- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: Centipede Press (October 1, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 193361806X
- ISBN-13: 978-1933618067
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,179,939 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Tenant Paperback – October 1, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
But please, don't read Donna Di Giacomo's review on this page; I have no idea what she was thinking while writing it, but she pretty much fills it with SPOILERS for 75/80% of the novel, laying there for any unsuspecting readers to find and I have no idea why the amazon staff that usually checks these reviews before public viewing gave it the green light.. Fortunately for me I finished the book long before finding that spoiling wreck, but others might not be that lucky, and this is a very good book to have it mercilessly ruined like that.
I've long been a fan of the 1976 Roman Polanski film and often wondered why it was so obscure. After reading Topor's novel, I had to appreciate how beautifully Polanski translated this very complex and disturbing work to the screen. Comparing it with the movie you realize Polanski left out only what he absolutely had to, and that wasn't much.
At the outset it seems that Trelkovsky is an average joe who lives in a world of material necessity, habitual discourtesy from others, and bullies. Actually I think this is kind of the point of the novel and the movie: that we inhabit a world of discourtesy, ugliness, and any sensitive or kind impulse we possess will slowly be beaten out of us by the harshness of the people we encounter. We are all bullies to an extent, but the bigger ones will eventually discover us and dictate our lives for us.
We realize fairly quickly that Trelkovsky is not an average joe at all, at least not after moving into Monsieur Zy's apartment. Topor does an amazing job of making the most revolting monsters out of otherwise unremarkable characters; more of his work really needs to be translated, because this is as good as anything Gogol or even Kafka achieved in bringing out the menacing, grotesque qualities of daily encounter. He is mercilessly scrutinized by his neighbors who are, it seems, anal retentive to the point of insanity and are the kind of people who go out of their way to torment an impoverished woman with a disabled child.Read more ›
In 'The Tenant', a young man named Trelkovsky needs a new apartment. As they are scarce in the city, he feels lucky to find one recently vacated - by a female suicide. Once settled, he tries to conform to the building's standards, but right away, his neighbors begin chastising him for the slightest noise. He alters his behavior to placate them, and avoids his friends to keep them from visiting - and making more noise. Weeks later, someone burglarizes his apartment, and steals his personal items. Slowly he becomes a cipher; and the fiends surrounding him conspire to change him into the person they want him to be - a copy of the woman who previously occupied the apartment. Even more sinister, they will continue until he suffers the same end as she.
Trelkovsky divines their scheme and at first he effusively complies, hoping they will be satisfied with the transformation alone.Read more ›
Through a very ordinary plot, a powerful message is conveyed. Monsieur Trelkovski is a mild mannered, docile seeker of a new apartment in Paris, a strenuous task, because he is on the cusp of being evicted out of his old one. Through the grapvine, i.e. his co-worker, Simon, he comes across a possible vacancy in a new apartment, due to the fact that one of the tenants-a Ms. Simone Choule-has decided to "off" herself by jumping out of her apartment window. Though she does not die immediately and barely clings to life, Monsieur Trelkovsky takes a grim initative to visit her in the hospital, and in the simplicity of inappropriate desire, he wills for her demise (though it is unspoken) just so he can be the new renter of the "apartment".Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A quick intriguing read by Roland Topor, to be used along with the Roman Polanski film, The Tenant (1976).Published 13 months ago by Bartok Kinski
This book by the late great Roland Topor reads like a really good episode of The Twilight Zone. The story focuses on a character named Trelkovsky, who is in desperate search of an... Read morePublished on May 31, 2013 by Thomas W.
What an intriguing tale of sorts, a man a new tenant, quite normal at first seems to descend into another world and takes what he sees and hears around his new surroundings and... Read morePublished on October 28, 2010 by Lou pendergrast
I equate reading this short novel with watching one of those advant-garde European films that center on the psyche of a not-so-normal individual as this person pits himself or... Read morePublished on February 12, 2010 by Flash
What an excellent book! I was really surprised by just how much I enjoyed it. Following the descent of the main character into a paranoid madness was fascinating, especially since... Read morePublished on August 14, 2009 by Megan N. Woodrum
I should mention that I'm not a big fan of existentialism. As many reviewers have noted, the novel is often best described as existentialist horror. Read morePublished on March 12, 2009 by Aaron Polson
This book is astounding in so many ways.
I wrote a short story in highschool with the same
ending, the same idea, but of course Roland here
beat me to it by say 40... Read more
Topor's drama of mental desintegration and social alienation
is one of those works that never achieved success in the USA
beyond cult status. Read more
If someone were to found a church based on the exquisite terror of identity loss, Roland Topor would be an excellent choice for its high priest. Read morePublished on December 4, 2007 by Parci A.