Chosen as a summer read by the Guardian and Telegraph 2020
Patrick Süskind’s Perfume is a classic novel of death and sensuality in Paris
In eighteenth-century France there lived a man who was one of the most gifted and abominable personages in an era that knew no lack of gifted and abominable personages. His name was Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, and if his name has been forgotten today, it is certainly not because Grenouille fell short of those more famous blackguards when it came to arrogance, misanthropy, immorality, or, more succinctly, wickedness, but because his gifts and his sole ambition were restricted to a domain that leaves no traces in history: to the fleeting realm of scent . . .
‘An astonishing tour de force both in concept and execution’ Guardian
‘A meditation on the nature of death, desire and decay … a remarkable début’ Peter Ackroyd, The New York Times Book Review
‘An ingenious and totally absorbing fantasy’ Daily Telegraph
‘Witty, stylish and ferociously absorbing’ Observer