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Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick…

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (original 1985; edition 2001)

by Patrick Suskind

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
12,658304188 (3.95)301
Title:Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
Authors:Patrick Suskind
Info:Vintage (2001), Edition: 1st Vintage International ed, Paperback, 272 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:1001 TBR, Germany

Work details

Perfume by Patrick Suskind (1985)

  1. 90
    The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (spiphany)
  2. 72
    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. 31
    Brother of Sleep by Robert Schneider (HazardMain)
  5. 43
    The Alienist by Caleb Carr (freya727)
  6. 10
    De Sade's Valet by Nikolaj Frobenius (bluepiano)
  7. 10
    The Horrific Sufferings of the Mind-Reading: Monster Hercules Barefoot, His Wonderful Love and Terrible Hatred by Carl-Johan Vallgren (olyvia)
  8. 32
    The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson (norabelle414)
  9. 00
    Zeroville by Steve Erickson (VisibleGhost)
    VisibleGhost: An obsession with movies instead of scent.
  10. 00
    Tongue by Kyung-Ran Jo (infiniteletters)
  11. 22
    The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson (spiphany)
  12. 00
    An Absolute Gentleman by R. M. Kinder (GirlMisanthrope)
  13. 23
    Let Me In by John Ajvide Lindqvist (mcenroeucsb)
  14. 13
    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.

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» See also 301 mentions

English (226)  Spanish (31)  Dutch (10)  French (10)  Italian (8)  German (6)  Swedish (5)  Portuguese (Portugal) (3)  Norwegian (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Danish (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (304)
Showing 1-5 of 226 (next | show all)
One of those books that cracks you open like ice. Disturbing, intriguing, horrifying and educational all at once. A new kind of historical fiction that brings the world of smell into a sharp focus while showing you what life was like in another time. The voice was distinctly modern in that it was a tortured modernist hero in conflict about the love of others and love of self, both cynically existentialist and cripplingly nihilistic. Yet you find yourself continuing to turn the page to see what happens next. The ending is both surprising and beautifully circles to the beginning. ( )
  a_forester | Oct 26, 2015 |
fascinating book about a man who smells as well as a bear, who has no scent himself. Also a murderer. reads like a very myth but set very much in an historical context in 1800 century France ( )
  lindaspangler | Aug 19, 2015 |
4/5 stars
I post all my reviews to athroneofbooks.booklikes.com

This book. Wow. I started off wanting more than anything to love it, looking past any of the little things that bugged me. Suskind wrote in long sentences. At times he seemed to lose his train of thought only to hurriedly finish the thought at the end of a daunting sentence. He also would list things not in a way that I thought, "Look at how descriptive he is!" but rather, "Why do I need to know every flower in this room?" But amongst these annoyances there were things I adored. When a character was parting from the story for good he told what happened to them in the rest of their life. He had a way with words and descriptions that made me keep reading just knowing that it would be worth it. And after part one it definitely became worth it to me. In part two when Grenouille is in the church he thought something that actually made me shudder. And from that point on I didn't put the book down again when I could help it. And when forced to put the book down I returned to it as quickly as possible. I became engrossed by the book. I did in fact love it as I was determined to when starting on page 1. But despite loving the novel I was sorely disappointed by the last few chapters. The ending I didn't expect at all but I didn't exactly love. All in all I enjoyed the read and would recommend it. ( )
  MarandaNicole | Jul 15, 2015 |
Eh, not for me, I don't think. I was expecting a creepy tale but it just didn't engage me. The writing was okay, but nothing special, and it just didn't grab me. I also accidentally spoiled the ending for myself which sounds utterly bizarre and doesn't make me feel like continuing at all. I might give it another go some time - it's not like I hated it - but I have so much other reading material at the moment that I don't feel inspired to continue with things I'm not too keen on.

Also, what was with the use of ellipses? They were everywhere and I found them really distracting.
  thebookmagpie | Jul 14, 2015 |
Falando em “megabestsellers”: livros que venderam múltiplos milhões de exemplares ao longo de décadas. O Perfume se alinha ao lado de “Gone With the Wind,” “Peyton Place,” “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “Valley of the Dolls,” “The Godfather,” “The Exorcist,” “Jaws,” “The Dead Zone,” “The Hunt for Red October,” “The Firm,” “The Bridges of Madison County” "Cien Años de Soledad" e “The Da Vinci Code.” A lista é variegada, mas, no fundo, todos estes títulos compartilham, como disse James Hall, “permutations of one book, written again and again for each new generation of readers.” Em suma: a receita do best-seller, ou a diluição de algum Leitmotiv já contido, provavelmente, nalgum trecho da Bíblia. O fabulista Suskind misturou nojo e prazer, indignação e excitação, repugnância e estilo, numa espécie de frenesi orgiástico. O imoral, maligno e satânico Jean-Baptiste Grenouille está tão perto de ser uma divindade do mal que mal consegue evitar que o removam da esfera humana. Tem um raro poder olfativo, com o qual mexe com formas. O romance começa um pouco devagar, mas as imagens (odores?!) que mentalizamos dificilmente deixam de ser tão repugnantes quanto o próprio Grenouille. Tão logo o protagonista avista a primeira vítima, o ritmo ganha eletricidade, e a moral desta fábula parece ser a de que, enquanto fábula, dispensa qualquer moral. O imoral fala por si. A ausência de cheiro do protagonista é uma metáfora tão inerente quanto eloquente. ( )
  jgcorrea | Apr 24, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 226 (next | show all)
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 (85 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Suskind, Patrickprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Agabio, GiovannaTranslatorsecondary 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
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First words
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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Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.

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Wikipedia in English (2)

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 7 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

4 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140120831, 0141037504, 0141041153, 0734306768

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