Malpertuis cover image, Malpertuis. Jean Ray. Atlas Anti-Classics 5. Translated and Introduced by Iain White. ISBN 0 98 8 pp 19 x 17cm, out of print. Jean Ray’s novel Malpertuis is a strange little book indeed. It’s not immediately obvious wherein lies the strangeness, but don’t despair. Malpertuis by Jean Ray – book cover, description, publication history.
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Really, this was perfect pre-Halloween reading. I really enjoy Jean Ray’s short stories, some of which I think are masterpieces of weird fiction.
I was leaning toward a 3 star rating at this point. It appears at first to be about the peculiar inhabitants of the house of Malpertuis, in a city which is presumably Ghent in the dying days of Francophone supremacy; but in fact it turns into a peculiar confrontation between the organised Catholic church and the gods of ancient Greece.
Open Preview See a Problem? A puzzle box of a novel that can probably only be opened by stomping underfoot. Ancient pagan deities are not dead — they were captured and now live in hiding in the old dilapidated mansion named Malpertuis. Events occur that are so bizarre that Jean-Jacques doubts his own sanity. Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Not even the beautiful enigmatic Euryale.
Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you’ll like this book. Iain White Translator, Introduction. I recommend it highly.
Malpertuis itself is a manifestation of Pergatory or perhaps even Tartarus. Even worse, he maopertuis uncertain if he can trust any of the other inmates of the house. But what a pleasant surprise it was.
A wonderfully weird and humorous horror fantasy, like Poe on acid. Project Gutenberg 0 editions. I was just expecting something more brilliant and experimental, but this was e Liked the concept.
White compares Ray to H.
Status Jean Ray — primary author all editions calculated White, Iain Translator secondary author all editions confirmed White, Iain Introduction secondary author all jalpertuis confirmed Lampo, Hubert Translator secondary author some editions confirmed. As long as we read HomerVirgil and Malpertuis they will live. The darkness was stealthily drawing nearer to me.
There are, I think, four inter-layered plots. Books by Jean Ray.
Lists with This Book. Apparently the lead narrator there are a few different narrators Jean-Jacques is a Hercules-like character, half mortal and half god. My edition makes the inevitable link with H.
I starting reading this with few expectations and was very impressed. Dec 12, Jason rated it really liked it. Aug 25, Dfordoom rated it it was amazing Shelves: I wasn’t sure that the same level of greatness could jeam ac I starting reading this with few expectations and was very impressed.
Vintage Pop Fictions: Malpertuis by Jean Ray
But do people who buy rare books actually read them, or do they put them on a display shelf where they are never handled? Ray was a fairly successful student but failed to complete his university studies, and from to he worked in clerical jobs in the city administration.
The main character JJ was so bland it was hard to care or, more importantly, buy that he motivated the events that moved around him. Others have noted that it’s basically a jeaan story a bit haunted house and a bit And Then There Were Nonebut again, a singularly Extravagantly weird mid-century refitting of gothic dread around an eerie house and cast of odd characters vaguely competing for an inheritance.