Books 2014 Vol. 6 – “Perfume : The Story of a Murderer” by Patrick Suskind

After a long time, it was a decent read. I have been a subscriber to just books for almost a year now and have hardly made use of it. But, then, I got bored and was sifting through their catalog when I found this book. The novel has been pretty successful and has been adapted in movie, plays and songs.

The Plot
The story is about Jean-Baptiste Grenouille right from his day of birth to how he dies. Since he was a kid, he brings misfortune to almost everyone he comes in contact with. His mother dies of the crime of abandoning him right after his birth, the wet nurses who feed him are driven to give him away because he used to drink a lot more milk than the other babies, the tanner and the perfumer he used to work for.
These misfortunes can be a co-incidence but the way they have been tied up with Grenouille leaves a very chilling feeling for the reader. Grenouille is a survivor and he has never known any feeling except hate. Love or passion is something he comes to know at a very later stage in life. In the early years, everyone who used to come in contact with him would be vary of him without knowing the exact reason.
Grenouille has a very keen sense of smell and he used to use this sensory organ of his to do every work, even to find his way in the dark. He used to store all the scents in his memory and never forgot one. Once he helped find money for his landlady, the one who ran the orphanage, when she forgot where she kept it, just though his olfactory senses. This was enough to make the lady turn him out of her house and she sold him to a tanner. And, his life progresses on.
While working for the tanner, Grenouille has a taste of freedom one day when he wanders into Paris. He started visiting and exploring Paris thereafter to find the new smells. He was used to create a library of the smells and to concoct and create new smells.
On one such exploration, he comes across a very fine and fresh scent of a virgin girl. He follows the scent keenly and once he reaches to the source, without knowing what his actions would yield, he kills the girl and strips her and starts devouring her scent till it fades away from her body. That was the moment when he actually feels passion. And, that was the moment when he decides he would want to create the scent of that girl which was unlike anything he had come across.
Once when Grenouille was on his last round of delivery, he comes to the once most famous perfumer of Paris, Giuseppe Baldini, from whom he learns the secrets of perfume making. And, then, goes on to Grasse to learn more about it. On the way, he takes a seven year detour to remain away from the human world. Once he reaches Grasse, he is enthralled by the scent of a girl named Laure and he knows that the essence of his greatest perfume should be that of this girl’s. 
Grenouille is a man who was born without odor and was treated as a cast away even though no one around him including him realized the exact reason why. Whenever he came in contact with anyone, they were repelled by him. May be the lack of any kind of odor was the reason. Thus, it is the journey to find his identity and acceptance. When he succeeds, the tragedy or the irony is that he realizes no one will ever love him like a normal human. 
My Verdict
Absolute Must!! I loved every part of the book. Yes it can be a stretched at times for the lack of thrill, if that is what you are seeking. But, these moments are crucial because they explain what is Grenouille going through and why is he the way he is, a cunning cold-blooded individual. Yes for all who love intense reads!

Have you read the book? Or, has this gone on your to-read list after reading the review?

Related Posts:
Books 2014 Vol. 5 – “It Started with a Friend Request” by Sudeep Nagarkar
Books 2014 Vol. 4 – “The Cuckoo’s Calling” by Robert Galbraith aka J.K.Rowling
Books 2014 Vol. 3 – On the List : “The Body Book” by Cameron Diaz

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