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Perfume Paperback – Apr 1 2010

4.2 out of 5 stars 132 customer reviews

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (April 1 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141041153
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141041155
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 259 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 132 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #565,499 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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By lawyeraau TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 1 2003
Format: Paperback
This is a novel so beautifully written that it transcends into literature. Ingenious in its conception and carefully crafted, the author has created a unique and dazzling work of fiction. Divided into three parts, the book tells the story of a most unusual life, that of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille.
The first part of the book establishes that he was born to a woman who was hung from a gibbet for having left him to die. It turns out that Jean-Baptiste is an unusual baby. He gives people the willies, because, unlike most babies, Jean-Baptiste has no scent.
Over time, Jean-Baptiste develops into a boy with a secret gift. His olfactory sense is developed to a degree unheard of in humans. He delights in parsing the odors around him. Ugly, friendless, and a loner, he eventually ventures into the city of Paris, a malodorous and pungent cornucopia of smells. Believe me, there is plenty to sniff out in eighteenth century Paris! Jean-Baptiste savors each whiff, and the book conveys these olfactory delights with meticulous, descriptive precision.
His bleak existence is transformed, however, when he one day captures a heady scent of such exquisite beauty that he finds himself obsessed with it. Determined to have that scent at all costs, he eventually sniffs it out. It turns out to be the scent of a young virgin on the cusp of flowering into a woman. It is a scent that he must possess. What he does to do so will surely chill the reader.
Jean-Baptiste eventually maneuvers to get himself apprenticed to a perfumer, so that he can have the opportunity to learn the trade and create scents. He leads a bleak existence, subsisting as little more than a slave to the perfumer for whom he works.
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Format: Paperback
Perfume is a novel I probably never would have chosen off the shelf. With that said, the reader knows that I am perhaps biased in many ways. This book was a bookclub selection that apperared under the category of historical fiction.
The story begins with the birth of Jean Baptiste-Grenouille. He is left to die by his mother as she delivers him in her stall at the farmer's market. Grenouille has to be one of the strangest characters ever created. He is repulsive to all his caretakers and is likened by the author to a tick. Grenouille is born with a phenomonal sense of smell but, alas, has no smell of his own.
The reader follows Grenouille through his life and his search for the perfect smell that will make him more human, make him loved and ultimately accepted. Here the plot twists and turns into the most unlikely and downright strange scenarios I have ever read, concluding with what one can only describe as the most unbelieveable ending of all time.
The writing is superb and it is the only reason I continued to read such a convoluted tale. The historical detail and recreation of eighteenth century France was phenomenal. The attention to the smells of that period was nothing short of amazing. Patrick Suskind has written an amazingly odd story that you will not likely read any where else.
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By NeuroSplicer HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 26 2010
Format: Hardcover
How many books stay with you after a year? Five years? A decade? I remember reading THE PARFUME while in high school, about twenty years ago and it is as if I was immersed into Suskind's masterpiece only yesterday.

The story unfolds effortlessly and you are made to simply accept Grenouille's unique gift, life-long obsession and bittersweet curse. Olfaction is a mysterious sense to begin with. It is atavistic, inescapably emotional and resistant to mnemonic recall. And Suskind expertly builds on these fleeing attributes a robust story, one that brings to mind first experiences and reticent desires and concealed fears.

The book is not only majestic but it is also set in a biblical-like footing. The protagonist treads through life like a forgettable ghost. Then he goes into an intense self-exile, fasting in a cave before coming into the wold to fulfill his mission. And even though his mission is as ethereal and ephemeral as a passing scent, no one will be able to forget him.

The movie was a good adaptation but it does not even compare to the book.

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Format: Paperback
My opinion here is completely unbiased. I haven't seen the film and knew nothing about this story before I started the book.
A very unusual but gripping tale, I must say. Well written, definitely.

This is the story of Grenouille, a baby born without hopes and left on a pile of rubbish by his own mother. Certain death, especially in 1738, would be expected but does not happen. Against all odds, Grenouille survives and grows up with a very distinctive feature: his olfactory system. From infancy, no scent, no smell, unpleasant or otherwise, escapes his nostrils. He categorizes each one of them and an endless sort of data base is stored in his brain.
A very inconspicuous fellow, without distinctive features, he is able to survive in a world that has deceived him from day one. And in turn, in his profound uneasiness, he becomes the deceiver. Little by little he starts to realise that his olfactory ability is indeed something that could turn useful, one day. Something for which people would appreciate him perhaps. Real love, real affection, he does not know. Perhaps he yearns for it. But in reality, he loathes people and is comfortable in his loneliness. And one day (he's about 12 by now) he picks up a faint scent in the air that he cannot name but gives him an incredible yearning. An irresistible urge to find the source of that scent and an infallible nose lead him to that source.....

From then on, a lot else happens. And Grenouille, that fragile, plain, indistinct, shadowy and secretive being takes us from one side of France to the next on a twisted olfactory errand. It is impossible not to be awed by this very distinctive feature of his. With it, when `utilized' properly, he is able to do wonders.
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