Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Perfume by Patrick Suskind

I hardly even know what to say about this book; it was weird, creepy, gruesome, and I couldn't put it down. Once you start reading, you have questions: Who is this guy and WHAT IS HE DOING? And WHY? But you have to read to the very last page to find out and, oh-my-word, it's freaky. I don't think this will ever be on my favorites list but it was a compelling read, even if just for the fascinating role odor plays in the lives of human beings. Patrick Suskind's Perfume is not for the faint of heart or delicate of stomach - I'm just saying.

Odors have a power of persuasion stronger than that of words, appearances, emotions, or will. The persuasive power of an odor cannot be fended off, it enters into us like breath into our lungs, it fills us up, imbues us totally. There is no remedy for it.
Patrick Suskind Perfume: The Story of a Murderer 


Sam said...

I hated this one. Not because I found the content disturbing, but because I thought it was just plain silly. Especially the ending.

mindy said...

Have you seen the film version? Seems strange that a character who doesn't speak could sustain a movie, but it works-- very atmospheric.

Trish said...

sam - I wavered between 'silly' and 'interestingly disturbing'. I think the writing is what won me over.

mindy - no, I haven't seen the movie. And as I read the book I wondered how it could even be translated into a movie. It's such a sensory, rather than visual, story.

Bibliophile said...

It's a deeply disturbing book on several levels, but I enjoyed it for the sensuousness of the language.