or The Chimerical Lodger
is still vivid in my mind - the book made quite a powerful impression on me. Although the beginning was rather slow, with depictions of mundane activities which seemed redundant, the strange happenings were not long overdue and from that moment on I couldn't put the book down. It's mesmerizing, it's intense, it's much more than a horror story.
The main character's gradual slip into insanity is skilfully orchestrated by Roland Topor, although it is a little bit difficult to identify the moment when the whole process starts. Maybe Trelkovksy was nuts from the very beginning, although it doesn't show; I definitely have to read this book again. A look at Roland Topor's surreal drawings show a glimpse of his many talents.
Unfortunately, this story is way too short for its potential. I wanted to go on and on with its surreal madness, I wished for a lot more strange things to happen in that bathroom from across Trelkovksy's window! The plot reminded me of Hitchcock, while the ending would have made David Lynch proud. I'm still not sure what I was supposed to understand from this book, if there is a definitive answer and explanation for all that was happening. But I like puzzles, for their entertaining value and because they play with my mind.
After I finished the book, I was also curious to see the movie
, which is really good and follows the book almost faithfully. Good thing it ended up in Roman Polanski's hands, a Frenchman like Roland Topor (it may not be of general interest, but I have to add that topor
in both Polish and Romanian).
To get a glimpse of the atmosphere in The Tenant
, listen to the wonderful sondtrack: