Book Talk
Reviewed by- linda (2009/11/25, 10:15 AM)
Perfume is a very original but on some levels a disturbing novel. It has a Gothic feel to it, which I like. Itís a literary thriller, which is dark, and at times humorous, but itís also one of the strangest books I have read. Suskind takes you into the mind of a deranged psychopath and with wonderfully vivid detail captures his passionate nature and the extreme obsessions of his thoughts. He paints a picture of the most dangerous type of murderer, one with no concept of good or evil but also one with no sense of justice. This is a murderer who is not killing for revenge or power or wealth, heís killing to fulfill his obsession with scent. What I found to be a little strange was, even knowing he was evil, my feelings towards Grenouille were at times conflicted, ranging from sympathy to pity to hatred. I think this was because of the narrative writing style of the author, which has the unusual effect of creating a sense of detachment from Grenouille. I should mention that the author writes with an intensity and denseness that is definitely one of the strengths of the novel. Everything is described so beautifully and with such care and detail that you are not only drawn in, but mesmerized. Another great quality of the book is the well researched historical facts and excellent descriptions of 18th century Paris, French villages and the art of making perfume. One aspect of the book I did not particularly like is the lack of attachment for his victims. The reader is not offered much detail on them. I also thought his descriptions are at times too long. In summary, Perfume is not a typical mystery; it does not generate a lot of excitement, but it is well paced and thought provoking. Itís for the reader who loves a classic and is looking for something different with a bazaar edge to it and truly appreciates great writing.Back.

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