View Poll Results: "Perfume: The Story of a Murderer" by Patrick Suskind: Final Verdict

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  • * A bookworm's nightmare!

    1 2.63%
  • ** Take a nap instead!

    2 5.26%
  • *** Finished but no reason to skip meals.

    7 18.42%
  • **** Don't forget to unplug the phone for this one!

    21 55.26%
  • ***** A bookworm's bibliophilic dream!

    7 18.42%
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Thread: Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Suskind

  1. #1
    Pièce de Résistance Scheherazade's Avatar
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    Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Suskind

    Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Suskind

    When I first became aware of this book, I was at university. A friend of mine who had been reading the book at the time said it was "weird and scary". Since that day, I, if not consciouly avoid, did not make an attempt to read the book myself. However, a few months ago, after reading some comments made on the Forum, I decided to take the plunge.

    The story opens with the birth of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, who is orphaned soon afterwards. He has been brought by a foster family but Jean-Baptiste fails to establish a real connection with the people around him and is shunned by almost everyone, which is, as it revealed later on, due to the fact that he lacks body odour. Ironically, he has a very heightened sense of smell himself, which sends him in search of the 'perfect' smell first around Paris and then France. His obsession with his search reaches to such extremes that he ends up committing murder to capture them... repeatedly.

    The novel is rich with descriptions of 18th century Paris as well. Through Jean-Baptiste's journey on trail of smells, the author paints a picture, which is far from pretty: A garbage ridden squalid place, accommodating equally dirty people.

    This was a breathtaking read; a captivating page-turner. Even though Jean-Baptiste's merciless 'captures' make a chilling read, Suskind achieves his goal without resorting to shocking and unnecessary sensational details. Still, he manages to leave his readers sniffing more often than they used to or should!

    9/10 KitKats!
    ~
    "It is not that I am mad; it is only that my head is different from yours.”
    ~


  2. #2
    Worthless Hack Zippy's Avatar
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    Saw the film recently and have to say it was brilliant. Can't wait to read the book.
    "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." Anais Nin.

  3. #3
    Ditsy Pixie Niamh's Avatar
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    wow, sounds good! better add that to my reading list.
    "Come away O human child!To the waters of the wild, With a faery hand in hand, For the worlds more full of weeping than you can understand."
    W.B.Yeats

    "If it looks like a Dwarf and smells like a Dwarf, then it's probably a Dwarf (or a latrine wearing dungarees)"
    Artemins Fowl and the Lost Colony by Eoin Colfer


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  4. #4
    Ditsy Pixie Niamh's Avatar
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    finished reading this. It really is wonderful.
    9/10
    "Come away O human child!To the waters of the wild, With a faery hand in hand, For the worlds more full of weeping than you can understand."
    W.B.Yeats

    "If it looks like a Dwarf and smells like a Dwarf, then it's probably a Dwarf (or a latrine wearing dungarees)"
    Artemins Fowl and the Lost Colony by Eoin Colfer


    my poems-please comment Forum Rules

  5. #5
    Super papayahed's Avatar
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    It's the same old story of someone coveting what they can't have but this time it's told in a refreshingly new way.

    8.5/10
    Do, or do not. There is no try. - Yoda


  6. #6
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    I loved it. 8/10

  7. #7
    Ataraxia bazarov's Avatar
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    Really great description of poor Jean Baptiste. I was really surprised with novel, I expected some bestseller garbage...
    At thunder and tempest, At the world's coldheartedness,
    During times of heavy loss And when you're sad
    The greatest art on earth Is to seem uncomplicatedly gay.

    To get things clear, they have to firstly be very unclear. But if you get them too quickly, you probably got them wrong.
    If you need me urgent, send me a PM

  8. #8
    Moon Goddess crystalmoonshin's Avatar
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    I didn't know the movie was based from a novel! I love the film. I have to read the book!!!!
    Vanitas vanitatum, dixit Ecclesiastes, vanitas vanitatum, et omnia vanitas.

    Yo sé quién soy, y sé que puedo ser no sólo los que he dicho. - Don Quixote

  9. #9
    Registered User Alyoshka's Avatar
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    My feelings towards this novel are really ambivalent. On the one hand I found it hard to finish and even boring, but then again, it's one year since I read it, and I still picture Jean-Baptiste in stinking Paris and in the deserted mountains in his escape from smells. The novel is weird, and it's so different from everything I've ever read. I'm glad I've read it, but to say it was a pleasant read would be a lie. I guess it's fair to add that I read the novel in German, which is a good thing as it's the language in which Süsskind wrote it, but as it's my third language, it made the reading slower, and it could have affected my view of the book.

    Now for my question to those of you who have seen the movie: is it any good?

  10. #10
    Frankly speaking, the film is not comparable with the book, although it's not a bad one.

  11. #11
    somewhere else Helga's Avatar
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    I agree with reiayanamijack the film was not nearly as good as the book, I read the book a few years ago and saw the movie when it came out and I was not very happy about it. the actor selection was great but they totally skipped the middle part of the book and that was my favourite.
    being alone on the mountain and not a scent of a human within reach... I missed that .

    but I think it's always the same when they turn books into movies, they lack something, some soul or an inner core you get from the book that you can't get from the movie, not saying that movies can't be great but it's just not the same...
    I hope death is joyful, and I hope I'll never return -Frida Khalo

    If I seem insensitive to what you are going through, understand it's the way I am- Mr. Spock

    Personally, I think that the unique and supreme delight lies in the certainty of doing 'evil'–and men and women know from birth that all pleasure lies in evil. - Baudelaire

  12. #12
    Raging Bookworm
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    I wanted to watch the movie, so I got the book first. Enjoyed the book a great deal, though I think it went on a bit unnecessarily in places. I greatly enjoyed the descriptions of France, and the way he described smell as a sense in a way I hadn't really thought of.
    The film, I didn't hate, but I wasn't impressed at all. I think it missed the point when it tried to humanise the girl he ultimately works towards; she wasn't humanised in the book because she wasn't human to him, she was a smell he wanted.

  13. #13
    Home Remarkable's Avatar
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    I didn't like the book. I don't remeber it very well, since it's been a long time since I read it but I remember the feelings it left me with afterwards. Not pleasant at all. Not because of the scary parts but because the way human beings are treated in that book: as trivial and immoral as possible. Jean-Baptiste is a person thoroughly hated or absurdely ignored. His victims are helpless creatures, valuable only because of their smell. Everyone the central character encounters, certainly including him himself, is a filthy human being, full of immorality of every kind and disrespect for other humans. In the end Susskind gives us an accurate description of mass frenzy, certainly exxagerated, but a good illustration. We are so easily influenced by whoever is more beautiful, looks smarter or has more charisma then us. And then we have those hectic moments of mass meetings.

    After all maybe that is what Susskind wanted to convey and I respect him for this. But I am sad for that total lack of hope that thoroughly fills the book. After all, I am just an adolescent. And adolescents are often hopeless romantics. Not like Romeo and Juliet, though...
    You forget that the kingdom of heaven suffers violence: and the kingdom of heaven is like a woman.
    James Joyce

    It is a fatal miscarriage, so ill to order affairs, as to pass for a fool in one company, when in another you might be treated as a philosopher. Jonathan Swift

  14. #14
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    I didn't like it much. I thought it was interesting at the beginning and I thought it was going to be like that the whole way through, but I just found pages upon pages describing scents and distilliation processes extremely tedious and the part where he lived in a tunnel in the mountain for 7 years went on a bit, maybe i just wasn't in the mood. It was more exciting at the end (when the murders were actually taking place) and I forced myself to read through the other dull stuff to get to it, if only more of the book had been like the end.
    I actually thought some of the way it described humanity was accurate though. So that wasn't the reason i disliked it.
    I'm also suprised that it's so popular and well liked. I just seemed to find it disappointing.
    Last edited by ariella; 05-25-2010 at 05:53 PM.

  15. #15
    Pièce de Résistance Scheherazade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ariella View Post
    but I just found pages upon pages describing scents and distilliation processes extremely tedious and the part where he lived in a tunnel in the mountain for 7 years went on a bit, maybe i just wasn't in the mood.
    It was only 300 pages all together.
    ~
    "It is not that I am mad; it is only that my head is different from yours.”
    ~


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