- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books (2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 014009993X
- ISBN-13: 978-0140099935
- Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 0.8 x 7.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (717 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,831,142 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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PERFUME. Paperback – Import, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
"Perfume" succeeds so well because the premise is so startlingly novel. An olfactory genius in 18th-century Paris who can make a fortune creating perfumes more complicated and subtle than any ever made, is a sociopathic monster. Or as Suskind describes him, a "tick" who can roll up into a defensive ball or periodically drop himself into society. Grenouille is a compelling and disturbing character because Suskind has painted him in such realistic tones. Each effort to capture a new scent impels him farther, taking more chances and testing his limits, exploiting new techniques and his own criminal daring. This is true criminal pattern and makes Grenouille terrifyingly believable.
But the book can not be a great one, because Suskind's prose tends toward the overdone. Perhaps it reads better in the original German, but his maddening penchant for rephrasing and repeating the same notion and turning a sentence into a paragraph finally dulls the senses and sets the reader skimming along searching for the next important point.
The plot is so unique that it is brilliant. The execution is powerful, not only in Grenouille's characterization, but also because Suskind has done his homework and is smoothly at ease with 18th century mores and the science of perfume. But the squishy repetitive prose and unfocused paragraphs keep "Perfume" from joining the ranks of literary masterpieces.
The book, though compared to "literature" by some of the reviews here, moves very quickly and doesn't feel difficult to read at all. It does take a lot of time telling you about the manufacture of perfumes, but to be quite honest, this stuff is VERY fascinating the way it is presented here.
The book has moments of dry humor, moments of drama, and moments of pure, over-the-top grotesqueness. You've never read a book with a main character anything remotely like this. You've never followed a plot at all similar. And the ending is unexpected as well. It's not exactly a "feel-good" read, but when you're done, you'll have the unusual feeling of having gone down a literary road that's never been traveled before.
Highly, highly recommended. Just keep an open mind!!!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
True I bought this book for school, but it was actually really interesting. Our main characters interesting search for his own scent (or identity) takes the reader on a trip. Read morePublished 7 days ago by Liz Hackney
Do not waste your time. This is absolutely the worst book I have read. I tend to commit once I start a book and I deeply regret it with this book. Read morePublished 13 days ago by Delsia
I randomly saw the movie at some point and thought it was terrible and was just so confused the whole time. Read morePublished 16 days ago by Charlene Fowler
One of my favorate books from the opening chapter to the closing. A perfumer in 17th century France kills women for their scents. Read more
The most original book on sensory description ever written. An absolute masterpiece of imagination.Published 25 days ago by rob miles
One of my all time favourites. A sensory journey. Will read more than once.Published 26 days ago by Peteris Veidners