Tarantula By Thierry Jonquet or the skin I live in

Source – review copy from serpents tail to tie in with the film coming out .

Translator – Donald Nicholson-Smith

Thierry Jonquet was a french writer ,he grew up in Paris and studied Philosophy at university ,His books were part of the well-known French book collection ” the black series “,the  collection of novels all have a noir ,feel tarantula was one of these ,Jonquet said he his main source of inspiration is the daily newspaper a treasure trove of anecdotal evidence of ,in his words the barbarity of life .I feel he does this in this book it is a little extreme in places but not too much to make it far-fetched .Thierry died in 2009 aged 55 .

The story is two tales that start separate and end up classing into a shocking stand-off in the end .The first tale is of a Parisian Plastic surgeon called Richard Lafargue ,a successful man ,but also a dark character that Keep his wife Eve locked up naked sometimes in a bedroom ,only letting her out dressed in very revealing and sexy clothing to go to parties or to perform sexual acts with people as he watches her voyeuristically get his kicks from this via a one way Mirror .He also has a secret operating theatre in his basements this is where he performs operations that he wants to keep on the hush-hush .He seems like a man who has it all but has lost his way and end up in a very dark place .

“Get yourself ready,” ordered Lafargue .”they won’t be long now ”

Eve opened a closet and undressed .first putting her own clothes away ,she proceeded to dress in long black thigh boot ,black leather skirt,and fishnet stockings ,She made herself up ,using whited face powder and bright red lipstick ,the sat down on the bed .

Eve gets ready to perform for her Husband as he sits behind the mirror .

The second trail follows a bungled robbery and the man committing it Alex barney ,we see him on the run after killing a cop ,also he needs to find a new identity this leads him to Larfargue ,they have met in passing through the book ,he ends up at the house stuck in a great stand-off between the three ,from which there lives will change .

Alex Barny rested on a camp bed in an attic room .He had nothing to do ,except wait .The chatter of the curadas in the garriage was an unrelenting racket .Though the window Alex could see the crooked silhouettes of olive trees in the night ,forms fixed in bizarre poses .

We’re introduced to Alex .

I love noir and Novellas ,so read this short book it is only 120 pages long in an evening it packs a hell of a lot into those 120 pages .Thierry shines a light on the dark corners of the human soul and how even the most professional of people can have darkness in their characters ,Eve is trapped ,she loves richard but is trapped by richard performing for him .Richard has trouble having sex so makes eve perform also likes the danger of performing secret operations .Alex is criminal and like a runaway train through the book on a course for a huge crash .The book was sold to be made into a film by Pedro Almodovar ,he read the book when it came out and want to film it over ten years .Now the film the skin i live in has just come out at this years Cannes festival the storyline in the film is far removed from the but the main thread is there the relationship between surgeon and wife ,renamed Robert legard and Vera in the film Robert is played by the well-known actor Antonio Banderas .

Have you read French Noir ?

Do you like Pedro Almodovar films ?

May 2011


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