Book vs. Movie – Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

VS.

This summer I read the 1985 book by Patrick Suskind and watched the 2006 film. I finally have time to compare the two/

PLOT/STORY

This much of it was true for both. It’s 18th century France and an orphan is born with an extraordinary gift of smell. Grenouille was different the moment he was born, even the other orphaned kids attempted to kill him. But he’s smart and manages to survive and even secure a job with a well respected perfumer in Paris. He becomes obsessed with capturing the scents of women and learns all he can about distilling. He kills his first woman in Paris because he wants to possess her scent. He must go on to a smaller town to learn more, but has some years of crazy in a cave first. Once he reaches the small French town his plan to come up with the perfect transcendent scent is born and no one is safe.

The book was much more inside of Grenouille’s head and that’s just not a place I wanted to be. Thumbs up- movie

VISUAL

The way that Suskind described Grenouille’s world was perfection. I may not have wanted to be inside Grenouille’s head, but the words that aroused the senses made the book come alive for me. Thumbs up- book

CHARACTERS/ACTORS

Hands down the best part of the book OR the movie was Dustin Hoffman as the perfumer and Alan Rickman as Richis. They both enhanced the roles. Ben Whishaw was a good lead and true to the character in the book. Thumbs up – movie

THE ENDING

The fact that the movie actually accomplished the village-wide orgy at the end gives it the definite edge. Thumbs up- movie

And the winner is...the MOVIE! Although this is a beloved, bestselling book, the movie didn’t creep me out me like the book did.

Other book vs. movie polls you can still vote on: (The Sun is Also a Star) (Good Morning, Midnight/The Midnight Sky) (Before I Go To Sleep) (The Little Prince) (Charlie St. Cloud) (Far From the Madding Crowd(The Girl on the Train) (Tuck Everlasting)  (Northanger Abbey) (Me Before You) (And Then There Were None) (Still Alice) (The Blind Side) (The Fault in Our Stars) (The Hound of the Baskervilles) (Gone Girl) (Jack Reacher) (Ender’s Game) (Carrie, the original) (Under the Tuscan Sun) (The Secret Life of Bees) (The Shining, the original)

This Week in Graphic Novels

My graphic novels reading month has been going well. In addition to the books below I also listened to 2 audiobooks in series I follow. The Fallen by David Baldacci is #4 of the Amos Decker series. Amos and Jamison are visiting her sister and Amos wastes no time in finding dead bodies. He does what he does and uncovers one conspiracy after another. Great listen, especially if you are familiar with run down towns suffering from the opioid crisis. Night School by Lee Child is #21 of the Jack Reacher series and takes place when he is still in the military. A nice diversion from the nomadic Reacher, but I could have done without the scene involving a woman and mule having relations on a stage for a group of cheering men. That was a real low point of the series for me.

I also reviewed The Good Kings by Kara Cooney for a book tour, Loved it.

We watched the miniseries Midnight Mass on Netflix. Have you seen it? It seemed all eerily sinister in the beginning and then turned absolutely insane. Can’t say I liked it but it was quite a ride.

Days 2 and 3 of my graphic novel reading have been…interesting? I need to be more careful with my next choice!

Beverly, with is spartan illustrations started normally with a story about teens working in the summer and ended with a story about Beverly the masseuse. They were all loosely connected and followed a timeline of sorts. Strange, somewhat disturbing, and beyond my ability to really appreciate. 134 pages.

Everything is Beautiful, and I’m Not Afraid is a fictional graphic novel inspired by real life. How much truth I don’t know, but it reads like a memoir. A young immigrant comes out as bi to her conservative Chinese family and she becomes lost, no longer knowing where home is. I loved the art and wanted to love the ‘story’ more than I did. I’m sure this would appeal more to the reader going through similar issues with family and finding self worth.
Ah, that’s more like it. A graphic novel-ish that gave me some happy reading. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse were lovely creatures to spent some time with. I loved the art and the ideas, some more than others, and when I read this to my 11 year old he appreciated the humor of the mole 🍰. Here are some thoughts from the book…

“What do you think is the biggest waste of time?”
“Comparing yourself to others.”

“One of our greatest freedoms is how we react to things.”

“Asking for help isn’t giving up,” said the horse. “It’s refusing to give up.”

“Sometimes I worry you’ll all realize I’m ordinary,” said the boy.
“Love doesn’t need you to be extraordinary,” said the mole.

I am in love with this puzzle! I’ve never done one with a velvet finish and took a bit to get used to, but the extra dimension it gives to this piece of art is gorgeous. Clement Mmaduakor Nwafor is the Nigerian artist. Thanks for a perfect puzzle @completingthepuzzleofficial

Today’s book is Afar, a YA sci-fi/fantasy featuring a girl who can transport into the bodies of people on other planets in her sleep and her brother who gets into trouble but gets a monkey out of it 🐒. I enjoyed the art and the storylines and can see this appealing to many teens. Perfectly done! (Thank goodness after my first few days of graphic novel month)
When the newest Jerry Pinkney came in the library I knew had to read it. Pinkney died last month at the age of 81 after illustrating over 100 children’s books.

This is the story of The Welcoming Chair, beloved children book author Rosemary Wells’ family heirloom that tells the story of the American immigrant. From her preface…

“America’s door is open to suffering people from foreign lands,” my dad told me. “It’s America’s fundamental generosity of spirit that makes her hold her head high in a world of trouble. And it will always be so.”

‘My father’s words were true until recently. Lady Liberty’s message is today challenged by those who want to shut that door.

This book is based in part on my own family’s legends, as told to me by my grandmother Marguerite Leopold Bamberger and as passed down to her from her grandmother Ruth Seigbert’s diary.’

Wonderful story and gorgeous illustrations.
My two favorite days of graphic novel month so far! Two classics = so good.

I read Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale by Renee Nault and was blown away by how good it was. I have never read the book, seen the movie, or watched the current miniseries. Still, as a person who loves books I knew what it was about. The art was gorgeous and there was just enough information, never too much to insult the reader, to draw you in and keep the pages turning excitedly. In a dystopian world women are again second class citizens and forced into designated roles where they must stay. The handmaids serve one purpose only, to bear children. The question of who a woman’s body belongs to takes center stage. It was fantastic ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery is by her grandson Miles Hyman. This story I knew. Lotteries are held in each town once a year and the ‘winner’ gets an extra special prize. Haunting and beautifully adapted with a special forward by Hyman telling some memories of his grandmother. Loved it! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

If you have a reluctant classics reader, let them start here. 📖

I couldn’t do a graphic novel month without including some serious award winning classics. I read these two outstanding books by Art Spieglman (the first winning the Pulitzer Prize in 1992).

It’s the story of the Holocaust based on Spiegelman’s interviews with his survivor father and also of his life with his father as he got older. He, his father, and the other Jewish people are depicted as mice and the Nazis as cats.

So moving, both as a Holocaust history, but also a relationship story between father and son. One I’m not going to forget anytime soon.

The Good Kings by Kara Cooney

The closest I’ve ever come to Egypt is Italy or staying in the Luxor in Las Vegas 😁. But Ancient Egypt continues to fascinate even after all this time. Take an art history class or visit a museum and you are introduced to its importance.

This new book by Egyptologist Kara Cooney, The Good Kings: Absolute Power in Ancient Egypt and the Modern World covers 5 pharaohs and their authoritarian rules – Khufu, Senwosret III, Akhenaten, Ramses II, and Taharqa. More importantly it links their ruling styles to what we can see in today’s world. Her writing style makes this accessible to all.

I love books that make me look at things in a new way. The patriarchy many are fighting against today is nothing new, but it’s chilling to see some of the parallels between then and now. Cooney holds no punches, which I appreciated, but it’s also sure to make some people reject some of her analyses. Calling propaganda and cults out for what they are might make those involved with them cry foul. I am not one of them and I appreciated her insight.

Read it to see the world a different way and to see well known ancient Egyptian kings through a lens less rosy than before. I found it fascinating.

Thank you TLC Book Tours for getting this book in my hands and letting me be a part of the book tour.

Review Stops

Tuesday, November 2nd: Man of La Book

Wednesday, November 3rd: Books, Cooks, and Looks

Thursday, November 4th: What Is That Book About

Friday, November 5th: 100 Pages a Day…Stephanie’s Book Reviews

Monday, November 8th: Stacy’s Books

Tuesday, November 9th: Instagram: @jenniaahava

Wednesday, November 10th: She Just Loves Books

Thursday, November 11th: Instagram: @literannie

Monday, November 15th: Instagram: @createexploreread

Tuesday, November 16th: Jathan & Heather

Wednesday, November 17th: A Bookish Way of Life

Thursday, November 18th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

Friday, November 19th: Write – Read – Life

October favorites and November reading plans

Can you find my five favorite reads of October?

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. What if every choice you made led to a different life, a different you and it was happening simultaneously to your life right now. What if you were able to visit The Midnight Library and try on each of these lives to see if you preferred them to the one you’re currently living. So goes the story of Nora Seed.

Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin. I love the 1968 movie Rosemary’s Baby and I finally got around to reading the Ira Levin novel.

Rosemary and Guy move into the Branford in NYC having heard of some of its more infamous past residents. They are befriended by an older neighbor couple and their relationship starts to change. When Rosemary becomes pregnant it’s not at all what she expects and she becomes even more isolated.

A perfect psychological horror story.

Life is Good by Trixie Belden. This book made my day. Any fan of Dean Koontz knows how much he loves dogs, especially his golden retriever Trixie. Trixie decided to write a book when she realized that some humans weren’t as happy as dogs were.

This book was so, so sweet. I loved it, even reading some passages out loud to Jason making him laugh too. If you have ever loved a dog, get your eyes in this book so you can feel the slobbery kisses as you read.

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager. Sager’s take on a haunted house, was a perfect listen as I worked on a puzzle late into the night. Maggie’s father had made their family famous with a memoir about them escaping their house after being attacked by ghosts. Now that he’s dead and the house is hers Maggie goes back to ready the place for sale and perhaps bring back memories from when she was 5. Is Baneberry Hall still haunted? Was it ever? I really liked this one!

The Dollhouse Murders by Betty Ren Wright. This felt like a throwback to the stories I used to love as a kid, no surprise there since it was originally published in 1983. Twelve-year-old Amy is too often relied on to take of her special needs sister. She is able to escape to her aunt’s creepy house where she discovered a dollhouse in the attic. While she’s thrilled, her aunt is not and tensions rise between the two.

This middle school story gave me all of the good stuff. It was a book about growing up and learning to navigate friendships and family and to believe in yourself enough to believe in ghostly spirits. Yes, there are ghosts, but the ones that help set things right. A fun story for tweens. Loved it!

November intentions with today’s read. I had 5 books sent to me for review this month, but 2 of them had their publication dates pushed to next year. A sign of the times I guess. The rest of the month I’m reading GRAPHIC NOVELS! I went to the library and pulled most of these off their shelves, but if you have one that I just need to read let me know.

For today I read Thoreau: A Sublime Life. I mentioned when I read The Midnight Library that I loved Thoreau and it had been too long since I’d read him, so it’s no surprise this was my first choice. I loved this one. It’s not all encompassing, obviously, but the Foreword and the last section written by a professor with details and pictures, were perfectly done to make this feel like a book of importance.

The illustrations told the story, with some pages having no words at all. There were a few significant interactions that put his life into focus. As a freethinker and abolitionist his life in the 1800s still calls people to his readings today. He is more than just Walden and if you’re not familiar than this is a good place to start.