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Imprint: Serpent's Tail
Subject: Fiction, World Literature


Thierry Jonquet

Film by Almodovar, based on Jonquet's novel, starring Antonio Banderas to be released widely in the UK on 26 August

eBook (ePUB/MOBI)?
9781847655967 (31 Dec 2011)

About the book

Richard Lafargue is an eminent plastic surgeon haunted by dirty secrets. He has an operating theatre in the basement of his chateau and keeps his partner Eve imprisoned in her bedroom, a room he has equipped with an intercom and 300-watt speakers through which he bellows orders. Eve is only allowed out to be paraded at cocktail parties and on the last Sunday of each month, when the couple visit a young woman in a mental asylum. Following these outings, Lafargue humiliates Eve by forcing her to perform lewd sexual acts with strangers while he watches through a one-way mirror.

In alternating chapters, Jonquet introduces seemingly unrelated characters - a criminal on the run after murdering a policeman, and an abducted young man who finds himself chained naked in a dark chamber, forced to endure all manner of physical torture at the hands of a mysterious stranger, whom he calls Mygale, after a type of tropical spider. All of these characters are caught in a deceitful web, waiting to meet their fate.

About the author

Thierry Jonquet was born in Paris in 1954. An exponent of the hardboiled style of French noir influenced by post-May 1968 politics, Jonquet is one of France's best-known crime writers. Tarantula was published as Mygale by Gallimard in 1999 and by City Lights Publishers in the US in 2002. Jonquet died in 2009.


A funky, pulpy horror ... CSI meets Live Flesh

- Arena

A poisoned bonbon of a novel... I was hooked

- San Francisco Bay Area Reporter

Reads like an unholy collaboration between Sade and Sartre ... Much like Poe's "tales of terror," Tarantula is a story that invites both respect and repulsion

- Washington Post

Jonquet manages to interweave various captors and captives into an immensely clever narrative web; the prose is sober and taut, the revelations effective, and the denouement utterly perverse

- Rain Taxi

Great art in nightmarish darkness

- Michel Lebrun

Additional Information

Imprint: Serpent's Tail
Subject: Fiction, World Literature