Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind


author Patrick Süskind published 1985 date start Nov 25, 2021 date read Dec 04, 2021 edition ebook

classics historical fiction horror


I feel like I understood this book and also did not understand anything at all, somehow.

Scents are powerful, indeed, and the thought of being able to control people with something intangible is quite terrifying. However, all of that happens in the latter third part of the book. The first 75% is... quite the very long, very slow burn. It was funny at some points (though I'm not sure if comedy was the intended effect).

The title itself already tells you this is a story of a murderer, but that does not happen until very later on in the story (There is one early, but only one). And it was not satisfying at all (the murders). (Because obviously his desire is the scent, and killing is just part of the process, which I do understand.)

I like the portrayal of Grenouille though, as someone who is not quite good or bad, but someone who does not see themselves as human. The finale and ending is very good as well, but the first half is a little bit of a snorefest.