Item description for The Tenant by Thomas Ligotti Roland Topor...
The Tenant chronicles a harrowing, fascinating descent into madness as the pathologi-cally alienated Trelkovsky is subsumed into Simone Choule, an enigmatic suicide whose presence saturates his new apartment. More than a tale of possession, the novel probes disturbing depths of guilt, paranoia, and sexual obsession with an unsparing detachment.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.3" Width: 5.5" Height: 0.7" Weight: 0.55 lbs.
Release Date Oct 1, 2006
Publisher Millipede Press
ISBN 193361806X ISBN13 9781933618067
Reviews - What do customers think about The Tenant?
Absolutely amazing. For fans of Kafka, Philip K. Dick, Terry Gilliam.. Jun 13, 2008
This book is astounding in so many ways. I wrote a short story in highschool with the same ending, the same idea, but of course Roland here beat me to it by say 40 years or so. However, that didn't stop me from enjoying it at all.
It has a meticulous, claustrophobic atmosphere develop somewhat early on in the book and it culminates in an ending that is so grueseomely fantastic, and PERFECT. Some of the perspective and other aspects of the novel remind me of Philip K. Dick.
A Chilling classic that explores the darkness of pressure and conformity. Apr 13, 2008
The Tenant is Roland Topor's fictional masterpiece. In it, he offers readers one of the most underrated protagonists in the thriller/horror genre, the ultimate outsider's outsider-as Thomas Ligotti correctly puts it in his introduction-the extremist nonconformist: Monsieur Trelkovski. This top-notch 1964 French novel is probably best known to American readers due in large part to Roman Polanski's incredibly close and respectable film adaptation of the same title, which came out in 1976 and also subsequently has gone on to become a classic horror film in its own right, often appearing on film registers and the best of cinematic lists.
Through a very ordinary plot, a powerful message is conveyed. Monsieur Trelkovski is a mild mannered, docile seeker of a new apartment in Paris, a strenuous task, because he is on the cusp of being evicted out of his old one. Through the grapvine, i.e. his co-worker, Simon, he comes across a possible vacancy in a new apartment, due to the fact that one of the tenants-a Ms. Simone Choule-has decided to "off" herself by jumping out of her apartment window. Though she does not die immediately and barely clings ro life, Monsieur Trelkovsky takes a grim initative to visit her in the hospital, and in the simplicity of inappropriate desire, he wills for her demise (though it is unspoken) just so he can be the new renter of the "apartment".
Secretly, almost guiltily, wishing ill will for someone is one thing; it is quite another matter when that ill willed intention becomes an irreversible reality, and in the case of Monsieur Trelkovski, it is at this point when his nightmare begins, because it unreservedly showcases the darkness of the human heart and somehow justifies the eye-for-an-eye mental onslaught that he, Monsieur Trelkovski, battles with as the novel progresses. And it does get bizarre.
As he moves in, he is expected to behave in a manner that is in very strict accordance with the rules of the "apartment," which is no noise, women, pets, parties or people, just him in his two room apartment accompanied by his guilty conscience and a deafening silence. As he bends the rules just a tad bit, odd and unexplainable trouble comes along his path. The acts of harassment are palpable, yet the committers of them are unseen and unheard, for they are stealthy and almost invisible. The odd happenings seem to be signals (or so Trelkovski believes) from the tenants-peer pressure-to make him correspond to their way of life. The deeds somehow alter the present-day reality as he knows, sees and feels it. Slowly, very slowly, incrementally, in fact, he gradually tries to discipline himself to the tenant's way of doing things and the "apartment," which, to some extent, has an unusual supernatural energy of its own, due in large part to the suicide of the previous tenant, Simone Choule.
The longer that he dwells on the life and mysterious death of Simone Choule as well as the unmentioned conspiracy that he firmly believes his neighbors have knowingly thrust upon him, his ultimate act of defiance against them happens via the altering of himself, his very presence and complete identity. To go on further would be a plot spoiler, but chapter by chapter on a wider scale here, Topor brings forth the disturbing insights of how to view institutions, "clicks," general matters of authority, "guises" and aspects of corrupt governments; as a writer of clean, detached prose, he widened the sense of seeing and perceiving. Monsieur Trelkovski acts as a sort of flashlight to be used by a wider audience. A great read.
An underrated mini-masterpiece Rate: ****1/2 Feb 3, 2008
Topor's drama of mental desintegration and social alienation is one of those works that never achieved success in the USA beyond cult status. It's a shame because The Tenant is a master- ful psycho-existential-drama written in a clear, elegant, concise style that lends to the text a chillling urgency and realism.Worth mention is this fine edition. Ligotti's introduction (the undisputed master of existential horror) is erudite and informative and the bonus materials are also very fine. Apart from the novel, Centipede Press gives us a healthy selection of Topor's short stories and his disturbing surrealistic art. If you like your psycho-thriller peppered with an existential bent and a distinct european flavour The Tenant is for you.
Delightfully Unsettling Dec 4, 2007
If someone were to found a church based on the exquisite terror of identity loss, Roland Topor would be an excellent choice for its high priest. And "The Tenant"--his delightfully nightmarish depiction of a gradually dissolving sense of self--should most definitely be its bible. For readers interested in venturing off the beaten-to-death path of tiresome bestseller lists, "The Tenant" (and any of Topor's bizarre short stories) offers an exhilarating, if unsettling, change of scenery.
Underrated novel gets an excellent new treatment. Jan 25, 2007
Roland Topor, The Tenant (Millipede Press, 2004)
Topor's brilliant novel, awash in nihilism, surrealism, and existential angst, is best remembered these days as the basis for one of Roman Polanski's most universally scorned movies. Millipede Press gives us a handsome fortieth anniversary edition here with an introduction by the equally talented wordsmith Thomas Ligotti, who spends twenty pages comparing Topor, favorably, to the equally absurd, but far more optimistic, Pirandello. Ligotti's introduction alone is worth the cover price, or would be had Ligotti turned it into something a bit longer (and thrown in a few Lovecraftian horrors along the way); as it is, even if you hate the novel and selected short stories (with a bit of Topor's artwork) that follow it, you won't feel like you've thrown your money away. Anything Thomas Ligotti writes is well worth your time.
Chances are, though, you're going to like what you read. Ligotti's Pirandello comparison is, of course, apt; Topor has the same sense of whimsy, but it seems disturbingly inappropriate in a book so relentlessly bleak. This, of course, only heightens the outrageousness, the effect of which is that no matter how insane things get, the reader is willing to accept just about anything. Does it work? You bet it does.
It should be no surprise that the accompanying stories here have the quality of fairy tales, and the art will be no surprise to anyone who's seen Fantastic Planet. (Monty Python fans will recognize it as well; Topor was an obvious influence on Terry Gilliam.) There's a great deal to like about this book; if you're unfamiliar with Topor, or only familiar with his film work, this edition of The Tenant is a great starting point. ****