George Simenon's devastating tale of misfortune, betrayal and the weakness of family ties, translated by Anthea Bell.
Instead of the detail filling itself in and becoming clearer, it seemed to escape him. The face of the man in the ill-fitting coat just misted up so that it hardly looked human. In theory this mental portrait was good enough, but now it was replaced by fleeting images which should have added up to one and the same man but which refused to get themselves into focus.
The circumstances of Monsieur Gallet's death all seem fake: the name the deceased was travelling under and his presumed profession, and more worryingly, his family's grief. Their haughtiness seems to hide ambiguous feelings about the hapless man. In this haunting story, Maigret discovers the appalling truth and the real crime hidden behind the surface of lies.
Georges Simenon was born in Liège, Belgium, in 1903. Best known in Britain as the author of the Maigret books, his prolific output of over 400 novels and short stories have made him a household name in continental Europe. He died in 1989 in Lausanne, Switzerland, where he had lived for the latter part of his life.Anthea Bell is the award-winning translator of numerous French and German works: from the Asterix comics to W. G. Sebald's literary masterpiece Austerlitz.Audible will be producing all 75 Maigret titles. The next audiobook in the series is: The Hanged Man of Saint-Pholien on 2nd January 2014.
©2013 Georges Simenon (P)2013 Audible Ltd
"Compelling, remorseless, brilliant" (John Gray)
"One of the greatest writers of the twentieth century... Simenon was unequalled at making us look inside, though the ability was masked by his brilliance at absorbing us obsessively in his stories" (Guardian)
"A supreme writer... unforgettable vividness" (Independent)
Painter, musician, bibliophile...
On June 27, 1930 Maigret is called to inform Aurore Gallet that her husband, Emile, a commercial traveler, has been found murdered. The lady is grand, puts on airs, and doesn't make things any easier for Maigret, who is in no mood for what he suspects is another tedious case. But the mystery takes on darker possibilities when it becomes known that Emile Gallet has been living a second, secret life.
That story is nothing new and could be quite predictable. But in the hands of Simenon, it becomes a creative, vital story that kept me interested right to the end. I am continually stunned at the way he can conjure up an entire character or atmosphere with the perfect, brief description. His style is deft, his storytelling original, and his characters utterly realistic. This is fiction worth reading if you enjoy crime and detection, old school style.
Anthea Bell's translation is outstanding, as is Gareth Armstrong's narration.
Love having someone read me a story. Fires in the hearth, rain on the roof, sunny days and surf. Good friends, good food and J S Bach.
I expect I will up this to a 5 rating after a second listen
From the local Inspector's dismissal of this 'most uninteresting murder' and Maigret's expectation of a routine investigation to Maigret's report on the murder we are truly led through a shifting mirage.
Set in 1930 France, there is both careful investigating and world weariness as counterpoints. As listener you may well guess this and that but for me the story is in the story. It is in the homes, the hotel rooms, the bars and restaurants, the streets. trains, bridges and the people who are moved through the investigation.
So there is no great car race. shooting spree or jumping out of tall buildings but an unfolding of the why and how. The truth does come out of the shadows and the story lingers.
"One of the best Maigret booksl"
This was a good reading of one of the better plotted Maigret books. I think you either take to Maigret, and the evocation of a particular kind of France, or you don't. If you do, then you will overlook the occasional repetious and clumsy writing in favour of an engrossing immersion into a vanished world.
Maigret dominates the book: the other characters are drawn dispassionately. You understand them, but you don't like them.
I gave the reading full marks: it's a bit hard to say what makes a good reading, but it was well paced and somehow Gareth's voice suited the Maigret world.
All the Maigret books seem to me to be emotionally chilly. You are interested in his world, but not engaged with individual characters.
I've gone back to the Maigret books after a long absence and am enjoying them. I've got a bit fed up with serial killers and convoluted plots and these score with me because of the atmosphere they build up and because Maigret himself is sympathetic. They aren't perfect - sometimes the writing is slap dash, though it can also be very evocative, particularly of place. You won't enjoy them if you like fast paced thrillers, but you will if you like crime fiction which takes you to a different place and time.
"Excellent as always"
Again an excellent story. Excellent narrator very good characterisation thoroughly good read well listen
A perfect voice for these books
"An Excellent Listen"
I don't think there was anything I didn't like about this audiobook. The reading was excellent, the characters well brought out and the story engaging. Perhaps you can guess the solution before the end but it is still enjoyable to listen to because of Maigret's quiet outrage whenever someone behaves as they do in this story. I also loved the first book in this series and have just downloaded the third.
I just love the Maigret books and this was read perfectly - very atmospheric of France in that era. A great detective story.
An excellent narrator made this story alive and evocative of time and place. The character of Maigret is as large as life as he works through the heat of the summer days. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys detective novels of the Golden Age. A satisfying story. Well crafted.
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