Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Book #34 Perfume by Patrick Suskind


Length of Time in Possession : 6 years at least

I've been having a problem with the number of books I've read thus far this year. Not only am I much busier now but the books that I am reading are books that I have possessed for years and haven't got through, Perfume being an example of this. More and more I am realising that the reason I've had certain books for so long is because my desire to read them was so low, and usually there's a reason for that. It's been so long since I read an amazing book I'm getting pretty frustrated.

Perfume is a case in point, though it was a book club choice, I've also had it for years. I will probably get negative feedback from people who disagree, but I thought this was one of the worst books I've read in a long time, potentially ever.

The story of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, an illegitimate orphan with a superhuman sense of smell, he becomes a murderer in order to keep scents of women he enjoys.

The books ultimate strength is in its descriptive prose of smells of all kinds, these areas are well written, but, in terms of the plot the book is simply bizarre.

Though it is labelled Perfume : Story Of A Murderer, a murder barely described, occurs early then not much happens murder wise for a very long time in an essentially short plot until Grenouille goes on a spree near the end, but when this does happen they are referred to like news 'and then another girl died' and are barely described. For a vast section of the books 269 pages he goes on a long walk and then lives in a cave.

There are two endings if you like an end to his killings and then the ultimate end of the book, and both these events are among the most bizarre, ludicrous, laughable and stupid plot points I've ever read in any book.

I hated this book as did my book club. Did not really enjoy it on any level though I respected the quality of prose at times.

Verdict : I would literally only give this book a 2/10

Destination : Charity Shop