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Patrick Süskind Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Publication Order of Short Story Collections

Three Stories and a Reflection (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
On Love and Death (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Plays

The Double Bass (1981)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Patrick Suskind
Patrick Suskind was born March 26, 1949 in Ambach, Bavaria. He is a German screenwriter and writer that is best known for “Perfume: The Story of a Murder”. The novel was adapted into a film that was directed by Tom Tykwer.

Patrick’s dad was Wilhelm Emanuel Suskind, a journalist and writer, who worked for the newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung and is famous for being the co-author of the well known publication “From the Dictionary of an Inhuman”.

Patrick attended school in Holzhausen, a tiny Bavarian village. His mom worked as a sports trainer, while his older brother Martin E. Suskind is a journalist, too. Patrick has got many relatives from the aristocracy in Wurttenberg, making him one of the descendants of the reformer Johannes Brenz and the exegete Johan Albrecht Bengel.

After his qualification testing for university and the mandatory community service, he studied modern and medieval history at the University of Munich and in Aix-en-Provence from 1968 until 1974, but he never graduated. Having been funded by his parents, he relocated to Paris, where he wrote these primarily short and unpublished pieces and some longer screenplays that were not made into films.

In the year 1981, Patrick had his first major success with “The Double Bass”, a play, which had originally been conceived as a radio play. During the 1984-85 theatrical season, this play had been performed more than 500 times alone. The only role is that of this tragi-comical orchestra musician.

Patrick, during the 80s, was a successful screenwriter for the television productions of “Kir Royal” and “Monaco Franze”, among some others. For “Rossini”, his screenplay that was directed by Helmut Dietl, he won the Screenplay Prize of the German Department of Culture in 1996. He rejected some other awards, like the Toucan Prize, the FAZ-Literaturpreis, and the Gutenbergpreis.

“Perfume” has been translated into 49 languages and has sold over 20 million copies around the world to date. It is one of the bestselling German novels of the 20th century. The title remained on bestseller lists for about nine years and got almost unanimously positive international and national critical acclaim. The novel was translated into English by John E. Woods. It won the PEN Translation Prize and World Fantasy Award in 1987.

Patrick lives in Munich, in Seeheim (on Lake Starnberg), and in France at Montolieu, as a recluse. The public knows very little about him, since he has withdrawn from literary society entirely and he doesn’t grant interviews or allow himself to ever be photographed.

“Perfume” is the first stand alone novel and was released in 1985. Patrick’s classic novel provokes a horrifying examination of what happens when one man’s indulgence in his greatest passion (his sense of smell) leads to murder.

In the slums of France during the eighteenth century, Jean-Baptiste Grenouille (an infant and an unloved orphan) was born with a sublime gift, an absolute sense of smell. While he’s still a boy, he lives to decipher the odors of Paris, and he apprentices himself to this prominent perfumer that teaches him the ancient art of mixing herbs and precious oils.

However Grenouille’s genius is such that he is not just satisfied to stop right there, and gets obsessed with capturing the smells of objects like freshly cut wood and doorknobs. And then one day he catches a hint of a scent which is going to drive him on this ever-more horrifying quest to create an “ultimate perfume”, which is the scent of this beautiful young virgin.

Told with a dazzling narrative brilliance, this is a hauntingly powerful story of sensual depravity and murder.

Kurt Cobain listed the book among his favorites, having read it ten times, and the song “Scentless Apprentice” was inspired by the novel. Till Lindemann (of Rammstein) also loves the book and wrote a song (called “You Smell So Good”) about the novel.

“The Pigeon” is the second stand alone novel and was released in 1988. Set in Paris, this novel is Patrick’s disturbing and tense follow up to “Perfume”. This novella tells the story of this day in the meticulously ordered life of Jonathan Noel (bank security guard), who has been hiding away from life ever since his wife left him for her Tunisian lover. The story takes place over just a single day in this man’s life.

Jonathan opens up his front door one day that he’d assumed would be just like any other, he encounters not the desired empty hallway but a diabolical and most unwelcome intruder. it is one that prohibits him entrance to his private sanctuary.

This story drew comparisons to the works of Edgar Allan Poe and Franz Kafka upon its release.

“The Story of Mr Sommer” is the third stand alone novel and was released in 1993. A story that deals with memories of childhood in a German village. One boy’s village childhood with all of the traditional attributes: mom and dad, sister and brother, a house on a lake with tree climbing, music lessons, going to the races, a crush on a girl, a bicycle. It’s bedeviled by the mystifying appearances of the eccentric Mr. Sommer.

Moving through the landscape in silent haste, like some man possessed, with his long, strange looking walking stick and an empty rucksack, Mr. Sommer runs like a black thread the young boy’s days.

This book is related to the author’s own childhood which he spent in a village on Lake Starnberg, then reviewed at around the age of forty.

“On Love and Death” is a non-fiction book that was released in 2006. In this essay collection, Patrick reveals the hidden source of his mesmerizing an obsession with the darkly erotic connection between death and love.

In this thought provoking and witty meditation on these two elemental forces of human existence, he brilliantly draws on scenes that are as mythical as the stories of death conquered through love in the narratives of Jesus and Orpheus. As contemporary as a young couple having oral sex in a traffic jam, and as literary as Thomas Mann’s discovery of forbidden love at an advanced age.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Patrick Süskind

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