Books: The Nose Knows: PERFUME


A lot of head scratching followed the international success of The Name of the Rose during the early 1980s. People whose business it is to foresee what books the public will buy were stumped; who would have predicted blockbusterdom for an abstruse murder mystery set in a 14th century monastery and written by an Italian professor of semiotics? Experts could console themselves with the thought that Umberto Eco's worldwide triumph was a once-in-a-lifetime aberration. Now, even that cold comfort seems endangered. Perfume: The Story of a Murderer is about to hit the English-speaking world after a dazzling debut in Europe. The...

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