Monday, 8 April 2019

2 BY GEORGES SIMENON

A couple this week from the 1950s and prolific Belgium born author, Georges Simenon.























Simenon is probably best known for his Inspector Maigret books, of which there are a few - 75 according to Fantastic Fiction.

According to Wikipedia......Georges Joseph Christian Simenon; (13 February 1903 – 4 September 1989) was a Belgian writer. A prolific author who published nearly 500 novels and numerous short works, Simenon is best known as the creator of the fictional detective Jules Maigret.

Simenon was one of the most prolific writers of the twentieth century, capable of writing 60 to 80 pages per day. His oeuvre includes nearly 200 novels, over 150 novellas, several autobiographical works, numerous articles, and scores of pulp novels written under more than two dozen pseudonyms. Altogether, about 550 million copies of his works have been printed.

I've read one! Maigret's Dead Man (1948) back in 2017 - thoughts here.
Only 499 to go.


The Stain on the Snow (1953)

At nineteen, Frank Friedmaier is thief, pimp and murderer. He has never known his father, his mother keeps a brothel. His mind is cold and inhospitable. But Simeonon reveals the obsession with self torture that lurks within it, and explores the intricate psychology of a young criminal, even lending the repellant Frank a chilling grandeur as he faces remorseless interrogation and his fate. A bleak and brilliant masterpiece from Simenon at his superlative best.












Act of Passion (1952)

For forty years Charles Alavoine has sleepwalked through his life. Growing up as a good boy in the grip of a domineering mother, he trains as a doctor, marries, opens a medical practice in a quiet country town, and settles into an existence of impeccable bourgeois conformity. And yet at unguarded moments this model family man is haunted by a sense of emptiness and futility.
Then, one night, laden with Christmas presents, he meets Martine. It is time for the sleeper to awake.

9 comments:

  1. Simenon was definitely one of crime fiction's most influential writers, Col. And yes, prolific. It's interesting you're choosing non-Maigret books this time - I'll be interested in what you think of them.

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    1. He is someone I've ignored for a while Margot. If you can call reading 30 years in the genre a while! I might try another Maigret or two, at some point but I'll see how these go first I think.

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  2. I really do want to have a Simenon binge at some point. Jose Ignacio has been reading stacks of them recently, as I'm sure you know, and every time he talks about the latest to be devoured I make myself a resolution to find the time, one day soon, honest . . .

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    1. Good luck with that avenue of reading, John. I don't reckon I'll immerse myself as much as Jose.

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  3. Col – My copy of THE STAIN ON THE SNOW is titled THE SNOW WAS BLACK. I read it a long time ago, but recall the darkness of the story. The Maigret’s are much lighter fare. BTW, don’t know if this is true but I’ve read that as a publicity stunt, Simenon once sat with a typewriter in a department store window so people could watch him cranking out a novel.

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    1. I hadn't heard that story before, Elgin. It's quirky enough to be true.

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  4. I have a few of the Simenon novels and a few of his stand alone novels and I don't know why I don't read them. They are all very short. It is amazing that he wrote so many books. I did read some of his novels when I was younger and liked them, but only remember one of them and it was a stand alone.

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    1. I've only read the one and considering they are particularly long, I don't know why I haven't tried more myself.

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