Monday, 18 March 2013

El Perfume, by Patrick Suskind, Review

"El Perfume"
By Patrick Süskind


Jean-Baptiste Grenouille is an uncommon character who is made for people that love different and excellent jobs, Grenouille is a particular and, most of all, a bizarre man whose life is not a banal one and whose desires are not the one that people use to have. Coldness is the word that describes Jean-Baptiste, that is an abominable man whose mind is a kind of wicked, however with that wicked mind he can do a lot of astounding things and those things are done by this zealous guy that during all his wretched life is looking for his place in that world that does not seem to be made for him.

This is an unforgettable character was created by Patrick Süskind in El Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (1985) who is a German writer and screenwriter, and who is recognized for this magnificent book which was made into a film in 2006 by Tom Tykwer and is the only story of his to have reached the cinema to date. With more than 12 million copies sold and translations into 46 languages, he is probably the most well-known contemporary German writer in the world. In this sumptuous book Patrick Süskind go back to the Bildungsroman that is a literary genre that focuses on the psychological and moral growth of the protagonist, that in this case is called Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, from youth to adulthood and in which change is thus extremely important.

Jean-Baptiste Grenouille a guy who was rejected since the first second on his life, neither his mother nor people would care about him, his mother was a cold woman who have killed three other sons and who did not care about killing another, that in this case was Grenouille, but, fortunately for some ones and unfortunately for some others, he did not die, he could not do it, he was unique, he was the only one in his specie. Odors were his entire life, he can describe the odor of whatever the perceive in the environment, that was striking for me I do not know, and I truly admire, the way Patrick narrate with exquisite description that is unique and that makes me feel frustrated, because I cannot describe something the way he does it, is something that impress me, since description is vivid and the story is compelling.

It was the first interesting novel that I read, I was eighteen years old and I have to say that there is not a better way to start reading good literature. I love the way it starts presenting an abominable person and you start to perceive the tasty way you get involved in this master piece and you continue reading and for me it was impossible to stop I loved the terrific way he did murder, it was full of passion and curiousness. Almost the whole book is narrated in third person and I never get fatigued of it.

El perfume narrates the story of a murderer who is mad about odors, and most of all, about teenagers odor, he starts being a poor and wretched man but, with the time and having a really low profile, he turn in an important person who people admire and he have all the power he want to, but he just want to have an odor because unfortunately he does not have one, which is a big paradox, so he decided to assassinate little virgin girls to keep her aroma and to have all them together and to have the best fragrance in the world.    

By the other hand, in terms of content, in this book we can see a lot of subjects like personal identity, self-esteem and social exclusion, those thing that everybody know but it is the most authentic way to show those aspects. In this book Grenouille in playing a game where he wants to be God because using his power of perfect smelling he could charm every human been he want to.

I recommend this book to people that really want to have a good experience a vivid experience because I think that nobody is going to be repentant about reading this outstanding book, it is without doubt a book to be desired.   

By: Ludy Tatiana Giraldo Dávila

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