Surreal Fiction takes place in our world- the "real world" and "sane world." But prepare to be shocked because the things that go down are twisted, psychedelic, schizophrenic and macabre. It injects humdrum everyday life with a much-needed dose of bizarre fantasy, letting imagination skyrocket through boundless terrain.
This is the story of the Binewski family, a conspicuous clan of monstrosities who travel the country as a family circus. Papa Binewski intentionally bred his offspring to be mutant freaks by dosing his wife with toxic chemicals and drug cocktails during her pregnancy. From his point of view, there was no better way to guarantee his babies a lifetime of security and financial freedom than to make them be born with an appearance so"miraculous" and extraordinary that wherever they went, people would pay just to gape at them.
"Like most babies smell like butter,
his smell smelled like no other.
He was born scentless and sensless,
he was born a scentless apprentice..."
Perfume is a gruesome, picaresque allegory of an olfactory genius. Though his nose is so sensitive that he can distinguish the smells of the doorknob, the lamp and the chair in any room he walks into, he is completely lacking in sensitivity of the personal kind. His vulcan-esque lack of social emotion and complete inability to relate to others have made him ostracized and hated by his community, but his remarkable nose has brought him fame none the less. He stays locked away in his laboratory, creating heady and tantalizing perfumes. These scents are like none the world has ever experienced and anyone who gets a whiff of one is whipped into an intoxicating frenzy of lust and olfactory pleasure.
The stoic savant lives in a world shaped smell but by a cruel twist of fate, he was born without an odor of his own. As an infant his wet nurse refused to feed him because he never cried and his skin lacked the sweet buttery smell she was accustomed to finding on babies. She suspected him to be satan spawn and crossed herself in his presence. Throughout his life, this lack of a personal scent has been deeply troubling to him. He has no sense of identity! So he begins stealing the body odors of other people.
...And any perfume maker knows that in order to take the scent of a thing, one must first take its life.
Rocknerds will be intrigued to note that Kurt Cobain was a huge fan of this book. The quote at the beginning of this blurb is from the second track on In Utero.