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Publisher's Summary

Matthew is a 16-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 18, 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 50s. 

©2018 Michael Imperioli (P)2018 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

What listeners say about The Perfume Burned His Eyes

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  • 10-12-19

Especially great performance to go with an engrossing story

Michael Imperioli wrote a fascinating novel about teenage confusion, love, manic depression, art, and everything else confusing about the word when you’re 16. His performance was as exceptional as the story he wrote. Loved it.

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Very Cool

As great an actor as Michael Imperioli is, he might be an even better writer. This book was intense and pulled me into a different world.

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My new favorite novel

Agh !!!! The novel itself is transcendent: blunt and candid while simultaneously so articulated and masterfully worded. Michael Imperioli’s narration just perfects the story. Personally, I am partial to physical copies of novels, big this is an exception. I think I need more time to process the story’s content before I write a more in-depth review, but I would 100% recommend this book. Listening to this audio is an entire experience. I hope to see more literature from Imperioli in the future!

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Brilliant

Deep, cutting, real, salvational. I wept at the end of this beautiful book. The young are so often dismissed. Michael Imperioli speaks for every tortured adolescent and teenager.