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Malpertuis (Atlas Anti-classics) Paperback – 20 Apr 1998

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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Atlas Press (20 April 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0947757988
  • ISBN-13: 978-0947757984
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 522,430 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


The English translation of a work of gothic horror.

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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A. C. Walter on 15 May 2001
Jean Ray's "Malpertuis" was his only novel-length work and the product of many years of revision. Though the novel was clearly an important milestone for Ray, it is also surprisingly lucid and well-paced, not at all overworked. The novel's multiple narratives and "Chinese box" structure are intricate but not distractingly complex. The prose is evocative yet spare, with a minimum of purple passages--hardly enough, in fact, to qualify the story as part of the Gothic tradition. Much of the time Ray spent on the book was clearly dedicated to a careful process of polishing.

Any attempt at summarizing the scope of the novel reveals just how necessary it was for the author to hone a fluid style for this story. The novel's central conceit involves several related manuscripts which are organized for us by one of Jean Ray's alter ego rogues, a well-educated thief who stole the manuscripts from a monastery. With his preface, epilogue and occasional interjections, the thief acts as our textual guide, arranging the narratives into a comprehensible structure. Ostensibly, his only goal is to organize the text for greatest clarity, but in fact his true goal, or Ray's true goal--perhaps there is no difference--is to position the story's pieces to evoke the maximum possible dread.

The oldest of the manuscripts presents a short, cryptic tale of a sea voyage and a foreboding vision of the numinous, planting a massive supernatural mystery at the heart of the novel. However, the central narrative takes place several decades later and relates the adventures of young Jean-Jacques Grandsire. The additional narratives serve essentially to draw links between these two stories.
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Amazon.com: 2 reviews
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Alfredo R. Villanueva - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This is a first time for me, going from the movie, which I loved, to the book. I had never even heard of Jean Ray; now I desperately want to read everything I can find by him or on him. Malpertuis is a modernistic masterpiece in the Gothic horror genre. The story combines magical realism, science fiction, horror narratives and amazing scholarship in Greek mythology and medieval lore. Now that I have finally found it and read it, I am buying the movie (which I had rented). For a descrption of its convoluted plot I refer the reader to Wikipedia. All I can say: it's a must read!
1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
is that good? I went to a psychiatrist once or twice ... 5 Dec. 2014
By dave jones - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
its rumourd my IQ is around 98 or so... is that good? I went to a psychiatrist once or twice in HS. He told my mom I was sensitive. Whats that mean? sensitive.. Sensistive to what? Huh? ok ok got straight A's and then straight F's... straight U's next TIMEmostly S's...what u mean Sister Heartache what u mean? BACK TO MALPERTUIS... BUY IT... READ IT... DECIDE FOR YOURSELF ... uhTHINK FOR YOURSELF... DON'T GET INTO FIGHTS... NO I DID NOT KEEP MY HANDS TO MYSELF... now I do, Malpertuissesse...hands stray
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