Tuesday, June 28, 2011

# 34 - Perfume The Story of A Murderer by Patrick Suskind

I had been itching to read this book, thinking it was going to be sort of like a serial killer mystery. Well, it was not so.

Grenouille was born in the filthiest and smelliest place in France during the the something hundreds (18th century). He was not supposed to live, but he did. However, there was something peculiar about him. People were uncomfortable being around him.

Grenouille has two amazing things about him, his extra strong sense of smell and his own lack of scent. His strong sense of gave him an almost superpower in that he did not even need his eyes so see. He could determine different people and even things through his nose. HIs lack of sense, on the other hand, led to him being outcast by other people. People instinctively and subconsciously felt that something was "off" with him and as a result, nobody wanted to have anything to do with him. He did not feel any love or attachment to anybody, just an all consuming passion for different scents. He Grenouille was a sociopathic monster with one very strong obsession. This obsession would lead him to apprentice at one of the city's most famous perfumier, to be a hermit and keep himself away from people for years, and finally, to kill young women to distill their perfect, intoxicating scents.

The final act is weird and shocking and just perfect. Grenouille is a contemptible cold sociopath, a monster truly. Although he is all that, there are times that at best, you feel sorry for him, but definitely, you sort of understand his motivations. He is not motivated by any malice. It's just the way he is and his all consuming obsession. In fact, it is most probably his obsession and desire to be loved that leads him to his atrocious acts. The author writes very well descriptively. The sights and especially the scents are so so vividly described that you can actually smell it.

It was an enjoyable, thought provoking, original and weird book. I loved it.

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