It’s weird on how a second reading can change your view of a novel, The last time I read Perfume was in 1999 and the only thing that stuck out was the first murder. Anyway I’m glad I read this again for it seems that a good chunk of the book has slipped out of my memory.
In my last post I said that Cormac McCarthy’s Judge was a foulsome literary creation, but after reading Perfume, I think I’ll say that Jean Baptiste Grenouille beats The Judge by miles. Not only does he kill but he suffers from delusions of grandeur and a morbid hatred of society.
Born in 18th century France, Grenouille is passed from household to household as he gives people the creeps. Eventually he is discovered to have an extraordinary sense of smell and all goes fine until he discovers the scent of a young woman. This drives him insane and he takes up the art of perfumery in order to cook up a scent that will enslave people just like the young woman’s smell did to him.
This leads to a killing spree in order for Grenouille to fulfill his aim and eventually through some clever plot twists that perfume plays a role in his rise and eventual fall.
Grotesque , with some brilliant scenes, I dare say that only Suskind has managed to evoke the spirit of Roald Dahl ; the same type of satire is also prevalent in Suskind and the addictive quality of Perfume is Dahlesque as well. Perfume is indeed one book is a must read.