Tarantula (novel)  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Mygale is a thriller crime novel by Thierry Jonquet first published in France by Editions Gallimard in 1984, and then published in the US in 2003 by City Lights. It was also published in English translation in the UK and North America as Tarantula in 2005 by Serpent's Tail, and it has also been released under the title The Skin I Live In, the title of Pedro Almodóvar's film adaptation of the novel. Some editions have a spider, or spider's web, on the cover.


The plot revolves around three main characters: Richard, an eminent plastic surgeon who keeps a mysterious woman thought to be his mistress, Eve, locked up in his mansion while subjecting her to extreme physical and emotional humiliation and degradation; Alex, a petty thief desperate to have his face altered after shooting a police officer; and Vincent, a young art student kidnapped by a mysterious figure he eventually calls "Mygale". After Alex kidnaps Eve in an attempt to blackmail Richard into performing the surgery, the horrors of how far one man has gone in search of revenge comes to light...

This cover has a blurb from a review from The Washington Post, calling the book, "An unholy collaboration between Sade and Sartre, with occasional comic interventions by that honorary Frenchman Jerry Lewis."


Mygale also inspired the 2011 film The Skin I Live In.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Tarantula (novel)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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