Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Perfume by Patrick Suskind Review

Title: Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
Author: Patrick Suskind
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Magical Realism
Series: N/A
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.

My best friend suggested I read this, and so, as soon as there was an opening in my library stack, I ordered it. And this being a favorite of a reviewer I follow on Goodreads, I was really excited to read it. This book has been translated from the author's native German to English (yay for reading translated books!). I love magical realism--it's one of my favorite genres.

Only thing is, after reading this.. I don't even know exactly what to say. Perfume is simply a triumph in adult fiction. This book revolves around Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, born in 18th century France--simply referred to in the novel as Grenouille--who has poor senses. All except his nose. His nose is almost supernaturally acute, and in pursuit of the perfect perfume, he careens into madness--and later, murder. He is the first main character I've ever truly despised, and yet, I could not tear my eyes away from his tale.

This book is gory, dark, and violent, often terrifying and more than a little unsavory. And yet, it's probably one of my favorite books of the year. The prose was so compelling, I could not resist it. The pacing was breakneck, and I was absolutely spellbound the entire time, even as Grenouille's actions repulsed and revolted me. I also learned many interesting  methods about perfumery--it was an interesting process to learn about.

From the beginning to the frightening, and yet somehow fitting conclusion, Perfume was a dark, bloody tale of murder, fine perfume, and beautiful France, and despite the way it frightened and freaked me out, it is a story that was absolutely unforgettable--and isn't that the whole point of a story, after all? The bottom line: A dark, bloody, poetic tale of murder, perfume, France, and of course, human nature, Perfume was a fantastic book! I loved every single moment of it! Next on deck: Menagerie by Rachel Vincent!

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