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The Perfume Burned His Eyes

Fiction: Historical Fiction; Romance; Arts & Entertainment
Unabridged   5 hour(s)
Publication date: 04/10/2018

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The Perfume Burned His Eyes

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Audio CD ISBN:9781684410668
Digital Download ISBN:9781684410675


Screenwriter and Emmy Award–winning actor Michael Imperioli presents a must-listen coming-of-age story set in New York City.

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Product Description

Matthew is a sixteen-year-old living in Jackson Heights, Queens, in 1976. After he loses his two most important male role models, his father and grandfather, his mother uses her inheritance to uproot Matthew and herself to a posh apartment building in Manhattan. Although only three miles away from his boyhood home, "the city" is a completely new and strange world to Matthew.

Matthew soon befriends (and becomes a quasi-assistant to) Lou Reed, who lives with his transgender girlfriend Rachel in the same building. The drug-addled, artistic/shamanic musician eventually becomes an unorthodox father figure to Matthew, who finds himself head over heels for the mysterious Veronica, a wise-beyond-her-years girl he meets at his new school.

Written from the point of view of Matthew at age eighteen, two years after the story begins, the novel concludes with an epilogue in the year 2013, three days after Lou Reed's death, with Matthew in his fifties.


“Imperioli lets the grit and grime of the streets infuse his delivery. With a tone of innocence and wonder in his voice, Imperioli portrays characters of the downtown music scene like the tragic temptress Veronica and Reed's transgender girlfriend, Rachel.” AudioFile

"Screenwriter and Emmy-winning actor Imperioli's first novel is the atmospheric coming-of-age story of 17-year-old Matthew, whose mother moves them from Queens to a posh apartment in Manhattan in 1976...Matt is a not an atypical teenager--think Holden Caulfield without the cynicism--but, often afraid and awkward, he is a reactor, not an actor, until the end of the novel, which, without foreshadowing, comes as a harrowing surprise...Imperioli can definitely write, and he gets high marks for the verisimilitude and empathy that he evokes in this fine crossover novel." —Booklist, Starred Review

"Imperioli's lived-in details about the city help make the world feel realistic...[The novel] is an immersive trip into its narrator's memories of a turbulent time. Some fictional trips into 1970s New York abound with nostalgia; this novel memorably opts for grit and heartbreak." —Kirkus Reviews

“Mathew’s first-person narrative is full of endearing vulnerability, immediacy, and authenticity. This is a sweet and nostalgic coming-of-age novel.” —Publisher’s Weekly

"Touching, hilarious, heartfelt, and poetic, with an ending that is crushing, bruising, beautiful...Unpredictable and sweet as well, this is a unique accomplishment." —Lydia Lunch, author of Will Work for Drugs

"This coming-of-age narrative is a fearless, towering inferno burning with raw truthfulness, stunning surprises, thrills, poetic writing, and an odyssey not just to be read, but reckoned with." —Richard Lewis, comedian, author of The Other Great Depression

Author Bio

Michael Imperioli is best known for his role as Christopher Moltisanti in the acclaimed series The Sopranos, which earned him an Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actor, five Emmy nominations, as well as numerous Golden Globe and SAG nominations. In addition to his role as a cast member, Imperioli wrote five episodes of the show.