Monday, July 30, 2012

Das Parfum

I finished reading Perfume yesterday. My good friend Chrissie chose it for book club years ago when we were setting the whole book club service up (there are now 55 book clubs over our region). She had absolutely loved the book. We have quite different taste in books so I wasn't sure how I would enjoy it but I find that I loved it unreservedly as well. As I'm sure I have mentioned a hundred times, I read, largely, for character, setting and language. There are no genuinely likeable characters in the book (many are absurdly amusing), the setting is France in the seventeenth century and plays only a minor role but the language is beautiful. I wanted to read it aloud to myself, and sometimes did.

I saw the film version a number of years ago, before I could love Ben Whishaw for Bright Star, but picturing him as Grenouille may have helped. As well as the language, I was simply astounded by the story which just seems so clever, so unusual - a child born in a world of extraordinary stench, with no odour at all but who lives for scent alone. So good.

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