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Perfume
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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

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