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Perfume (International Writers) by Patrick…

Perfume (International Writers) (original 1985; edition 1989)

by Patrick Suskind

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13,502330161 (3.95)323
Title:Perfume (International Writers)
Authors:Patrick Suskind
Info:Penguin Books Ltd (1989), Edition: later printing, Paperback, 272 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

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

  1. 100
    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. 53
    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
    Tongue by Kyung-Ran Jo (infiniteletters)
  10. 00
    An Absolute Gentleman by R. M. Kinder (GirlMisanthrope)
  11. 00
    Zeroville by Steve Erickson (VisibleGhost)
    VisibleGhost: An obsession with movies instead of scent.
  12. 22
    The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson (spiphany)
  13. 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.
  14. 24
    Let The Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist (mcenroeucsb)
1980s (23)

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» See also 323 mentions

English (244)  Spanish (34)  French (11)  Dutch (11)  Italian (9)  German (7)  Swedish (5)  All (3)  All (2)  Norwegian (2)  Danish (1)  Hebrew (1)  All (330)
Showing 1-5 of 244 (next | show all)
My interests in decadence (described here as sensual excess to the point of perversity) started relatively young, given that I read [b:The Picture of Dorian Gray|5297|The Picture of Dorian Gray|Oscar Wilde|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1320467562s/5297.jpg|1858012] for the first time when I was 14. Around two years later I cam across a list of decadent fiction that I sought out, but typically could not find at any local bookstores or libraries. Perfume was an exception. My library was able to get it in. Unfortunately I hardly started, because it came at a stage where I couldn't read even though there were so many books I wished to read. (This was the same time I got 600 pages through the 800 page [b:Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell|14201|Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell|Susanna Clarke|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1357027589s/14201.jpg|3921305] and stopped flat. I also got a quarter of the way through [b:The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman|76527|The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman|Laurence Sterne|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1403402384s/76527.jpg|2280279], to which I have not yet returned. I think I only read the first chapter of Perfume.)

I wasn't too sad to see the film, however. A role that proved Ben Whishaw's inestimable talent, to be sure. Still, it was years before I bought the book and finally read it. I mention the film because in some ways it's a shame that I saw this first, especially as they follow one another more faithfully than I think I've ever seen in adaptation (and I mean, I study adaptation). It had been years since I watched the film, but reading the book I saw everything again just as it appeared there. Not only narrative, but atmosphere. More than ever it would have been helpful to read the book beforehand.

The style is something else entirely and for that alone I could recommend this highly! Of course, it falls into the trope of murdered women and the objectification of female innocence/innocents which is such a tiring thing to have to face over and over in media. ( )
  likecymbeline | Apr 1, 2017 |
I haven't gone through all the comments on this books ( quite a lot ! ) But, no mention of the what the book actually is ~ it's supposed to be about Hitler and fascism.

It was illegal ( actually a crime ) to write about Hitler or the Nazi era in German at the time is was written ( so he had to write in a extremely esoteric way , setting it in pre-revolutionary France , etc )

Pretty much no one knew that in the US but it was popular anyway. ( )
  Baku-X | Jan 10, 2017 |
LOVED this book! ( )
  Juliasb | Dec 1, 2016 |
A disturbing novel which reminds me of "The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde because of the monstrosity of their main characters. In "The Perfume" we read about the life of a perturbed man whose extraordinary sense and absence of smell turn him into a monster. He wants to become a God by creating the perfect perfume. Impossible to miss! ( )
  mrocaiglesias | Oct 23, 2016 |
(38) You know I just did not particularly like this book. I read it at a time when I was fairly preoccupied, looking for an easy escapist read - so maybe that has something to do with it. I thought it was literary horror which is a favorite genre of mine - but it dsappointed.

Jean-Baptiste Grenioille is a orphan who seems to have no human smell. He is rejected by surrogate mother after surrogate mother, due to his creepiness. He is basically given into indentured servitude as a tanner's assistant and lives in cruel conditions. But despite his own lack of smell, he becomes a connoisseur of scent. He seems to be able to discern and classify odors like an idiot savant may do math or play piano. He ultimately becomes obsessed with creating the ideal human perfume, which leads to his nefarious deeds. It is kind of. . . well. . . stupid. And frankly a bit dull. Especially when he was living in the cave. I still fail to grasp why he was so disgusted by human odors and then so obsessed with them. Perhaps, I just didn't get it. That is certainly possible as I was distracted through my arduous course thru this novel.

There was some magical realism especially towards the end which I detested and I found the ending senseless and ridiculous. I am giving a generous 3 stars because the prose itself was stylistically good and well-written and I can appreciate that. But the rest of the novel did not resonate with me. ( )
  jhowell | Oct 4, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 244 (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

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
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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 7 descriptions

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Average: (3.95)
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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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