Author: Patrick Suskind
Publisher: Vintage; Later Printing Edition
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Suskind’s Perfume can be compared to Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment in that they both explore the mind of a person who cannot empathise with mankind. But where Dostoevsky is thorough in the exploration, Suskind falls somewhat short. He raises several interesting existential and metaphysical questions but is not able to answer them satisfactorily. Nevertheless, Perfume is a well-crafted novel, translated from German into English by John E Woods, concocting and recording exotic odours- musk tincture, storax balm, essence of orange blossoms, lime oil, attars of rose and clove, pastilles of myrrh…
Read Perfume for a fascinating protagonist whom you can’t always define your response to and a sensory experience that is almost extra-textual.
If this interested you, you would want to check out this review of the book, and this movie review.
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