This is a very original "magical fiction" book that tells the story of Grenouille, a French man from the late 18th century with some unusual traits, the most notable of which is an amazing sense of smell. It is original in the way it's being told -the focus of the book is on smells. The author skillfully uses smells to describe people, animals and even inanimate objects. Smells also describe human feelings, desires and emotions. Unfortunately, the plot of the book is very problematic, in my opinion. It appears that the author had several ideas of where he wanted to lead the book, and he toyed with a few of them during the first 2/3 of the book in a somewhat inconsistent manner. Even worse, the actual direction he eventually picked was the worst and in the end I felt quite disappointed. This is very unfortunate, because the book had a lot of potential. From the very start, even though I'm not usually into magic & fantasy, I felt that the book is very well written and is one of the most original works I've read in the past few years. Again, it's a shame that the author lost the charm along the way and ended up with an average book, whose original presentation is weighted down by a disoriented and eventually disillusioning story.