Books

Perfume

Patrick Süskind

Patrick Süskind's Perfume is a classic novel of death and sensuality in Paris, published as a Penguin Essential for the first time.

'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 fantastic tale of murder and twisted eroticism controlled by a disgusted loathing of humanity ... Clever, stylish, absorbing and well worth reading' Literary Review

'A meditation on the nature of death, desire and decay ... a remarkable début' Peter Ackroyd, The New York Times Book Review

'Unlike anything else one has read. A phenomenon ... Everyone seems to want to get a whiff of this strange perfume, which will remain unique in contemporary literature' Figaro

'An ingenious and totally absorbing fantasy' Daily Telegraph

'Witty, stylish and ferociously absorbing' Observer

Perfume

Patrick Süskind

Survivor, genius, perfumer, killer: this is Jean-Baptiste Grenouille. He is abandoned on the filthy streets as a child, but grows up to discover he has an extraordinary gift: a sense of smell more powerful than any other human’s. Soon, he is creating the most sublime fragrances in Paris. Yet there is one odour he cannot capture. It is exquisite, magical: the scent of a young virgin. And to get it he must kill. And kill. And kill …

The Pigeon

Patrick Süskind

Set in Paris and attracting comparisons with Franz Kafka and Edgar Allan Poe, The Pigeon is Patrick Süskind's tense, disturbing follow-up to the bestselling Perfume. The novella tells the story of a day in the meticulously ordered life of bank security guard Jonathan Noel, who has been hiding from life since his wife left him for her Tunisian lover. When Jonathan opens his front door on a day he believes will be just like any other, he encounters not the desired empty hallway but an unwelcome, diabolical intruder . . .

Biography

Patrick Süskind was born near Munich in 1949 and studied medieval and modern history at the University of Munich. His first play, The Double Bass, was written in 1980 and became an international success. His first novel, Perfume was also an internationally acclaimed bestseller and continues to be considered a classic.

He is also the author of The Pigeon and Mr. Summer's Story, and a coauthor of the enormously successful German television series Kir Royal. Patrick Süskind lives and writes in Munich.