Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

Front Cover
Vintage International, 2001 - Fiction - 255 pages
124 Reviews
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 by John E. Woods
"A fable of crimial genius.... Remarkable."
--"The New York Times
"Superb storytelling all the way...the climax is a savage shocker."
--"The Plain Dealer
"An astonishing performance, a masterwork of artistic conception and execution. A totally gripping page-turner."
--"The San Francisco Chronicle
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - thebookmagpie - LibraryThing

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 ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - dbsovereign - LibraryThing

You will never think about "smell" in the same way after you read this book. Mostly about obsession and how we can allow ourselves to be consumed. Read full review

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Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
6
Section 3
8
Section 4
19
Section 5
23
Section 6
31
Section 7
33
Section 8
45
Section 18
132
Section 19
138
Section 20
165
Section 21
173
Section 22
178
Section 23
182
Section 24
189
Section 25
194

Section 9
48
Section 10
51
Section 11
63
Section 12
80
Section 13
88
Section 14
98
Section 15
115
Section 16
119
Section 17
124
Section 26
199
Section 27
202
Section 28
214
Section 29
222
Section 30
226
Section 31
228
Section 32
243
Section 33
251
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

Patrick Süskind was born in Ambach, near Munich, in 1949. He studied medieval and modern history at the University of Munich. His first play, The Double Bass, was written in 1980 and became an international success. It was performed in Germany, in Switzerland, at the Edinburgh Festival, in London, and at the New Theatre in Brooklyn. His first novel, Perfume became an internationally acclaimed bestseller. He is also the author of The Pigeon and Mr. Summer's Story, and a coauthor of the enormously successful German television series Kir Royal. Mr. Süskind lives and writes in Munich.

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