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Mygale (City Lights Noir) Paperback – January 1, 2003
Intrusion: A Novel
A loving couple, grieving the loss of their son, finds their marriage in free fall when a beautiful, long-lost acquaintance inserts herself into their lives. Learn More
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"...Jonquet's prose is rough hewn, the panache is all in 'Mygale's' bizarre setup, gruesome scenarios and gender bending ending." -- St. Petersberg Times, Jan 12, 2003
Watch your skin crawl with this slim French tickler... -- East Bay Express, July 30, 2003
Original Language: French
Top Customer Reviews
The mystery slowly unfolds in this intriguing tale of revenge. Lafargue has shackled Eve on to him in a rather unique manner. Although the plot device starts to become apparent about halfway through the book, the originality of it nonetheless allows MYGALE to maintain the steam through to the end. Despite her hatred of Lafargue and her humiliation at his hands, Eve cannot go back to the life she once knew.
Along the way we meet Alex, a thug on the run after killing a cop. His story becomes interwoven with that of Eve, Lafargue, and Lafargue's daughter, who is confined to a mental institution. The loose ends come together tightly as we learn the full truth of what has happened.
I picked up MYGALE as it is published by the same noir division of City Lights Books that published a couple of excellent thrillers by Jean-Patrick Manchette. MYGALE lacks the action of Manchette's books and is more subtle and psychological in nature.Read more ›
I gave it four stars, because I began to glimpse the answer to the mystery about halfway through the book. But the story is fascinating in its weirdness, the characters are twisted but somehow likable enough, and the story presents an idea so bold and original as to be shocking by the time it is revealed. Even if you somehow saw it coming.
Four years later, with Vincent still missing, in a strange twist of fate, Alex robs a bank and kills a police officer. With his face caught on tape, police distribute Alex's picture throughout France. To escape, Alex will require a new identity.
While in hiding, Alex watches a television documentary on plastic surgery, performed by Dr. Lafargue. He decides to stalk the physician.
After gathering information on the doctor's home, clinics, and mental institution that houses his daughter, Alex breaks into the physician's home and kidnaps his female companion, Eve. Alex imprisons Eve in a cellar and threatens her with bodily harm unless Dr. Lafargue performs plastic surgery on him.
Without giving the story away, this is a dreadful tale of the doctor's rage, hatred, and disturbing retribution that ripens into affection for his prisoner.
Thierry Jonquet's story, which is one-hundred and twenty-nine pages, will grip and surprise you. I found the story agonizing, but very well written.
Is it better than the film? In many ways, yes. I think Pedro Almodovar had the right idea to make his thriller more of a companion than an adaptation, and so you'll encounter few characters who weren't in the film, but they will have (for the most part) completely different pasts and relationships with the other characters.
What I really liked was the portions where the narrative from Eve's perspective. You would think it would spoil some of the story that way, but it shows her progress into stockholm syndrome. The end was somewhat anti-climatic, but also ironic and beautiful.
It's so short though, but you really can't fault it there. It has the ability to never end, so that it was snipped down to less than 200 pages is commendable.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bought as a gift for Ophelia, friend out of the country (personally, absolutely **not** my choice of books)..Published 9 months ago by Silvia Ohana
I watched "The Skin I Live In" before reading the book. I think if you read the book then watch the movie, you might like it better.Published 19 months ago by S. Ward
Now mix it with obsession and a touch of madness, and it turns utterly twisted and bizarre.
"Mygale" takes the psychological thriller to an entirely new level. Read more
I bought this book because it is the basis for Pedro Almodovar's movie, "The Skin I Live In," which I found fascinating. Read morePublished on July 31, 2013 by ginger
Mygale by Thierry Jonquet; translated from the French by Donald Nicholson-Smith
Dr. Richard Lafargue (Mygale) is a prominent Plastic Surgeon in Paris. Read more