Very short synopsis:
The Book of Lost Fragrances fuses history, passion, and suspense, moving from Cleopatra’s Egypt and the terrors of revolutionary France to Tibet’s battle with China and the glamour of modern-day Paris. Jac’s quest for the ancient perfume someone is willing to kill for becomes the key to understanding her own troubled past.the ancient perfume someone is willing to kill for becomes the key to understanding her own troubled past.
In a nutshell:
I read it in: English
I liked it: Not really, it was a DNF
For people who like: Not sure, I didn’t get past page 45.
My thoughts (remember, it was a DNF for me, so take it with a grain of salt):
I got this book after I received an email specifically about this book from Netgalley and thought it looked and sounded interesting. Ancient Egypt, Cleopatra, a fragrance, what is not to like?
The first chapter is set in Egypt when Napoleon’s men discover an unusual tomb with a mummified couple and a fragrance so powerful, only a glimpse (or rather a tiny sniff) causes the men present to get rapterous and have visions of past love. This turned me off quite a bit, not because I don’t like the idea per se but it seemed extremely similar to Patrick Süskind’s “Perfume”. If we had been told (maybe we are, I will never know) that that fragrance was manufactured with the help of a dozen murdered virgins I wouldn’t be in the least surprised.
Anyway, then there is a chapter about the main character Jac who has always had visions and they are still plaguing her. I am sorry to say that
a. I can’t stand visions in general, I am not for psychic mumbo jumbo, and
b. visions are too easy a way to link otherwise unconnected things and resolve them.
Then there is a chapter about two Chinese discussing the recent problems between China and Tibet concerning the re-incarnation of a lama.
That was when I realized that the blurb above was not exaggerating. Ancient Egypt, the psychological problems of a Franco-American perfumer and all the other topics thrown together were just too big a hodgepodge of ideas and just didn’t do it for me.
However, if you like complicated stories with lots of storylines (that come together at the end, or so I have heard) and haven’t read “Perfume”, this might be the right book for you.
Product info and buy link :
|Title||The book of lost fragrances|
|Author||M. J. Rose|
|I got this book from||Netgalley|
|Buy link||Buy The book of lost fragrances|
If you click on the buy link above you will be taken to The Book Depository.co.uk. If you buy the book through this link I will earn a small commission. You can find my general affiliate links to The Book Depository, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com here.
Have you read this book? What did you think of it? I would love to hear other opinions.
Read this post on The Book of Lost Fragrances at Beth Fish Reads