I’m getting to this one a little bit late, and I probably wouldn’t have read it all if someone at my writer’s group hadn’t talked about it. Well I’m glad he did because what a little gem this turned out to be.
Perfume has the strangest premise I’ve come across in years: it’s set in the 18th Century and tells the story of one Jean-Baptiste Grenouille. Borne and raised in poverty, he would’ve probably died an anonymous, crippled pauper, if not for a number of rather unusual traits: he has a sense of smell that goes beyond comic-book superhuman, a raw, untrained intelligence to match, and sociopathic streak that allows him to kill without the slightest twinge to his conscience. You’ve probably already gathered that you’re not going to like him very much, though when you read his reasoning behind it, you might just think there’s a perverse kind of purity in what he’s attempting to do, even while being quite appalled. Continue reading “Book review: Perfume”