|Submitted by Brandy Sejeck |
(Aug 16, 2002)
Patrick Suskind's deliciously aromatic novel Perfume is as inventive and surprising as a novel can aspire to be. It is the story of a malformed tick of a man named Jean-Baptist Grenouille. He is a scentless prodigy of smell whose sole goal is to create the most sought after scent of all - the scent of love.
This horrifically delightful novel illustrates Suskind's virtuosic ability to create a world where scent is the highest principle. The only problem is that the only person who recognizes this is the despicable protagonist who, himslf, has no understanding of principles. As a matter of fact, he does not understand anything without a scent.
This lack of understanding leads him on a chase through the stinking alleys of Paris to the perfumatory Mecca, Grasse. There he commits abominable acts that not only prove his lack of humanity, but also reveal a stunning truth about the nature of humans.
Suskind sends his readers on a brilliantly sensous joy-ride through the nose of a sociopath. His crafty genius seductively leads us to a most shocking climax. A climax that will question the true nature of humanity, and illustrate the consequences of such a nature. It's a magnificent read.