Perfume

The Story of a Murderer
Narrated by: Nigel Patterson
Length: 9 hrs
4.5 out of 5 stars (373 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In the slums of 18th-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 fresh-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 brilliance, Perfume is a hauntingly powerful tale of murder and sensual depravity.

©1985 Diogenes Verlag AG; copyright 1986 by Alfred A. Knopf (P)2018 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books
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A personal favourite

Perfume is one of my favourite books of all time, and I can honestly say that I’ve been waiting years for audible to release a production of this story, and it was absolutely fantastic!
Suskind’s prose is so eloquent, and Nigel Patterson’s vocal quality and dynamics embody the tone of the story and brings its characters to life in such a pleasing way. I will definitely be taking advantage of the fact that this is in my library now.

This is truly a beautiful book. A dark take on Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey.

9 people found this helpful

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This is an unusual, highly entertaining story.

IGNORE THE COVER ART. It's Not a romance novel. It's unlike anything you've read or heard. I Gaurante you'll never have come across this subject matter. I read it in 1985 when it first came out in English- I had to ignore the cover art then, too. When I saw it on Audible, I remembered the essence of the plot- and how much I'd enjoyed it, for the wonderful imagery and intriguing story. I'm glad I got it for a long drive down the North CA coast- in the rain. The narrator "has it" - it's how I'd hear it in my head (if I could pronounce French nouns). Delighted to find another author to follow. I've listen to an average of 5 audible books a month (since about 2001) which is a bunch of books. So I have trouble finding new books via the search function. So I now follow narrators regardless of the genre (who knew I'd like sci-fi?) or how much I dislike the cover art. (See the 1st of the Joe Ledger novels. loved the narrator- was put off by the cover) If you're looking for a romance novel, don't get this.




7 people found this helpful

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  • 12-29-18

A Classic

I've read this book three times and I always discover something new. I put it in the same league as Dracula Frankenstein and I am Legend.

4 people found this helpful

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LOVE This Book

I've never been so sensory-assaulted (in the best kind of way) in my LIFE!

If I were to tell you that an author could use scent to unsettle you and fill you with suspense, you'd never believe me.

Until you read this book.

Nigel Patterson did a great job narrating as well!

3 people found this helpful

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How many ways can u pronounce Grenoille ???

Answer: 25! Nigel the narrator has at least a dozen two syllable versions and as many three syllable versions! It was distracting to say the least to hear the dozens of versions while listening and all I could wonder is why the name grenoille in the first place? How does the word for “frog” in French relate to the story ?
Sadly it must not and if it does, we are never told. Since “names” are central to the concept of identity - and this book seems a quest for identity - the name grenoille which is repeated a thousand times throughout the book, with no apparent connection to the identity or soul of the protagonist , leaves me with a complete disconnect!
I think the author missed a way to make his own point!
In other words
, if this book is about a quest for identity (even a psychopaths) then why does his name have no bearing or connection to his quest? And why can’t the narrator just stick to one pronunciation of the name ?

2 people found this helpful

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Recommended by Kurt Cobain...

...and holy crap, it did not disappoint!! so many messages packed into incredible descriptions of a fantastic, almost mythological world. Mimics the seasons of life, all the while with startling and unexpected twists and turns, and shocks. The poetic descriptions ranged from delicious to horrifying. Not simply a story about an emotionless murderer, but also touching on the power of charisma (and it's dark side), the fickleness of humanity, and even the nature of being famous. I can see why Kurt was drawn to this work, as a child of pure talent who came out of a shitty place and rose to the height of fame, and how that fame affected him and his view of society and people.

1 person found this helpful

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Intriguing & captivating!

Having just been to Grasse, FR this summer... I found this book to be so captivating! The writing is so descriptive of the sense of smell! Which was unbelievably intriguing and unusual. I absolutely love this book!

1 person found this helpful

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Eh....

The weirdest book I've listened to in a while. I kept expecting there to be more of a climax but it only happened at the very end of the book. Kind of slow for my taste.

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Exquisitely Enthralling!

I was captivated from the opening sentence to final closing. A lush mosaic of words, language, and smell. A fabulous reader on an unusual creative story. Worth every second of the journey.

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Absolutely Thrilling!!

I saw this movie on Netflix and the book is sooooo much better had me on the edge of my seat the entire time !!! Truly captivating !!