsellers como éste. ( )
  LeoOrozco | Feb 26, 2019 |
The early autumn of 2005 saw a young man arrive at our home. His name was Jakob and he was an Austrian exchange student spending the year with a friend of ours. I didn't know the last bit until I had drank ale with him and listened to Weather Report for several hours. He was a quiet lad. Very mature for his age, I admit. His parents were from Poland and he felt a bit estranged in Austria. He stumbled about our library admiring our books. He spoked passionately about Perfume. I read it a few days after his visit. I did not care for it. It was contrived, magical realism for a fleeting aesthetic reward. Oh well. There's more to the legacy of Jakob but it doesn't relate to this very minor novel. ( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
One of the more compelling books I've read.

At no point did I feel anything like compassion or sympathy for the protagonist, but unlike other books that offer unsympathetic leads (Frank Herbert's Man of Two Worlds comes immediately to mind), this didn't sour me to the novel. To the contrary; I found the story all the more riveting for it. It was a study of a monster in a man's form.

I'm gonna have to let this book sit in my mind for a while, but I think this is going to settle into one of the Top 20 Best Books I've Ever Read. ( )
  Ubiquitine | Nov 24, 2018 |
By Patrick Suskind

"Odors have a power of persuasion stronger than that of words appearances, emotions or will."

In 1738 Jean Baptiste Grenouille is born in Paris to impossible circumstances and a grim future. He eventually is sold as a laborer to the owner of a perfumery, Monsieur Grimal. Grenouille obsession with scents and smells starts him on an uncontrollable obsession with owning these scents. He becomes monstrous and cruel in his murderous calculations.
There are a lot of lengthy descriptions that slow the story down, but it is a really good story. ( )
  over.the.edge | Sep 16, 2018 |
This was a fascinating book! I loved every single detail in the book, and it is so well constructed as the perfect lavish perfume Grenuille himself produced.
Every single word, sentence and paragraph is so perfectly measured that gives you the best angle to look at the story. Nor boring, or too overwhelming, just the perfect dose of every single emotion.
It is written in a very balanced way, giving insight of many characters and point of views in the story, making you believe that every single person is right, as his own personal motifs are the best for his/her own good.
I really like the ending as well, cause I think it means that human beings are not that different from one another. In the end we are all the same species, with mild differences in appearance and behavior, but the way we were designed and created is the same for everyone. ( )
  amde | Aug 9, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 258 (next | show all)
"From start to finish, Perfume is a ridiculously improbable piece of verbose claptrap which the author himself evidently found impossible to take seriously for very long at a time....Since very little happens within Grenouille's mind, and he achieves with other characters no relations capable of development, the book requires a good deal of stuffing to achieve the dimensions of a small novel. The best of this material is several different listings of the materials and procedures involved in perfume making. Suskind has done his homework on the topic....The writing of the book is verbose and theatrical."
added by Nickelini | editNew York Review of Books, Robert M. Adams (pay site) (Nov 1, 1986)
Just as Grenouille can manufacture a perfume that infallibly conjures up the same response in anyone who senses it, so Mr. Suskind creates words that provide a satisfying illusion of another time. Grenouille the perfumer becomes a kind of novelist, creating phantom objects in the air, but Mr. Suskind himself is a perfumer of language. This is a remarkable debut.
A delight to the senses, disturbing serial killer, must read!

» Add other authors (68 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Süskind, Patrickprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Agabio, GiovannaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Craft, KinukoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Flávio R. KotheTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Giralt Gorina, PilarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jonkers, RonaldTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vilar, JudithTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wallenström, UlrikaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Watteau, AntoineCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Woods, John E.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Haiku summary
smell everything /
got lost in a world of greed /
devoured at market 
basic boy meets girl/
boy's fine nose loves girl's fine scent/
boy wants girl pomade

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375725849, Paperback)

An acclaimed bestseller and international sensation, Patrick Suskind's classic novel provokes a terrifying examination of what happens when one man's indulgence in his greatest passion—his sense of smell—leads to murder.

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.

Translated from the German by John E. Woods.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:05 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Follows an odorless baby found orphaned in Paris in 1738 as he grows into a monster obsessed with his perfect sense of smell and a desire to capture, by any means, the ultimate scent that will make him human.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 12 descriptions

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Average: (3.94)
0.5 11
1 85
1.5 18
2 261
2.5 62
3 713
3.5 237
4 1556
4.5 231
5 1409

Penguin Australia

4 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140120831, 0141037504, 0141041153, 0734306768

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