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An acclaimed bestseller and international sensation, Patrick Suskind's classic novel provokes a terrifying examination of what happens when one man's indulgence in his greatest passion--his sense of smell--leads to murder. 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. Translated from the German by John E. Woods.
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Penguin's unabridged production of this international best seller is a thoroughly captivating production. Suskind's demented protagonist, Jean-Baptist Grenouille, is a "gifted abomination" whose highly developed sense of smell could easily make him the greatest perfumer of all time. Given the general stench of 18th-century cities, good perfumers were held in high regard. However, Grenouille the misfit, scorned by society throughout his life, hasn't the heart to create pretty perfumes for society's elite. When he finally does earn the adoration of the masses through his twisted genius, he decides that he would much prefer to "exterminate all these stupid, stinking people from the earth." Reader Sean Barrett does not overdramatize the often sensational events here but instead relates them with a measured, detached air that perfectly captures Suskind's cool tone. Also, his reserved narrative style allows listeners to appreciate Suskind's expert use of language (passages from this novel can be found in dictionaries of similes). This extraordinary production is highly recommended for all serious fiction collections.‘Beth Farrell, Portage Cty. Dist. Lib., Ohio

"Superb storytelling all the way...the climax is a savage shocker."-"The Cleveland Plain Dealer" "A fable of crimial genius.... Remarkable." --"The New York Times" "Mesmerizing from first page to last.... A highly sophisticated horror tale." --"The Plain Dealer" "A supremely accomplished work of art, marvelously crafted and enjoyable and rich in historical detail." --"The San Francisco Chronicle" "An original and astonishing novel." --"People" "An ingenious story...about a most exotic monster.... Suspense build up steadily." --"Los Angeles Times" "Immensely seductive.... Storytelling at its best." --"The Kansas City Star" " A fable of crimial genius.... Remarkable." -- "The New York Times" " Mesmerizing from first page to last.... A highly sophisticated horror tale." -- "The Plain Dealer" " A supremely accomplished work of art, marvelously crafted and enjoyable and rich in historical detail." -- "The San Francisco Chronicle" " An original and astonishing novel." -- "People" " An ingenious story...about a most exotic monster.... Suspense build up steadily." -- "Los Angeles Times" " Immensely seductive.... Storytelling at its best." -- "The Kansas City Star"

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