I've read a lot of books most people cannot get through. So it's rare for me to come across a book that I just cannot read. Suskind's Perfume is one of them. It's not the gross-gore factor, though that's high. I've read a lot of David Lindsey, which is way gorier. In fact, Perfume's very well-written and I'd love to check out another Suskind work. It's this guy, the protagonist Jean-Baptiste Grenouille. He's this terribly ugly unfortunate kind of soul born in direst poverty to a woman who walked away from him soon after birth, hoping he'd rot in a pile of fish carcasses. Fun start, that. Sets the tone right away. So he's moved around from orphanage to orphanage--most people can't stand him because, apparently, he doesn't smell. Not "he doesn't smell like anything human," he just doesn't smell of anything. Whoopdedoo. So that's supposed to be this huge tragedy which lays the foundation for all the terrible things that follow.
Oh wait, forgot to mention, he doesn't smell, but he can smell. He has a Nose. So he becomes a parfumier of note. This is all set in not-so-gay Paree, by the way. Eventually, he starts killing virgins, hoping to distill their scent and become zee greatest parfumier of all. I didn't get that far. I was soooooo bored.
I love to get into the heads of most characters--good, bad, downright evil, whatever. But boring, nah, that's unforgivable. Can't be a boring character and expect people to spend tres valuable time trying to figure out what you're going to do next.
Heard they're making a movie on this book. Avoid like the plague.