Perfume : The Story of a Murderer

4.03 (391,964 ratings by Goodreads)
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An erotic masterpiece of twentieth century fiction - a tale of sensual obsession and bloodlust in eighteenth century Paris

'An astonishing tour de force both in concept and execution' Guardian

In eighteenth-century France there lived a man who was one of the most gifted and abominable personages in an era that knew no lack of gifted and abominable personages. His name was Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, and if his name has been forgotten today.

It is certainly not because Grenouille fell short of those more famous blackguards when it came to arrogance, misanthropy, immorality, or, more succinctly, wickedness, but because his gifts and his sole ambition were restricted to a domain that leaves no traces in history: to the fleeting realm of scent . . .

'A fantastic tale of murder and twisted eroticism controlled by a disgusted loathing of humanity . .. Clever, stylish, absorbing and well worth reading' Literary Review

'A meditation on the nature of death, desire and decay . . . A remarkable debut' Peter Ackroyd, The New York Times Book Review

'Unlike anything else one has read. A phenomenon . . . [It] will remain unique in contemporary literature' Figaro

'An ingenious and totally absorbing fantasy' Daily Telegraph

'Witty, stylish and ferociously absorbing' Observer
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Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 17mm | 191g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 9780141041155
  • 1,969

Review Text

A new edition of the classic German historical novel from 1985, to celebrate its 25th anniversary. The film version, which came out in 2006, starred Ben Whishaw and increased the book's popularity even more.
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About Patrick Suskind

Patrick Suskind was born near Munich in 1949 and 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. His first novel, Perfume was also an internationally acclaimed bestseller and continues to be considered a classic.

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. Patrick Suskind lives and writes in Munich.
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Rating details

391,964 ratings
4.03 out of 5 stars
5 39% (153,157)
4 35% (138,199)
3 18% (69,281)
2 5% (21,556)
1 2% (9,771)

Our customer reviews

Perfume's plot is entirely original if not slightly unnerving read. Although the storyline is already lively enough to satiate even the most demanding of readers, it's supported by the extraordinarily detailed and interesting framework of perfumery. Following the story of Grenouille exposes the reader to some of the fundamentals of perfuming and the world of scent manufacturing in 18th century France which provides a fascinating and exciting backdrop to the story. S�?�¼skind's use of scent as a vehicle of description for the environment inhabited by the brilliant but depraved Grenouille draws the reader into an exciting and original world of fragrance, stench and murder. Paying particular detail to the aromatic world, the author surrounds the story in the bouquet of fragrances so common to life but so rarely explored in text. Perfume is a thoroughly enjoyable, though occasionally bizarre, read which is sure to leave any reader happily satisfied and slightly more
by Eli Fox
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