Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer is a tale of a most extraordinary boy, gifted with an unbelievable sense of smell, and his quest for the most perfect scent of all, the scent of a virgin.
Summary Of The Book
Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer is set in the eighteenth century in Paris. In the year 1738, a woman gives birth to a child in a fish stall. Afraid of the fact that this child too, like the other children to whom she had given birth, would probably be a stillbirth or near-dead, the mother cuts the umbilical cord and leaves him to die.
The boy, Grenouille, survives and gets passed on from one wet nurse to another, till one day he lies in the arms of a priest. A nurse had brought him to the parish in the fear that a devil had captured the boy. In his examination, he realizes that the boy doesn’t have a scent. Soon, Grenouille wakes up and starts sniffing, which makes the priest feel like the boy is smelling his soul. This scares the priest, who takes the boy with him to the outskirts and admits him into an orphanage.
Grenouille’s extraordinary abilities with scents begins to show at this point of time. He navigates through the city, mostly using his sense of smell and barely with his sight. He is employed at several different places because of this ability, as it was making his employers unbelievably successful. Obviously, he eventually ends up becoming a perfume apprentice.
During this time, he starts to soak in each and every kind of smell that he senses around him. He hates the scent of humanity, and any smell that he discerns, seems dirty, filthy, and uncouth to him. Much to his amazement, he smells the scent of a woman slicing plums. He has never smelled like anything like this before. Having grown up without feelings, he rushes to the virgin girl, smothers her, and strips her so he can soak in her scent.
Thus starts an incredulous journey. Grenouille starts in pursuit of the perfect scent, the scent of a virgin. He undertakes the unimaginable task, without actually understanding what he’s doing and what it means to him and others, of capturing the most purest scent of all. For this, he travels to the very depths of humanity, going past the boundaries of morality and passion. The events that are set in motion, leave everyone shocked and gasping for breath.
Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer was originally published as Das Parfum, in German. John E. Woods translated it into English and that book won the PEN Translation Prize in 1987. A film adaption of the book, and carrying the same title, premiered in 2006 in Germany.
About Patrick Suskind
Patrick Suskind is a German writer.
He is also the author of The Story of Mr Sommer, On Love and Death, and The Pigeon.
Suskind was born near Munich, Germany. He attended the University of Munich and Aix-en-Provence, where he studied Medieval and Modern History, but never graduated. Financially supported by his parents, he began writing stories. Initially, he found success in writing plays. Later, he became a successful screenwriter. In 1996, he was awarded the Screenplay Prize of the German Department for Culture.
This Article is Posted on 23 Apr 2015 in Entertainment Section and Books