Liked the concept The frame narratives were cool The main story itself seemed a bit underdone Certainly didn t merit the Lovecraft comparisons in terms of creepiness The main character JJ was so bland it was hard to care or,importantly, buy that he motivated the events that moved around him And I have a peev about characters just walking out of the story I was expectingfrom about Nancy, especially I was just expecting somethingbrilliant and experimental, but this was entertaining enough, and I learned a couple new words.anagyrisvulnerary of use in the healing of wounds. Extravagantly weird mid century refitting of gothic dread around an eerie house and cast of odd characters vaguely competing for an inheritance Unlike the somewhat messy film version, this succeeds in maintaining mood and intrigue, and gradually unspooling its sublimely unforeseeable plot punctuated with audacious scenes of unexpected action for the full length Others have noted that it s basically a pulp story a bit haunted house and a bit And Then There Were None , but again, a singularly weird one and escapes from being anything really reducible to either of those archetypes , with scenes of unparalleled quasi surrealist insanity Really, this was perfect pre Halloween reading I was totally satisfied.
This book was written in 1943 by Jean Ray the best known pseudonym among the many used by Raymundus Joannes de Kremer 8 July 1887 17 September 1964 The book was originally written in French and this edition was translated by Iain White and published in England According to the introduction written by White this is Jean Ray s only full length novel, what a shame Mr White compares Ray to H P Lovecraft, but I don t see the comparison This book is much muchenticing and moody.Malpertuis is a crumbling, ancient monastery where a dying warlock has trapped the aging gods of Olympus inside the skins of ordinary citizens.p75 When the moment came to cross the threshold into the street the fear seized me p113 And horrible tears began to flow p125 A weak voice, a disembodied voice was murmuring in my ears This is fantastic Gothic Literature at it s finest A hidden diamond A narrative of mystery and terror. I can t even begin to describe how much I adored this mysterious and inscrutable tale of tenebrous and awe inspiring gloom I saw the film about a year ago, and it left its mark on my soul, but I still was not prepared for the greatness that was this book, which was quite different from the film, from what I recall Perhaps I shall find it in me to write a review at some point that will do Malpertuis justice, but at this point I think I just need to let the feelings it stirred within me percolate Brilliant I starting reading this with few expectations and was very impressed This book just swims in mood, a Gothic mood of oppressive melancholy and quiet waiting, yet it s punctuated by inexplicable, horrific events that remain completely unexplained for some time.I really enjoy Jean Ray s short stories, some of which I think are masterpieces of weird fiction He also has a number of somewhat mediocre but better than average horror stories I wasn t sure that the same level of greatness could be achieved in novel form, but this is as good as his best short fiction I think I enjoyed this , with a 50,000 word novel we can become a bitengrossed.I have to mention the visual quality of this book, it s like a German expressionist film The story primarily takes place in a dark mansion poorly lit by lamps and candles, full of high ceilings, long shadows, black corridors The visuals are quite evocative.Here s a few brief samples It was a resounding, slack sound, the sound of a loosened sail, flapping in the wind And at the topmost point of the spiral staircase a star went out And then, immobile, incapable of breaking the cruel spell that held me riveted to the spot, I watched the slow death of the lamps They were extinguished one by one and, at each of these eclipses, the sound was repeated, heavy and ferocious The darkness was stealthily drawing nearer to me The upper part of the stairwell was already inky black In the lamplight a decrepit hand, wax pale, brandished a sheet of paper He was galloping through the corridors, brandishing a torch that trailed a long, red tongue of flame He was rushing from lamp to lamp, touching the flame to each wick, awakening in the darkness discs of golden light Powerless and terrified, I watched his vain struggle against the darkness of Malpertuis At first I worried this would be one of those novels where everything is explained logically at the end, but it quickly became so strange that it was obvious that that was no longer an option This book does take chances though the ultimate explanation is pretty over the top and wild, but the novel is so imaginative I let it off the hook for this It s quite unique, in some ways I can t say I ve read anything quite like it.I don t like to use the phrase page turner for something that feels like a classic, but this book qualifies I could definitely re read this one, and can tell it will be one of my best reads of the year It s exactly what I like great atmospherics and Gothic in tone but entirely unpredictable and full of surprises. A stolen canister of yellowing manuscripts yields the strange tale of a forbidding house inhabited by an eccentric cast of the human, the quasi human, and the decidedly inhuman To step into Malpertuis is to traverse the descending darkness as unseen shadows sweep in to extinguish the lamps To cross the threshold is to risk a hardening of one s limbs To ascend the staircase to the uppermost floor is tantamount to surrendering one s soul Yet the heady redolence of rose and amber swirls around you Those green eyes, how they flicker like flames You belong here, with them, your family and the other so called inhabitants, peculiar and downright fiendish though they may be Malpertuis, after all, is your homeand when you are away it calls to you, as age old forces call restless migratory creatures across great distances You cannot resist its stagnant allure and so you return to it one last time before you flee for your life.Jean Ray s Malpertuis is a glowing work of supernatural Gothic fiction, displaying on every page the exotic spiced fruits of over 10 years labor in writing and revision Ray s prose envelops the reclining reader in a fragrant cloud of pipe smoke, and once ensconced I found myself loath to clear the air I read the majority of this in one sitting, and it was with great pain that I was torn from its spell only to endure the mundanity of a midday repast taken in the close confines of an establishment teeming with humanity Returning thence with much haste, I slipped once again under the power of Ray s creeping dread, where I held fast til the grand denouement, all the while thinking back on the long days spent cloistered in Malpertuis The first phantom to rise up before me was that common to all sequestered livesennui .Day in, day out it rained, and at certain times the downpour would take on the character of a raging deluge.There was no counting upon the garden and its repulsive mysteries to distract myself from the dismal and silent hours I spent in the house The leafless branches of the trees clashed together the rain lashed earth erupted into blisters and pustules that broke and dissolved into mud during the brief spells of respite, when the branches and the twigs as it were drew breath, one could hear the surly, lapping sound of the waters of the pond. An astonishing post modern Gothic novel that has to be readthan once, seriously, to be understood and appreciated When I say you must re read it, you must you will simply not get it all if you don t.Brush up on your Bullfinch too. I didn t have any idea what to expect before reading this but did so solely on the basis of a recommendation from someone whose judgement I trusted and I knew nothing about it or the author But what a pleasant surprise it was.It was quite a complex narrative structure, with four embedded narratives within the main one, and a big cast of characters that took time for me to get my head around but once I had settled in, this book was a pleasure to read Gothic prose, macabre similes, a creepy atmosphere and bizarre character and plot developments sustained my interest throughout The shadowy, intriguing mystery of Malpertius was gradually unveiled but its precise nature only revealed at the end although there were many clues and hints throughout.In some ways, it felt older than it actually is published in 1943 and I would recommend this to all fans of classic horror And I am certainly inclined to read someof his work if I can find it Although it will have to be short stories as I believe this is his only novel. (Ebook) Þ Malpertuis õ A Manuscript Stolen From A Monastery, The Ancient Stone House Of A Sea Trading Dynasty, Which May Be Haunted These Are Familiar Ingredients For A Gothic Novel, But Something Far Strange And Disconcerting Is Taking Place Within The Walls Of Malpertuis As The Relatives Gather For The Impending Death Of Uncle Cassave The Techniques Of H P Lovecraft, When Transplanted Into The Suffocating Catholic Context Of A Belgium Scarred By The Inquisition, Produce In Jean Ray S Masterpiece A Story Of Monumental Intensity From Which Events Of Startling Ferocity Break The Surface Without Ever Lessening The Suspense Of The Tale S Approaching Apocalyptic Denouement Men are not born of the whim or will of the gods On the contrary, gods owe their existence to the belief of men Should this belief wither, the gods will die.Quando dicono che questo un romanzo straordinario lo si deve intendere in senso letterale fuori dall ordinario un romanzo WEIRD perci contemporaneamente fantasy, gotico e ironico Fatica ad ingranare nelle pagine di Jiji Jean Jacques Grandsire , per il plot twist finale vale assolutamente la pena Mi meraviglio che non ne abbiano ancora fatto un film moderno quello del 71 probabilmente non stato nemmeno doppiato Questa analisi non mia, ma la linko per non perderla