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Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (1985)

by Patrick Süskind

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
18,182451273 (3.95)1 / 457
Survivor, genius, perfumer, killer: this is Jean-Baptiste Grenouille. He is abandoned on the filthy streets of Paris as a child, but grows up to discover he has an extraordinary gift: a sense of smell more powerful than any other human's. Soon, he is creating the most sublime fragrances in all the city. Yet there is one odor he cannot capture.… (more)
  1. 162
    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. 40
    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. 20
    Nectar by Lily Prior (Litrvixen)
  7. 20
    The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera (sturlington)
  8. 43
    The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson (norabelle414)
  9. 10
    De Sade's Valet by Nikolaj Frobenius (bluepiano)
  10. 00
    The Baron in the Trees by Italo Calvino (aprille)
  11. 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...
  12. 00
    Zeroville by Steve Erickson (VisibleGhost)
    VisibleGhost: An obsession with movies instead of scent.
  13. 44
    The Alienist by Caleb Carr (freya727)
  14. 22
    The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson (spiphany)
  15. 00
    Tongue by Kyung Ran Jo (infiniteletters)
  16. 00
    An Absolute Gentleman by R. M. Kinder (GirlMisanthrope)
  17. 00
    Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (aprille)
  18. 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.
  19. 25
    Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist (mcenroeucsb)
1980s (22)
Europe (163)

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» See also 457 mentions

English (335)  Spanish (47)  French (14)  Dutch (13)  Italian (12)  German (10)  Swedish (6)  Portuguese (Portugal) (4)  Portuguese (Brazil) (3)  Norwegian (2)  Danish (1)  Hebrew (1)  Greek (1)  All languages (449)
Showing 1-5 of 335 (next | show all)
Very gross and made me want to buy perfume! ( )
  escapinginpaper | May 18, 2024 |
A clear sign of a really great book is when suggesting it resembles a drug deal. With other books you praise the character development, the plot, the use of language, the deeper meaning, but with something as intoxicating as the Perfume by Patrick Süskind, you're reduced to oh man, it's fu***** great, trust me, you have to try it, probably with a crazy look that would make your mother worry about the kind of things you do in your spare time.

link to full review ( )
  antoni4040 | May 14, 2024 |
Ganz anders als erwartet, ist es ein Kriminalroman aber auch wieder nicht. Vor allem am Ende gab es ein paar völlig unerwartete Plot-Twists. Und obwohl die Geschichte sehr gemächlich startet, ist es nie langweilig. Der Schreibstil ist einfach toll! ( )
  Katzenkindliest | Apr 23, 2024 |
Beautiful writing, a book filled with scents and absurdity. Perfume was recommended to me by my literature professor and I enjoyed the hell out of this book. From beginning to end the book gripped my attention. Definitely recommend. ( )
  Tyler_DDurden | Mar 26, 2024 |
Fascinating but unpleasant. It's unusual to have a book in which the protagonist is a thoroughly unlikeable villain with no redeeming qualities. ( )
  davidrgrigg | Mar 23, 2024 |
Showing 1-5 of 335 (next | show all)
35 livres cultes à lire au moins une fois dans sa vie
Quels sont les romans qu'il faut avoir lu absolument ? Un livre culte qui transcende, fait réfléchir, frissonner, rire ou pleurer… La littérature est indéniablement créatrice d’émotions. Si vous êtes adeptes des classiques, ces titres devraient vous plaire.
De temps en temps, il n'y a vraiment rien de mieux que de se poser devant un bon bouquin, et d'oublier un instant le monde réel. Mais si vous êtes une grosse lectrice ou un gros lecteur, et que vous avez épuisé le stock de votre bibliothèque personnelle, laissez-vous tenter par ces quelques classiques de la littérature.
Patrick Süskind
Le parfum
traduit de l'allemand par B. Lortholary, Fayard
«Süskind a conçu une magnifique histoire où même la mort et l'assassinat sont teintés de poésie.» (Lire, avril 1986)
"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 (93 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Süskind, Patrickprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Agabio, GiovannaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Łukasiewicz, MałgorzataTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Barratt, SeanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Craft, KinukoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Duran, TevfikTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Farkas, TündeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Flávio R. KotheTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gerulaitienė, VilijaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gorina, Pilar GiraltTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Αγγελίδου, ΜαρίαTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jonkers, RonaldTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Korte, HansNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lortholary, BernardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Malisch, BarbaraProduzentsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mannila, MarkkuTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moura, Maria Emilia FerrosTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Paravić, NedeljkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rønnow, TomTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Simova, YuriaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tomanová, JitkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Van der Veken, JanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
VengerovaTranslatorsecondary 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.
Hij sloot zijn ogen en concentreerde zich op de geuren die hem vanuit het gebouw aan de andere kant toewaaiden. Daar waren de geuren van de vaten, azijn en wijn en de honderdvoudige zware geuren uit het magazijn, en de geur van de rijkdom die als fijn gouden zweet uit de muren transpireerde en tenslotte de geuren uit de tuin die aan de achterkant van het huis moest liggen. Het was niet makkelijk deze tere geurtoetsen uit de tuin op te vangen, want ze trokken slechts in smalle linten over de gevel van het huis heen omlaag door de straat. Grenouille onderscheidde magnolia's, hyacinten, peperboompjes en rododendron.. - maar er leek nog iets anders te zijn, iets moorddadigs lekkers, dat in deze tuin geurde, een geur zo exquis als hij in zijn leven nog niet - of toch, maar dan maar één keer - in zijn neus had gehad...Hij moest dichter bij deze geur komen.
“Never before in his life had he known what happiness was. He knew at most some very rare states of numbed contentment. But now he was quivering with happiness and could not sleep for pure bliss. It was as if he had been born a second time; no, not a second time, the first time, for until now he had merely existed like an animal with a most nebulous self-awareness. but after today, he felt as if he finally knew who he really was: nothing less than a genius... He had found the compass for his future life. And like all gifted abominations, for whom some external event makes straight the way down into the chaotic vortex of their souls, Grenouille never again departed from what he believed was the direction fate had pointed him... He must become a creator of scents... the greatest perfumer of all time.”
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Wikipedia in English


Survivor, genius, perfumer, killer: this is Jean-Baptiste Grenouille. He is abandoned on the filthy streets of Paris as a child, but grows up to discover he has an extraordinary gift: a sense of smell more powerful than any other human's. Soon, he is creating the most sublime fragrances in all the city. Yet there is one odor he cannot capture.

No library descriptions found.

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

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Folio Archives 327: Perfume by Patrick Süskind 2008 in Folio Society Devotees

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