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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It’s quite difficult to get hold of and I eventually picked up a copy of the Atlas Press translation on eBay. No library mappertuis found. The main story itself seemed a bit underdone.

I did not read this. That’s all I can say without spoiling it. Basically Cassave was once a powerful occultist and alchemist.

Vintage Pop Fictions: Malpertuis by Jean Ray

However, by the end of the book the events and their delirious quality started to make sense. Books by Jean Ray. A narrative of mystery and terror. I just didn’t get the point of the whole thing, and while the atmosphere was creepy nothing at all happened and I got bored of it. Jean Ray, where have you been all my life? Malpertuis by Jean Ray Other authors: A puzzle box of a novel that can probably only be opened by stomping underfoot.

Haven’t read it, but I was quite taken with the early ’70s film adaptation, starring an ailing Orson Welles. Jul 25, Joel Ayala Alicea rated it it was amazing. Not even the beautiful enigmatic Euryale. The upper part of the stairwell mapertuis already inky black.


Atlas Press Anti-Classics – Malpertuis – Jean Ray

Does he exist in the past, or on another timeline? Then things really get bizarre.

Later he also joined the monthly L’Ami du Livre. Brush-up on your Bullfinch too. 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.

I have to mention the visual quality of this book, it’s like a German expressionist film. It is puzzling at first but quite fascinating.


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. The story primarily takes place in a dark mansion; poorly-lit by lamps and candles, full of high ceilings, long shadows, black corridors.

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.

Sure, it all made sense at the end, but there should have been more clues earlier on so that I could have picked up the symbolism. The novel Malpertuis is written in a highly readable style and at time wild and funny. He bequeaths all of his enormous fortune to those present on one condition: In some ways, it felt older than it actually is published in and I would recommend this to all fans of classic horror.


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I can’t think of how I could describe its plot without falling into nasty spoilering, so I’ll just say that you get into a strange house with uncanny people in it, and nothing is rsy it seems, nothing at all. Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Iain White Translator, Introduction. 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.

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 malpertuid stirred within me percolat I can’t even begin to describe how much I adored this mysterious and inscrutable tale of tenebrous and awe-inspiring gloom.

The book was originally written in French and this edition was translated by Iain White and published in England. Malpertuis is a crumbling, ancient monastery where a dying warlock has trapped the aging gods malpertuuis Olympus inside the skins of ordinary citizens.