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Perfume by Patrick Suskind

Perfume (original 1985; edition 1985)

by Patrick Suskind, John E. Woods (Translator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
12,001293216 (3.96)282
Authors:Patrick Suskind
Other authors:John E. Woods (Translator)
Info:Pocket Books/Washington Square Press, 1991

Work details

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

1001 (79) 1001 books (70) 18th century (134) 20th century (86) crime (164) crime fiction (43) fiction (1,172) France (309) German (249) German literature (190) Germany (85) historical (102) historical fiction (272) history (44) horror (125) literature (125) murder (305) mystery (157) novel (238) Paris (129) perfume (180) read (154) Roman (137) scent (51) serial killer (110) smell (64) thriller (113) to-read (171) translation (50) unread (54)
  1. 80
    The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (spiphany)
  2. 61
    Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (klerulo)
    klerulo: Both these works attempt to get inside the head of singularly amoral sociopathic murderers.
  3. 30
    Brother of Sleep by Robert Schneider (HazardMain)
  4. 20
    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.
  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 the Right One 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 282 mentions

English (215)  Spanish (29)  French (10)  Dutch (10)  Italian (8)  German (6)  Swedish (5)  Portuguese (Portugal) (3)  Norwegian (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Danish (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (291)
Showing 1-5 of 215 (next | show all)
A gruesome novel about scent and a manipulative man who had no scent himself and who had a powerful sense of smell and could create any perfume for any occasion. the novel is well created, as we follow Grenouille on his journey from Paris to the Auvergne and Grasse and also his journey to realising his ambition to make the most amazing perfume that will inspire love. ( )
  Tifi | Jun 29, 2014 |
'His discerning nose unravelled the knot of vapour and stench into single strands of unitary odors', 16 Jun 2014

This review is from: Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (Paperback)
Very horrible but totally compelling, this story seemed to start out like a fairy tale, as Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, a man with no smell - and yet who has a magical 'nose' for smell - goes to live with a failing parfumier. As he saves his employer's business, it all seemed like 'The Elves and the Shoemaker'.
At this point I happened to read a review of the book online which said that Grenouille was an allegory for Hitler, and as the book progressed, this becomes more apparent.
(spoiler alert) Firstly in some of the images of his time in the perfume factory in Grasse, where descriptions of the processing techniques of the flowers remind the reader of the Holocaust. But also in terms of Hitler's inexplicable charisma that enslaved a nation. For when Grenouille manages to distil a perfume that gives him an attractive odour, he is no longer an insignificant little man, to be reviled...
An impressive read. ( )
  starbox | Jun 15, 2014 |
completed 5/20/14 3.5/5 ( )
  bookmagic | May 21, 2014 |
I wanted to give this book 3.5 but there is no way... There are around 40 pages that according to me should be eliminate. But the book is good besides that pages the rest of the book put me really inside and the story made me more aware of my senses.... Pretty good book ( )
  CaroPi | May 6, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 215 (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 (62 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Suskind, Patrickprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Agabio, GiovannaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jonkers, RonaldTranslatorsecondary 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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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:39:54 -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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Two editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

Four editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140120831, 0141037504, 0141041153, 0734306768

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