Mike's comments - I wanted to pick out a book which was unusual and would lead to a lively discussion. I feel this book meets those qualifications. It's only 255 pages long and is a quick read so hope you will give it a chance and come join me on September 10th. (Note - this book was an international #1 best seller)
Summary from an amazon.com customer:
In 18th century France, Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, born with no scent of his own but with with a supernatural ability to detect the scent of others, is driven to murder in order to create the perfect perfume. This extraordinarily original premise encompasses the most elegant, aristocratic and erotic novel I have ever read. Flawlessly written and drenched in irony, Perfume tells a haunting tale of a man reminiscent of the Phantom of the Opera, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, Beauty and the Beast (beast), and even Faust. And finally! A writer with enough talent to let us experience Grenouille's thoughts and emotions. Although, of course, identification with him is impossible, (Grenouille is the most chilling character in literature) I did manage to understand Grenouille's all-consuming passion, much to Suskind's credit. Suskind's prose is lush and evokative (the decadance of 18th century France simply comes alive). Perfume is a bizarre tale, but it is also lyrical and hypnotic--almost a fairy tale of terror. If you're looking for something different, something special, I highly recommend Perfume.