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Freewheeling Andy

Patrick Suskind - Perfume

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Although it's several (20 yrs) since I read it, I found the concept of it enjoyable, but was disappointed because if I remember correctly it was nominated for an award. It did not live up to what I thought at that time an award winning book. It's certainly not a book that I would reread - in fact it was one of a very few books that I sold. It's one of those books that you have strange mixed feelings on :lol:

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I really enjoyed it. I read it about 5 years ago after a word of mouth recommendation and I hadn't heard any hype about it and it was obviously before thoughts of a film. I wonder whether its a case of a book not living up to the hype or people having too many expectations of what a book will be like

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Well I have finished reading Perfume. The descriptions of the smells are amazing. The mood created is particularly dark when Grenouille lived in Paris, but it is when he moves to the south of France that he really begins to work on his goal. He extracts scents through extreme violence, but we do not witness most of this: we hear of it second hand. Even the murders that we do witness are very cold and methodical. It would seem that in having this one great gift Grenouille has had to sacrifice all other feelings or values. He is certainly a man without a conscience.

 

I really enjoyed this book and the ending is the most bizarre ending I have ever read.

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One of the things about this book that I disliked was the sidetrack/foray into the cave. It seemed that there was no plot or character development during this portion of the tale and it really added nothing to the book.

 

I do agree that the ending was unusual, but again I feel it missed it's potential to horrify.

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One of the things about this book that I disliked was the sidetrack/foray into the cave. It seemed that there was no plot or character development during this portion of the tale and it really added nothing to the book.

 

Yes I can see what you mean, and I agree. The book was very slow at that point.

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I really enjoyed this book, it's one of the most unnusual and descriptive books I've ever listened to.

I kept thinking about it for quite a few days afterwards.......particularly the ending :smile2:

 

Carole

:)

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I read the book recently due to the movie release (never saw the movie - prefer to read a book), the ending was the strangest thing I had ever read. I enjoyed the writing style but it took me a long time to get into the book. The first three quarters were mostly drivel and resulted in it being quite put-downable. It wasn't until he started trying to extract the scents from something other than plants that I became more absorbed by it.

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Here's my review to add to the others...

 

Title: Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

Author: Patrick S

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I thought this book was amazing.

 

You can read my review here or on the BCF blog.

 

I have no sense of smell really, but this book really made me wish I had! I thought this book was incredibly surreal, but so wonderfully sublime. That's the only word to describe what the entire book amounts to: the sublime.

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The reviews have convinced me to add this to my reading list. I've been intrigued by this novel for quite a while, but was unsure about whether I'd enjoy it.

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I've seen the film (have it on dvd) and loved it, and keep seeing it in the shops and contemplating buying it. I think I shall eventually.:roll:

It's another one of my very favourites, Chrysalis. I think you'll love it. It evokes strong sensory images. Suskind is very clearly a very talented author. Again, the writing is a little detached, a little chilly, if you know what I'm trying to get at. I very strongly recommend this book to you. :lol:

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I read this a few years back and ultimately must have decided that I didn't like it as, very unsually for me, I deliberately left it behind when I moved flats.

 

It was the plot that bothered me, specifically the slow cave bit followed by that crazy ending - I just felt as though Suskind had deliberately tried to think of the most *sensational, controversial finale he could (a bit like The Lovely Bones but then that book was drivel from beginning to end as far as I was concerned) and it irritated me a lot.

 

I think another reason why the ending jarred with me was because it twisted the behaviour of 'everyday' people, suddenly removing the sense of realism from the fiction as a whole, which had been disturbing yet plausible (and so even more disturbing) up to that point. Unfortunately you do get monsters like Jean-Baptise in society, and there are arguments that we all have in us the potential for extreme and destructive behaviour; but not en masse, at the flick of a switch as it were! It just annoyed me that in one swift scene Suskind's protagonist went from an insane ousider to being somehow an all-powerful superior... meh, it's tiring trying to express my muddled head!

 

Anyways, after having said all that, I really regret giving the book away now because, although I didn't enjoy it as such, I would like to read it again. It's a clever idea* and I remember the use of language was utterly brilliant in parts, and I wonder how my experience of it has changed now that the unexpected plot direction won't detract and spoil it for me...

 

 

* I wonder if that is why Suskind was not exactly prolific after that success, because he'd only had this one really striking, if not actually unique idea: basing a novel on smells, so difficult to capture in words

 

(This is why I could never be a wine conoisseur - "This glass has a fine bouquet of... to be honest, it just smells like, well, wine!!!" ;))

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My girlfriend finished reading this one last week and said she enjoyed it, which is a bit of a rarity for her. It is on my TBR pile, I'm sure I'll get round to it eventually.

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I finished some days ago and loved it. I was hooked up, it only took me 2 days. The plot was great, as well as the writing, the descriptions of the smells were wonderful. And a light sense of irony was floating around.

About the character, I didn't sympathized him, but didn't disliked him either. I just...felt sorry for him, because he tried to interpreat the meaning of life through smells, and he couldn't experience the emotions that ordinary people can, like love.

Personally, I highly recommend it!

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