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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Perfume by Patrick Süskind

Blurb (from the GoodReads):

In the slums of eighteenth-century France, the infant Jean-Baptiste Grenouille is born with one sublime gift: an absolute sense of smell. As a boy, he lives to decipher the odors of Paris, and apprentices himself to a prominent perfumer who teaches him the ancient art of mixing precious oils and herbs.

But Grenouille's genius is such that he is not satisfied to stop there, and he becomes obsessed with capturing the smells of objects such as brass doorknobs and frest-cut wood. Then one day he catches a hint of a scent that will drive him on an ever-more-terrifying quest to create the "ultimate perfume"—the scent of a beautiful young virgin.

Told with dazzling narrative brillance, Perfume is a hauntingly powerful tale of murder and sensual depravity.

My take on the book:
It all started with the cover design. And, of course, online book-selling portals. One friend of mine suggested this book when I suggested that he watch some movie - the name, I don't remember. I loved the blurb. I looked up the price of the book on Flipkart or Amazon or something was mind-blown at the cover design. And also due to the low price. And also because of both of them. So I got it.

The cover design is so lively. It is very colourful and gives the feel of being very artistic. Every time my eye crosses the spine of this book - the spine design is equally vivid, too - I would be forced to get the book out of the shelf and stare at the cover design, scrutinizing every little detail printed on it. However, I have to admit that it took really a long time since I bought the book and I read it. It is a translated work. My experience tells me that translated books need a lot of attention and are way too much time-consuming.

First of all, the names of the characters were a drawback. They were hard to remember and way more difficult to pronounce - what does reading have to do with pronouncing, however. Anyways, I shouldn't be complaining. It is a German-translated novel and with the language, names of the characters don't change, do they? Back trait ... on my part.

Basically, the font-size was optimum. The font style was encouraging. The typo-aspects were almost authentic, as if just out of the typewriter. They really did help me getting through the discouraging parts of the novel, which was very much necessary.

The book was good. It had a good start. Or maybe, I felt it was good for all the expectations I had for it. But soon it started to get on my nerve. It was beautiful how the author depicted each detail with such precision and vivid imagination. But it was beautiful for me, too, for some extent, but then I was feeling bored. My mind started to wander away when I was reading. My unfinished assignments started to seem important. Movies that I have downloaded but haven't watched were shouting out for me from my PC. You see narration is important. Details are optional. Too much details, that book isn't for me.

Overall, I had got through the book with very much effort and I have to say that apart from a few parts, the end was the best. For two reasons. One, for the actual ending. Two, since it was the end of the long, agonizing days of reading.



Title: Perfume

Author: Patrick Süskind

Tagline: The Story of a Murderer

ISBN (edition I've read): 9780141041155


Read between: 30-10-2014 to 05-11-2014

Publishers: Penguin Publishers

Pages: 263

MRP: ₹ 299

The best deal for this book could be found here:  

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