Thursday, October 21, 2010

Simenon Discussed on Mulholland Books

Yesterday on the Mulholland Books website, there was a post focused on two of Georges Simenon non-Maigret novels, "When Businessmen Attack: A Pair of Simenon Hard Novels." I've been reading Simenon on-and-off for a few years, so I added this comment to the discussion...

The New York Review of Books has done a great job republishing some of Simenon’s romans durs. Of additional interest [beyond the two novels discussed in the original post, The Man Who Watched Trains Go By; and Monsieur Monde Vanishes], I’d note two of his books set in the U.S. (where he lived for a time): Three Bedrooms in Manhattan and Red Lights. Neither seems as compelling to me as his best works, but if the titles Mr. McMeel names are existential, then Red Lights is pretty damn noir — especially for a book whose entire plot revolves around a married couple going to pick up their kids at camp in Maine. Two other call-outs: (1) Dirty Snow, also known as The Snow Was Black, is a bleak post-War novel with echoes of Camus’s The Stranger; and (2) Tropic Moon has a great atmosphere and setting — colonial Africa.

Correction/clarification: Dirty Snow was published after the war, but is set in German-occupied France.

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