Reviewed by J. G. Renaldy ChandraPerfume by Patrick Suskind
Born in 18th century France, Grenouille had the finest nose in the world. But he had no personal body odour. His nose was so fine that he can untangle the scent of Paris.
Once, when he was watching a fireworks show in the streets, he smelled a scent. A scent that was more beautiful than any other scent, more alluring than the finest perfume. He followed the scent to its source. Then he found that the source was a girl. He killed the girl and took away her scent, sniffing her whole body until her scent was his.
Later on in his life, he learnt how to make perfumes, how to extract scents from things. And suddenly, he had an idea, to create the greatest perfume in the world.
A perfume so great that the whole world will kneel under the user.
The novel is actually already made into a film which will be released around March maybe. It's a great book, even though I found the story a bit deranged, but really worth reading.This is one of the most exciting books I have ever read. Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky
I have to say that for me, this book is one of the greatest books I have ever read. This book was translated from French to English.
The book itself was intended to be a 5-part "symphony" by the writer. She wrote it around 1941, when the Germans occupied France. There are only 2 parts of this book finished while the 3 others left unfinished. It was because the writer was captured and killed (or died from disease, I'm not sure) by the Nazis. It was said that this, what was supposed to be a 5-part novella, was inspired by Beethoven's 5th symphony. This book was never discovered until 64 years after the author died. It was written in a notebook which her daughter kept. She never read it because she thought it would be too hurtful. But when she decided to donate the book to a museum, she finally brought herself to read it, and inside she found one of the greatest literary treasures.
The first part of the book was called A Storm in June
. It tells a story of groups of people fleeing Paris because of the invasions. It paints a vivid image in your mind of what was happening then, and combined with a cast of wonderful characters, it created such a great book.
The second part is called Dolce
. This one tells you a story about after the invasion and life in a village under Germany's occupation, how enemies lived side by side, and how the Germans (enemies) were portrayed as human beings no different from all of us.
In the Book there are also 2 appendixes. The first one contains the author's notes on the rest of the books and the situation of France back then. The appendix contains much of her plan, the plot and the character she was going to use. The second appendix is a collection of letters by the author and other letters by her husband and friends. It shows how hard they tried to save the author, yet failed.
It really pains me that Suite Francaise is not finished. If it was to be finished, for me, it will be the equivalent of Beethoven's The 5th symphony. The Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
(Editor's link to author's site here
I have read your blog, and found out that you've read Tracy Chevalier's work, the one called The Lady and the Unicorn
. I've read all of her works, and to tell the truth, this book is my favorite.
It tells a story about old Holland (I can't remember the year), and about the life of Griet, a young woman wired to be a maid in the house of the famous painter Johannes Vermeer. Then the story revolves about her life at the house, how Vermeer later asked her to be his personal helper without anyone else knowing. And later, he painted her, creating the famous painting "Girl with a Pearl Earring".
The book is filled with Griet's internal conflicts, and the author actually manages to paint such a vivid picture of what was happening.
The book has been made into a film, starring Scarlet Johanssen and Colin Firth. It won a few Oscars in 2004. Blindness by Jose Saramago
This is a disturbing story about Blindness. How would you feel if, one second you were waiting for the green light on the road, then suddenly everything went white. White, not black. This new blindness, called the white blindness, spreads like a horrible contagious desease. And soon everyone becomes blind except for one person. An eye doctor's wife.
In this book, you will be taken into an imaginary world, seeing chaos through the eyes of a simple doctor's wife. Seeing all the horrible things happening. Seeing Blindness.
This is a very intriguing book. It is disturbing, yet it keeps you reading until the last page. It is truly a great book.The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
This one is about a girl who lived in the era of the Nazis. After being separated from her family and later adopted into a new family, she quickly adapted to live in her new place. She found comfort and shelter in words printed in books. Later, a Jew came to her house asking for help to hide him somewhere in the house. The father accepted him. And so began a strange relationship between a Jew and a little girl.
This book is really really good. And the unique thing is that most of the story was told by Death. This book teaches us about the power of words and that we are all nothing without words.