Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind

After I had finished reading Pure by Andrew Miller, my boss suggested I should read Perfume next.
Then, more recently I read The Last Banquet by Jonathan Grimwood, my boss again suggested that I really should read Perfume next.

And now I can see why.  
Perfume is the kind of book you want to recommend to everyone. No matter what their reading tastes are, everyone is bound to get caught up & swept away by this story.

All three books are set in France, in and around the Revolution. They're all completely spell-binding & fully visceral experiences.

Pure was sights, sounds and smells.
The Last Banquet was taste and smell.
And Perfume (as the title would suggest) is all about smells.

And loneliness, and love, and belonging, and desire.

"It was as if he were an autodidact possessed of a huge vocabulary of odours that enabled him to form at will great numbers of smelled sentences. "

Perfume was first published in German in 1985, then translated by John E. Woods in 1987 (for which he won the PEN Translation Prize). At no point in the story did I notice that this was a translated book. The words, the images and the smells flowed effortlessly and gracefully across the page.

I'm not going to say anymore, because this is one book you have to experience for yourself!

6 comments:

  1. I read this book years ago, and I really loved it.

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  2. One of my favourite books of all time! I remember I was reading it at a train station and a man came over to me, tapped me on the shoulder and said 'it's wonderful, isn't it?', smiled and moved on. It's that kind of book!

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  3. It IS a wonderful book. I'm glad you liked it!

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  4. Wow! I've never heard of it. I'm going to see if my library carries it!

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  5. I really like the way that you tied the books together based upon the senses.


    I have heard such good things about Perfume.

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  6. I'm way behind in commenting so I'm just going to say that I thought this was a fantastic book and as I haven't yet read 'Pure' and it seems like such a great match, I know what I need to do now!

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