The Late Monsieur Gallet by Georges Simenon

The great mystery in Georges Simenon’s The Late Monsieur Gallet is not who killed the title character but who was the title character. The Late Monsieur Gallet, translated by Anthea Bell, features many classic who-dunnit elements: a wealthy victim, a wife/widow with a son who stands to inherit, a big house full of outdated furnishings, a missing body.  But from the start Inspector Maigret knows … Continue reading The Late Monsieur Gallet by Georges Simenon

State History, Short Stories, and A Little Sex: or One of those Catch-up Posts with Lots of Short Reviews

I’ve been sick. School will be out in just two more days, and I’m coming down with something. “Oh, Excellent!” as Hermia says somewhere in act three of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” If that weren’t bad enough, I’m behind on my reviews.  So, I’ve decided to post about several books and stories I’ve read in the past week in one post instead of giving each their own … Continue reading State History, Short Stories, and A Little Sex: or One of those Catch-up Posts with Lots of Short Reviews

Monthly Maigret #2: The Carter of La Providence by Georges Simenon (Translated from the French by David Coward)

This month’s Maigret seems like an Agatha Christie novel. There, I said it. A glamorous woman is found murdered in a stable near the canal where her wealthy husband’s vacation barge, La Providence, is tied up for the night.  Inspector Maigret soon arrives, determined to find the killer.  His suspects run up and down the social ladder from the barge crews, lock attendants and assorted … Continue reading Monthly Maigret #2: The Carter of La Providence by Georges Simenon (Translated from the French by David Coward)

Pietr the Latvian by Georges Simenon (Translated from the French by David Bellos)

I was hoping to read one Maigret novel a month; read them all, though it would take over six years to do.   It may not come to pass. A few months ago, Penguin announced they would be reprinting all 75 of Georges Simenon’s Inspector Maigret novels.  Instead of releasing them all at once, they would release one a month, so that each one had a … Continue reading Pietr the Latvian by Georges Simenon (Translated from the French by David Bellos)

Tokyo Fiancee by Amelie Nothomb (Translated from the French by Alison Anderson)

 What I liked most about Amelie Nothomb’s novel Tokyo Fiancée is the way her love story allows her to create such a detailed and wonderful picture of life in modern Japan.  Never having been to Japan, I have no way of knowing how accurate the picture she paints is, however, it is so rich in detail that her version of Japan, whether it is real … Continue reading Tokyo Fiancee by Amelie Nothomb (Translated from the French by Alison Anderson)

The Last Days by Raymond Queneau

Americans who have spent time in Paris all become very boring people.  They won’t shut up about how much they love the place, certainly not after a martini or two.  Time was I scoffed at such people.  How they all talked down about America afterwards.  How they would go on and on about the bread and some little bookstall they found along the Seine or … Continue reading The Last Days by Raymond Queneau