Saturday, January 06, 2007
Perfume by Peter Suskind
After reading about the movie made from this novel, I was curious enough to read Perfume, the international best selling novel by German author Peter Suskind. This horrifying tale of an 18th century Parisian orphan, Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, begins on the day of his birth in a stinking marketplace. The wet nurse assigned to care for him by the monk who assumes his responsibility returns the baby because he has no odor - none of the warm caramel smells of newborn infants. Grenouille remains scentless throughout his life, but his sense of smell is highly developed which makes him a valued employee to perfumers. Because the novel is subtitled The Story of a Murderer, I expected more description of the murders, but I was somewhat pleasantly surprised that the novel was not like Silence of the Lambs. Rather it reminded me more of the sensory descriptions in a novel like Chocolat. I thoroughly enjoyed this vivid book.