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The Tenant

4.13  ·  Rating Details ·  1,875 Ratings  ·  187 Reviews
The Tenant chronicles a harrowing descent into madness as Mr. Trelkovsky is subsumed into Simone Choule, a suicide victim whose presence still saturates Mr. Trelkovsky's new apartment. The novel probes the depths of guilt and obsession.
Paperback, 137 pages
Published 1976 by Bantam Books (first published 1964)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Helen Stavraki
"Συγκάτοικοι είμαστε όλοι στην τρέλα
κι εγώ δεν έχω για νοίκι
φορούσε μαύρο νυφικό η περσινή μας η κοπέλα
κι ο λόγος αυτός τής ανήκει.

Ο λόγος σαπίζει καταναλώνεται
στο λόγο αυτό κουβέντα δε γίνεται
και να που ο Οιδίπποδας τυφλώνεται
και να η Σαλώμη τα πέπλα της γδύνεται
Νίκη, νίκη, νίκη"

Τι άλλο να πω για αυτή την σύντομη ιστορια παραλογισμού; Νομίζω πως έγινα σαφής. Αδιαμφισβήτητα δεν τρελαίνομαι για σουρεαλιστικές φαντασιώσεις. Δεν μου αρέσει να εικαζω την αιτία πρόκλησης καταστάσεων και να έρχεται π
Bill  Kerwin
Feb 15, 2009 Bill Kerwin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: weird-fiction, gothic

Although Topor falls a little short of the existential horror of Kafka and Bruno Schulz, he surpasses them both in misanthrope and menace without ever departing-except for what are probably Trelkovsky's hallucinations--from realistic fiction. It is as good as the movie, and in my opinion that is high praise indeed. (Note: the book concludes with a bonus of four short pieces. "A Fairy Story" is particularly nasty, and not to be missed.)
Mar 19, 2013 Forrest rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Roland's The Tenant is a sort of ragged Mobius Strip of a tale whose structural boundaries are loosely marked by Joyce's Finnegan's Wake and the Twilight Zone.

At its heart, the work reflects the difficulty of coping with social pressures brought on by modernity and the situation of living in close quarters with others in an urban environment. Trelkovsky, the main focus of the novel, moves from his studio apartment to another apartment, which was once occupied by a Simone Choule, but had been va
Nickolas the Kid
Προσωπικά το βιβλίο μου άρεσε πολύ και βέβαια εκτίμησα για ακόμη μια φορά το σκηνοθετικό ταλέντο του Πολάνσκι, που μετέφερε με μεγάλη μαεστρία στον κινηματογράφο αυτό το σκοτεινό διήγημα!

Μου άρεσε πάρα πολύ η ατμόσφαιρα του βιβλίου. Κάτι μεταξύ σουρεαλισμού και υπερφυσικού τρόμου... Και μέσα σε αυτό το κλίμα, ο Τρελκόφσκι, ένας σχεδόν καφκικός χαρακτήρας που κατατρέχεται από τις ανησυχίες του, τις ανασφάλειες του και τους περίεργους (σχεδόν διαβολικούς) γειτονές του...

Μέσα από τον προσωπικό εφι
The Tenant is Roland Topor's classic surreal novel of alienation, sexual frustration and downward spiral into insanity in a run down Parisian apartment complex on the rue des Pyrénées. Originally published in 1964, the novel has been adapted into film in 1976 by Roman Polanski - who also played the main character. I saw the film adaptation several years ago, but only now read the book - the film follows the novel closely, with only a few minor differences.

The Tenant tells the story of a man kno
Vit Babenco
Sep 29, 2016 Vit Babenco rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Tenant is somewhere between The Trial and The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka and it is full of Kafkian anxieties and fears.
Instead of the sinister bureaucratic machine, there are wicked landlord and neighbours. And paranoia is capable to change anybody into anything.
“‘I wonder what someone who could read my mind would think, if he were walking beside me now.’
This was a question he often asked himself. Occasionally, he would even play at making up problems for the unknown mind reader to solve.
Not a week ago a movie buff told me one of her favorite films is Polanski's The Tenant which I was only vaguely aware of and certainly ignorant of the book which it's based on. Yesterday, I coincidentally noticed another friend here on GR was reading the book and a quick glance at the plot was enough to get me interested. And this is pretty much the only reason I'm still a member here.

Now, I'm a big fan of surrealistic, mind-bending, psychological thrillers, so The Tenant hit home. It's as surre
Mar 27, 2008 Greg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I want to write a review, but I think anything I say will give something away that shouldn't be given away. Read this book, maybe ignore the introduction which I will review and say is terrible. The author of it knows little about books and shit about anything outside of angst. If he ever happens to come across this then I just have to say, go kill yourself, right now. Go do it, the fact that you're still living makes everything you say in your introduction sound trite and immature (do you wanna ...more
Oct 21, 2011 knig rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lets kick off with tenants here, in the plural. Not just any tenants, but those unfortunates in early twentieth century Europe. I’ve seen them three times in a row now: in Nadas’ ‘Book of Memories’, in Agayev’s ‘Romance with Cocaine’, and third time lucky: here again.

Imagine the horror: you go home, and as we all know a man’s home is his castle, his domain, his kingdom. A place to decompress and But here: or rather back there: oh no,no,no. You drop and smash a plate on the floor: Ba
May 14, 2010 Lou rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-reads, horror
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 develops a paranoia and blows the matter out of proportion in his psyche, or does he? Is it maybe just the evil new neighbors?

My first from this French writer great writing he plays with your thoughts and leaves you scratching your head and also laughing after the story is over. This will remain for a while in your thoug
Katerina Paisoglou
Με αρκετη δοση μαυρης κωμωδιας, ο συγγραφεας μας περιγραφει τις περιπετειες του νεου ενοικου ενος διαμερισματος στο Παρισι μετα την αυτοκτονια της προηγουμενης ενοικιαστριας, συντομο και καλογραμμενο το βιβλιο αυτο (εγω δεν εχω χρονο για διαβασμα αυτον τον καιρο) , αν και οχι το ειδος που προτιμω ...
Το Άσχημο
Jun 22, 2016 Το Άσχημο rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Το by: Nickolas the Kid
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Tenant=Le locataire chimérique, Roland Topor
عنوان: مستاجر؛ نویسنده: رولان توپور؛ مترجم: کورش سلیم زاده؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، چشمه، 1387، در 202 ص، چاپ نخست زمستان 1386، شابک: 0789643623370؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان فرانسه قرن 20 م، این نسخه از ترجمه انگلیسی برگردان شده است
Aug 08, 2016 KamRun rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
اگر کتابی که می خوانیم با ضربه ای سنگین به جمجمهمان بیدارمان نکند، چرا باید آن را بخوانیم؟ که شادمان کند؟ ما می توانیم بدون این کتاب ها هم شاد باشیم. چیزی که ما احتیاج داریم کتابهایی ست که مثل واقعه ای وحشتناک بر ما نازل شوند. مثل زخم مرگ کسی که بیشتر از خودمان دوستش داریم یا مثل زمانی که در جنگلهای خالی از انسان گم شدهایم. کتابها باید دیلمی باشند برای شکستن یخ درونمان. کافکا

و مستاجر دقیقا چنین کتابی ست، ناخوانده و ناگهانی چون پتکی بر سر مخاطب فرو می آید و او را دچار تنش و وحشت می کند. وحشتی که
I think those who appreciate Aickman, the more absurd Kafkaesque side of Ligotti as demonstrated in Teatro Grottesco and Camus's The Stranger will find a lot to like--I know I did. The 1966 translation I read was very fluid and natural. The style like the story itself begins unassumingly enough and gradually ends up where it does, with you--the reader--wondering: how did I (and Trelkovsky) end up here? Nice open-ended ending---is it purely psychological horror or something (even) more sinister? ...more
Nate D
Dec 01, 2010 Nate D rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: old and new tennants
Recommended to Nate D by: neighbors
Identity, paranoia, madness, and the problems of living with neighbors. Both the ones who actually live nextdoor, and in the larger societal sense, perhaps. It's better to go in blind for this strange little horror story to work its very disquieting spell, so I'll leave it at that.

Roland Topor, besides forming the Panic Movement in Paris with psychedelic cult directors Jodorosky and Arrabel, besides doing all the designs for sci-fi animation classic Fantastic Planet, besides generating endless f
Apr 13, 2015 Sara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
بعضی کتاب ها شما رو به سمت خود جذب می کنن،نیازی نیست که شما تلاشی برای ارتباط برقرار کردن با این دسته از کتاب ها داشته باشید،کتاب این کار رو به بهترین شکل انجام میده،شما رو شیفته ی خودش میکنه،طوری که تا تمومش نکنید نمیتونید کتاب رو زمین بذارید،هر کلمه و جمله و سطر،شما رو به انتها هدایت میکنه، لازم نیست که حتما اتفاق خاصی در داستان بیفته بعضی اوقات همه چیز ساده پیش میره اما بسیار شما رو درگیر میکنه.این تجربه ایه که من با کتاب ها داشتم،این کتاب هم جز همین هاست.کتاب عالی بود...
The Tenant 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
Nancy Oakes
A stunner: dark, very well written, and it made my head spin almost all the way through.

I have made a long post at my reading journal; otherwise - below is just a summary:

In this book: alienation within the context of a repressive society; the attempts at imposed conformity and the persecution of the outsider -- extremely disturbing, but in the reading world, I love this stuff. Combine that with an eventual loss of self/identity under the auspices of those who want to define exactly who and wha
Jun 10, 2016 Jenny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ολοκληρωμένη κριτική όταν τελειώσει η συνανάγνωση!
Jenny Ko
Γιατί το διάβασα αυτό το βιβλίο; Ολες οι φοβίες μου μαζεμένες! Με καταπλάκωσε αλλά μου άρεσε! Ιδιαίτερο βιβλίο!
MJ Nicholls
An effective horror tale from the ‘Groupe Panique’ polymath. For an amusing summary and sassy shtick, see this tenant. For a personal account in loving lower case, see this tenant. For more on Topor, see this tenant. For a long review in Persian, see this tenant. For 100 reasons to kill yourself right now, see the author. For a review by a man called William Van, see this future corpse. For a review by an extremely popular GR member, see this mad blinking eye twitching inside a bandaged head. ...more
May 27, 2010 Bill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Bill by: karen
Shelves: fiction, lit-fiction
really great, extremely bizarre novel about a man slowly going mad...or is he? you'll have to make up your own mind.there are 4 very good short stories at the end of the book, followed by some of the author's surrealistic drawings.this book was made into a movie by roman polanski, which i'll have to find and watch.must be a weird movie. as i often do, i have to thank karen, not only for telling me about this book's existence but actually sending me a copy.
Review edited: 11/21/2016
"He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee."


آپارتمان در این کتاب تنها نماد اجتماع سرکوبگری که انسان را به ورطهای میکشاند که از "خود" به در شده و به صورت تلویحی تبدیل به "دیگری" میشود نیست. آپارتمان می تواند نماد "مذهب" باشد یا نمادی از "خانواده". در مقیاسی دیگر آپارتمان سمبولی از ذهن خود انسان است. انسانها در بسیاری اوقات خود باعث مسخ خویشتن میشوند. "نباید"هایی که ما برای خویشتن "باید" میکنیم و به آنها تن میدهیم قادرند که از "ما"، "ما"یی دیگر بسازند. در هرحال باید توجه کنیم که مسئلهی مطرح شده در کتاب آنقدر جهانشمول است که هرکس میتواند برد
Ben Loory
Dec 21, 2009 Ben Loory rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ben by: Danielle
all these years, the tenant has been one of my favorite movies, and until a few years ago i never even knew it was based on a book. then i found out (thanks, danielle!) but for some reason i just assumed that it wasn't very good because obviously roman polanski had just used it as a template and then made all the good stuff up on the set, like all genius directors do as everyone knows! but then i accidentally read it and now i feel kind of bad, because it's perfect and brilliant, and also really ...more
Ben Winch
I haven't had much luck with French writers lately. Queneau, Vian, Topor - sometimes I'd just as soon exchange them all for a couple of books by Jean Giono, so different in tone to these zero-gravity fantasies, or for those pre-surrealists like Nerval and Gautier who really seemed to be trailblazing, not just opening up side-trails to dead ends and minor attractions. Roland Topor may be a great artist, but The Tenant, to me, is strictly sideline - something for the master to doodle in the margin ...more
Eddie Watkins
A nightmare of paranoia and obsession hovering between farce and terror told in a cool inevitable manner. Some stories seem to find their way as they go along, but The Tenant reads as completely predetermined from the beginning (as if the transcription of a dream still vivid in the mind), just as the protagonist's fate to be possessed by the former tenant is predetermined even before he rents the apartment, just as I as a reader having seen the movie knew everything that was to happen; a web of ...more
Oct 02, 2013 Khatereh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
بعد از مدتها از خوندن یک کتاب عمیقاً متاثر شدم.
مستاجر رو خیلی اتفاقی خریدم؛ حتی اسم نویسندهاش هم به گوشم نخورده بود. خط داستانی و شیوهی روایی منحصر بهفرد «رولان توپور» و البته ترجمهی گیرا و روان «کوروش سلیمزاده» همه چیز رو برای همراه شدن با و در لحظاتی غرق شدن در دنیای شخصیت اصلی، ترلکوفسکی، فراهم میکنند. خوندن این کتاب چنان ترس عمیقی از وجوه ناشناختهی انسانی در آدم ایجاد میکنه که بهشخصه خوندنش رو به هیچ کس توصیه نمیکنم. تنهایی خیلی وحشتناکه، خیلی... خیلی.
Sonia M
Jun 12, 2016 Sonia M rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
Ένας μοναχικός ήρωας, ένα άθλιο διαμέρισμα στη μεγαλούπολη και το εχθρικό περιβάλλον που κάνει την προσαρμογή σ'αυτό ολόκληρο Γολγοθά. Δε λείπει ούτε η μεταμόρφωση. Θα μπορούσε να το είχε γράψει ο Κάφκα.
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A French illustrator, painter, writer and filmmaker, known for the surreal nature of his work. He was of Polish Jewish origin and spent the early years of his life in Savoy where his family hid him from the Nazi peril.
More about Roland Topor...

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“Martians – they were all Martians. But they were ashamed of it, and so they tried to conceal it. They had determined, once and for all, that their monstrous disproportions were, in reality, true proportion, and their inconceivable ugliness was beauty. They were strangers on this planet, but they refused to admit it. They played at being perfectly at home. He caught a glimpse of his own reflection in a shop window. He was no different. Identical, exactly the same likeness as that of the monsters. He belonged to their species, but for some unknown reason he had been banished from their company. They had no confidence in him. All they wanted from him was obedience to their incongruous rules and their ridiculous laws. Ridiculous only to him, because he could never fathom their intricacy and their subtlety.” 6 likes
“Look at me, I'm not worthy of your anger, I'm nothing but a dumb animal who can't prevent the noisy symptoms of his decay, so don't waste your time with me, don't dirty your hands by hitting me, just try to put up with the fact that I exist. I'm not asking you to like me, I know that's impossible, because I'm not likeable, but at least do me the kindness of despising me enough to ignore me” 4 likes
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