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Archive for September 2009

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer. Patrick Suskind.

It's a stormy Saturday here in Manila as I type this. I was supposed to go to a book club meeting for this book but the weather is absolutely horrible and my house is slowly flooding because of the storm, I might as well just post my insights on the book as I join in an online discussion instead of a real-life one. *sigh*

Anyway, Perfume is a novel that was originally written in Germany by author Patrick Suskind. It is set in France, in the 18th century. A young boy was born with an extraordinary sense of scent. His mother, a young woman selling fish at the market, had tried to kill him, being her fifth child [none of her other children had managed to make it], by abandoning her in the fish guts after she gave birth to her.

Unfortunately, Grenouille cried, making the buyers wonder where the crying was coming from, saw that Grenouille's mother tried to kill him, and thus ended up being hanged to death by trying to abandon her baby.

Grenouille as an orphan was then sent to different nurse-maids, all of which tried to get rid of him because he was drinking more milk than the usual baby, and for some reason, Grenouille had a power to make people uneasy around him. He eventually ended up at an orphanage, and when he was old enough, was sent to a tannery.

Whilst in the orphanage, he realized of his extraordinary gift, and one day, as he was working in the tannery, he began to smell new things in the streets of France. Until a chance encounter with a virgin ended up with him trying to preserve scents, as the virgin's scent was powerful.

Grenouille learned that he had no scent of his own, so he wanted to create the most perfect scent, and decided he should become a perfumer's apprentice to learn the secrets of the trade. From a perfumer, he had learned that the ultimate perfume should have 25 notes [13 notes in the movie version], killing virgin women and eventually concocting a scent that could move the world.

Naturally Grenouille got caught. But he used his ultimate perfume to sway the minds of the people who judged him to think that he was innocent, freeing him. Eventually he went back to his native Paris, where he was eaten alive when he poured all the perfume in him. Errr. Eww.

I've seen the movie and it remained loyal to the book, it did have very slight differences but nevertheless it was true to form.

The book was quite graphic and gruesome. The movie was quite subdued & interesting [then again I saw the movie at a cable channel so they must have cut out all of the gruesome parts]. The guy playing Grenouille is quite cute!

As part of a question in the book club if Grenouille had a hump --> from what I know, Grenouille did not really have a hump, he always stooped and has a bad limp so it may have the impression that he has a hump?

Good book. I loved the historical aspect of it [me being very partial to historical fiction], and the very detailed descriptions of the surroundings in 18th century France.

I'd give it a 4/5 rating!

My copy was bought during the Fully Booked Sale. Quite a pricey book but then again its historical fiction as well, so worth an investment?

Winner of Cleopatra's Daughter

It's the 16th in Manila, and nearly the 16th in the West Coast of the US so it's time to announce the winner for my giveaway.

Using a random line picker from http://mytexttools.com/Random-Line-Picker.html

The winner of Cleopatra's Daughter is:

I will send you an email later tonight when I get home. Congratulations! :)

New Moon - Stephenie Meyer.

Book # 2 of the Twilight Saga. Bella is a human, while her boyfriend is a vampire.
In the first book, their relationship survived without Bella getting killed, but during her birthday party, Edward's brother, Jasper, tries to attack Bella when she gets a paper cut [she is such a klutz]. Edward was mortified, and decided that in order to protect Bella and not hurt her, his family decides to leave Forks, Washington, to move someplace else, leaving Bella and their relationship behind.

While Edward was gone, Bella finds herself attached to Jacob, a Quilleute boy who was living in the reservation. At first, Jacob was just a normal boy, until he transforms into a werewolf. Isn't Bella such a magnet for paranormal creatures?

She was getting to grips with choosing Jacob over Edward, until one day, Alice Cullen finds herself back in Forks, asking for Bella's help to get Edward back from Italy.

So who would Bella choose? Jacob or Edward? [As if it isn't obvious already]

Thoughts: [may contain spoilers]
- This book is so much better than Twilight. I loved that Jacob's character was well-defined and has a backstory on how he became a werewolf. I also loved the way Bella and Jacob's friendship was defined, and how he helped Bella move on to a life without Edward [and her stopping to be so whiny and pathetic about not being with Edward]. Jacob and Bella's little "romance" was soooo cute, it made me smile just imagining how they would look like on the big screen this November [not to mention Taylor Lautner is definitely hot].

My most favourite part of the book was about the Volturi -- a clan of ancient vampires living in Italy. They are said to be the "royal family" of campires. They are an interesting group of people, how their very strong and not to mention, unique powers made them the feared vampires as they were and how they punish the other vamps who go astray and not follow the basic vampire rules.

One thing that I didn't like was Bella "casting" Jacob off when Edward came back to Forks. Seems like Jacob was just the rebound guy. Oh, poor Jacob! [And yes, I am team Jacob, can't you see?]

I would definitely read the next book in the series, Eclipse, once I've got the time. I also cannot wait to see New Moon in the big screen in November! I'd love to see Jacob in the book screen and see how the movie compares with the book.

Overall, I'd give this book a 4/5 rating.

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