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About the Author

Patrick Suskind was born in Ambach, near Munich, in 1949. After a problem with his hands made it impossible for him to pursue his ambitions as a concert pianist, Suskind enrolled in the University of Munich, where he studied medieval and modern history. His first play, The Double Bass, written in 1980, became an international success, performed in Germany, in Switzerland, at the Edinburgh Festival, in London, and at the New Theatre in Brooklyn. His first novel, Perfume, became a globally acclaimed bestseller with more than fifteen million copies sold worldwide. Mr. Suskind lives and writes in Munich.


Penguin's unabridged production of this international best seller is a thoroughly captivating production. Suskind's demented protagonist, Jean-Baptist Grenouille, is a "gifted abomination" whose highly developed sense of smell could easily make him the greatest perfumer of all time. Given the general stench of 18th-century cities, good perfumers were held in high regard. However, Grenouille the misfit, scorned by society throughout his life, hasn't the heart to create pretty perfumes for society's elite. When he finally does earn the adoration of the masses through his twisted genius, he decides that he would much prefer to "exterminate all these stupid, stinking people from the earth." Reader Sean Barrett does not overdramatize the often sensational events here but instead relates them with a measured, detached air that perfectly captures Suskind's cool tone. Also, his reserved narrative style allows listeners to appreciate Suskind's expert use of language (passages from this novel can be found in dictionaries of similes). This extraordinary production is highly recommended for all serious fiction collections.‘Beth Farrell, Portage Cty. Dist. Lib., Ohio

Praise for PERFUME

"A fable of criminal genius . . . Remarkable."
--Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, The New York Times "A supremely accomplished work of art, marvelously crafted and enjoyable, and rich in historical detail."
--Ron Loewinsohn, San Francisco Chronicle "Reading Perfume is like being submerged in a dark pool of the senses . . . An original and astonishing novel."
--Campbell Geeslin, People "A strange and ingenius work of literature."
--Robert Taylor, The Boston Globe "Mr. Suskind himself is a perfumer of language . . . A remarkable debut."
--Peter Ackroyd, The New York Times Book Review "Beautifully researched . . . Brilliant."
--John Updike, The New Yorker "Immensely seductive . . . Storytelling at its best."
--Steve Paul, The Kansas City Star "Mesmerizing from first page to last . . . A highly sophisticated horror tale."
--Barbara A. Bannon, Cleveland Plain Dealer

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