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Georges Simenon - book author

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.

He is best known, however, for his 75 novels and 28 short stories featuring Commissaire Maigret. The first novel in the series, Pietr-le-Letton, appeared in 1931; the last one, Maigret et M. Charles, was published in 1972. The Maigret novels were translated into all major languages and several of them were turned into films and radio plays. Two television series (1960-63 and 1992-93) have been made in Great Britain.

During his "American" period, Simenon reached the height of his creative powers, and several novels of those years were inspired by the context in which they were written (Trois chambres à Manhattan (1946), Maigret à New York (1947), Maigret se fâche (1947)).

Simenon also wrote a large number of "psychological novels", such as La neige était sale (1948) or Le fils (1957), as well as several autobiographical works, in particular Je me souviens (1945), Pedigree (1948), Mémoires intimes (1981).

In 1966, Simenon was given the MWA's highest honor, the Grand Master Award.

In 2005 he was nominated for the title of De Grootste Belg (The Greatest Belgian). In the Flemish version he ended 77th place. In the Walloon version he ended 10th place.

Georges Simenon is the author of books: Pietr the Latvian, Dirty Snow, The Man Who Watched Trains Go By, The Blue Room, The Train, The Yellow Dog (Maigret #5), Maigret Sets a Trap (Maigret, #48), The Hanged Man of Saint-Pholien (Maigret, #3), The Late Monsieur Gallet (Maigret, #2), Three Bedrooms in Manhattan

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Author Books

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01
A gripping new translation of the first novel in the famous Inspector Maigret series

What he sought, what he waited and watched out for was the crack in the wall. In other words, the instant when the human being comes out from behind the opponent . . .

Who is Pietr the Latvian? Is he a gentleman thief? A Russian drinking absinthe in a grimy bar? A married Norwegian sea captain? A twisted corpse in a train bathroom? Or is he all of these men? Inspector Maigret, tracking a mysterious adversary and a trail of bodies, must bide his time before the answer comes into focus.

The first book in the brand new Penguin Simenon series featuring brilliant renderings by some of today's best translators from French, Pietr the Latvian introduces the intrepid Inspector to a new audience.
02
Nineteen-year-old Frank Friedmaier lives in a country under occupation. Most people struggle to get by; Frank takes it easy in his mother's whorehouse, which caters to members of the occupying forces. But Frank is restless. He is a pimp, a thug, a petty thief, and, as Dirty Snow opens, he has just killed his first man. Through the unrelenting darkness and cold of an endless winter, Frank will pursue abjection until finally there is nowhere to go.

Hans Koning has described Dirty Snow<?i> as "one of the very few novels to come out of German-occupied France that gets it exactly right." In a study of the criminal mind that is comparable to Jim Thompson's The Killer Inside Me, Simenon maps a no man's land of the spirit in which human nature is driven to destruction—and redemption, perhaps, as well—by forces beyond its control.
03
Kees Popinga is an average man, a solid citizen who might enjoy a game of chess in the evening. But one night, this model husband and devoted father discovers his boss is bankrupt and that his own carefully tended life is in ruins. Before, he had watched impassively as the trains swept by; now he catches the first one out of town, and soon commits murder before the night is out. How reliable is even the most reliable man's identity?

Georges Simenon (1903-1989) was born in Liege, Belgium. He went to work as a reporter at the age of fifteen and in 1923 moved to Paris, where under various pseudonyms he became a highly successful and prolific author of pulp fiction while leading a dazzling social life. In the early 1930s, Simenon emerged as a writer under his own name, gaining renown for his detective stories featuring Inspector Maigret. He also began to write his psychological novels, or romans durs - books in which he displays a sympathetic awareness of the emotional and spiritual pain underlying the routines of daily life. Having written nearly two hundred books under his own name and become the best-selling author in the world, Simenon retired as a novelist in 1973, devoting himself instead to dictating memoirs that filled thousands of pages.
04
Vain, womanising Tony and passionate, manipulative Andree met eight times in eleven months in the blue room at the Hotel des Voyageurs for afternoons of abandoned love. For Tony the conversation that last time was just the casual, almost banal, talk of lovers. But for Andree it was something else. And it led inevitably to an appalling double murder, and a nightmare, which Tony couldn't escape.
05
Against all expectations Marcel Ferón has made a “normal” life in a bucolic French suburb in the Ardennes. But on May 10, 1940, as Nazi tanks approach, this timid, happy man must abandon his home and confront the “Fate” that he has secretly awaited. Separated from his pregnant wife and young daughter in the chaos of flight, he joins a freight car of refugees hurtling southward ahead of the pursuing invaders. There, he meets Anna, a sad-looking, dark- haired girl, whose accent is “neither Belgian nor German,” and who “seemed foreign to everything around her.” As the mystery of Anna’s identity is gradually revealed, Marcel leaps from the heights of an exhilarating freedom to the depths of a terrifying responsibility—one that will lead him to a blood-chilling decision.

When it first appeared in English in 1964, British novelist and critic Brigid Brophy declared The Train to be “the novel his admirers had been expecting all along from Simenon.” Until The Train, she wrote, the dazzlingly prolific novelist had been “a master without a masterpiece.”
06
The fifth book in the new Penguin Maigret series: Georges Simenon's gripping tale of small town suspicion and revenge, in Linda Asher's timeless translation.

There was an exaggerated humility about her. Her cowed eyes, her way of gliding noiselessly about without bumping into things, of quivering nervously at the slight­est word, were the very image of a scullery maid accustomed to hardship. And yet he sensed, beneath that image, glints of pride held firmly in check. She was anaemic. Her flat chest was not formed to rouse desire. Nevertheless, she was strangely appealing, perhaps because she seemed troubled, despondent, sickly.

In the windswept seaside town of Concarneau, a local wine merchant is shot. In fact, someone is out to kill all the influential men and the entire town is soon sent into a state of panic. For Maigret, the answers lie with the pale, downtrodden waitress Emma, and a strange yellow dog lurking in the shadows...

Penguin is publishing the entire series of Maigret novels in new translations. This novel has been published in a previous translation as A Face for a Clue.

'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
07
It is a hot and steamy summer, and Maigret is hatching a plan to capture a serial murderer by playing on the killer's perverse vanity. He finally succeeds when an important clue leads him to a trio of suspects. But the three are entangled in a web of guilt and possessiveness so tight that the unraveling nearly exhausts the Inspector--until, at last, he discovers the tortured motives behind the murders.

Maigret is a registered trademark of the Estate of Georges Simenon.
08
 A new translation of a haunting tale about the lengths to which people will go to escape from guilt and book four of the Inspector Maigret series
On a trip to Brussels, Maigret unwittingly causes a man's suicide, but his own remorse is overshadowed by the discovery of the sordid events that drove the desperate man to shoot himself.

Collect this and other novels in the Inspector Maigret series, now available in thrilling new English translations.
09
 A devastating tale of misfortune, betrayal, and the weakness of family ties, newly translated for the Inspector Maigret series
In the third Maigret mystery, the circumstances of Monsieur Gallet's death all seem fake: the name he was traveling under, his presumed profession, and, more worryingly, his family's grief. Their haughtiness seems to hide ambiguous feelings about the hapless man. Soon Maigret discovers the appalling truth and the real crime hidden beneath the surface of their lies.

Collect this and other novels in the Inspector Maigret series, now available in thrilling new English translations.
10
An actor, recently divorced, at loose ends in New York; a woman, no less lonely, perhaps even more desperate than the man: they meet by chance in an all-night diner and are drawn to each other on the spot. Roaming the city streets, hitting its late-night dives, dropping another coin into yet another jukebox, these two lost souls struggle to understand what it is that has brought them, almost in spite of themselves, together. They are driven—from moment to moment, from bedroom to bedroom—to improvise the most unexpected of love stories, a tale of suspense where risk alone offers salvation.

Georges Simenon was the most popular and prolific of the twentieth century's great novelists. Three Bedrooms in Manhattan—closely based on the story of his own meeting with his second wife—is his most passionate and revealing work.