Thursday, March 29, 2007

Patrick Suskind's Perfume

Perfume by Patrick Suskind

Date Started: 17th Mar 2007
Date Finished: 19th Mar 2007


I came across this book while I was browsing the bookstore a couple of months ago. I was hooked the moment I read the blurb, interested because it looked like a new concept, a serial killer who stalked his prey with his nose.

I bought the book eventually, and was pleasantly surprised to find how amazingly well-written it was.

I had gotten the initial impression that this was about just another serial killer who just happened to stalk his prey with his exceptional sense of smell, and the book would be just another mystery/thriller that described the killings and the good guys trying to catch him.

What I got instead, was a wonderful tour into the world of scents. The author's description of all the scents featured was so vivid that I could almost smell them. The art of perfuming was shown to us, so clearly, so masterfully, that we couldn't help but get drawn into it. The book itself was written so artfully...I almost want to cry at Suskind's genius.

This book wasn't a brutally painted picture about an animalistic predator who killed for pleasure. Although the murderer was animalistic in his way, and he did kill for pleasure, we don't see the senselessness of his actions. We see instead, the reasons for his actions, and we almost, just almost, sympathize with him. We see his background, we see his life, the things he went through, we see his perseverance, we see his genius, his vision...

It was such a wonderful read. I was so caught up completely in this world, flowing gently with the words and the story.

I went later to watch the movie, and while I think the book was so much better, of course, I think the directors did a very admirable job in interpreting the book for the movie. They changed some of the storyline to fit into the movie, necessarily, but it was done really well, and it doesn't take away the beauty of the art. Read the book and watch the movie, I'm pretty sure you'll love both.


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