9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Who let the dog out??
Georges Simenon was the author of over 100 Inspector Maigret mystery stories. They were immensely popular in the 1930s through the 1960s. Inspector Maigret stories also appeared in film and TV version. Simenon and Maigret seem to have fallen under the radar in recent decades but in recent years he seems to have been rediscovered by a new generation of mystery/detective...
Published on 25 Oct 2006 by Leonard Fleisig
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Weak
Simenon dashed off 11 Maigret titles in 1931, and "The Yellow Dog" is arguably one of the weaker ones to emerge from this first clutch of titles. Set away from Paris, the Maigret series lacks the bite and social commentary that makes others in the series so enjoyable - even the early titles, where the characters and writing are a little rough around the edges...
Published on 28 Feb 2012 by Jl Adcock
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Who let the dog out??,
This review is from: The Yellow Dog (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
Georges Simenon was the author of over 100 Inspector Maigret mystery stories. They were immensely popular in the 1930s through the 1960s. Inspector Maigret stories also appeared in film and TV version. Simenon and Maigret seem to have fallen under the radar in recent decades but in recent years he seems to have been rediscovered by a new generation of mystery/detective story fans. Penguin Books has begun to reissue some of those Maigret mysteries and the New York Review of Books Press has reissued some of his `hard stories', stories that did not feature Inspector Maigret. Simenon's Inspector Maigret Mystery, "The Yellow Dog" was a fun book to read and is as good a place to start for anyone wishing t discover (or re-read) Simenon.
The Yellow Dog, written in 1931, is set on a fishing town in Concarneau, France. One of the town's leading citizens has been shot. A series of murders or attempted murders soon follow. At the same time a stray, rather mangy looking yellow dog is wandering around the town. Inspector Maigret is sent to clear up the mess. In so doing he must deal with panicked locals, an irate mayor demanding an end to the affair, and a cast of characters who each, in their way, have done something to make themselves suspicious. The rest of the story involves Maigret's attempt to unravel the chain of events and find the guilty party or guilty parties.
This is a `classic' detective story in the sense that Simenon does not stray for the general formula or boundaries found in classic stories by Conan Doyle or Agatha Christie. There are twists and turns in the plot, red herrings, and fake clues, but eventually justice (or some semblance of justice) is served.
What sets Simenon apart is the character of Maigret and the supporting cast. Maigret was, or seems, ahead of his times in his aversion to `higher authority'. He also seems to have a deep and clearly defined set of moral values that does not necessarily coincide with the values held by his higher ups or by those reporters or office holders that seem to second guess his every move. This personality, this ahead of its time jaundiced eye, may explain the resurgence of interest in his books.
The Yellow Dog is an enjoyable read.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Maigret by the sea,
Simenon`s first eleven Maigret novels were all published in 1931 - some kind of a record? - and this was the sixth of them. Maigret is already the mature, sometimes surly detective we know and love, already a Superintendent. He finds himself called to the NW coastal town of Concarneau in Brittany, to solve a series of attacks, one of which is a murder, and holes up in the local Admiral Hotel, a mildly seedy hangout for a group of local drinkers, as well as giving employment to enigmatic and waif-like waitress Emma.
Then there`s the enormous, almost spectral yellow dog of the title. which turns up after each crime.
Few writers have ever created an atmosphere as deftly, with as little fuss and few words, as Simenon. If you`ve seen Jacques Tati`s immortal near-silent French film comedy Monsieur Hulot`s Holiday, you`ll remember his detailed depiction of a seaside resort in summer, with its distinctive sights and sounds. I kept being reminded of Tati`s film while reading this book, even though it`s set in a harbour town rather than a resort, during rough, rainy weather - and with unpaved muddy streets too. But the sense of place that`s conjured up is palpable, right down to the pompous mayor and a variety of local `types`. However, what has always set Simenon apart from the herd is his consistent refusal to rely on stereotypes, and his gratifying sympathy (transferred to Maigret) for ordinary working people.
There`s a wonderful, often quietly droll humour to the almost farce-like comings and goings in this 130-page story, with Maigret a mostly monosyllabic, oracular presence, with a young Inspector hovering around him like an eager puppy, learning patience and discretion from a master.
If the last chapter relies on a great deal of Christie-like exposition and somewhat tidy tying up of loose ends, it doesn`t take away from the sheer pleasure of what has gone before. Maigret is winging it in this one, with not much more idea than the reader of how and why events are occurring - he even adimits as much himself - and one wonders if the author wasn`t to some extent winging it too. But the result is enjoyable rather than sloppy or confusing, and the stormy coastal setting takes his detective out of his pipe-and-slippers comfort zone (no calming Madame Maigret in this one).
Simenon wrote hundreds of novels, and many short stories, of a remarkably high standard. The man must have been born with a pen in hand - lucky for us.
I`d give this early Maigret about nine out of ten. It`s not one of his very best, but Simenon`s ease of description, his depiction of character in a few brushtrokes,
and his Manet-like portrayal of a weather-washed Breton coastal town circa 1930, all make for an unusual, often delightful experience.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Literary tourism a possibility?,
This was my first Simenon and a good introduction. However, as much as the story was interesting, it was what he described of Concarneau and environs that I found fascinating. I now want to see the setting! In my view, not as good as Morse but not far off.
5.0 out of 5 stars Puts a smile on your face,
This review is from: The Yellow Dog: Inspector Maigret #5 (Paperback)
An early Maigret mystery; number six in the books released about this famous detective.
This is a stand alone novel with the Chief Inspector away from Paris reassigned to Rennes to oversee the flying squad there. Maigret is sent to Concarneau a fishing community in Brittany to investigate a mysterious shooting at the request of the town's politically connected Mayor.
As with other stories the detective seemingly allows the actors to play out their roles while his skills interpret the baffling events which have left the local people in terror of an unknown assassin.
Beautifully evocative of the district with its fishermen, local industry and market day; the maze of alleys and tight streets add to the sense of fear created.
The drama unfolds; is the yellow dog a red herring? Maigret broods and does his own thing; even explaining to his young sidekick that it would be a mistake to draw deductions too soon.
The story even concludes with a Poriot style denouement at the close of the book. Also by the end we learn more about Maigret's character and his sense of justice.
These books are quick to read; the shorter novels easily finished in a few hours and leave you with a smile on your face.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Yellow Dog,
For me a good read highlighting the environment within which Maigret inhabited and worked. Clear views of his personality and no nonsense approach to those around him. Great atmosphere throughout as always reflected by landscape and changing weather conditions. Characters rich in dark shadows carrying with them sordid or unhappy secrets. Look forward to the next Kindle issue.
5.0 out of 5 stars Another masterwork,
Another classic from the master of detective story writing, George's Simenon, full of wonderful period observations. A jolly good read!
5.0 out of 5 stars Great books,
Good story, great to see that Georges Simenon Maigret books are being re-issued. Detective stories that in the old fashioned way
5.0 out of 5 stars Another marvellous Maigret,
Simenon's Maigret never disappoints and The Yellow Dog is no exception. Such a good story with characters and settings holding the reader's interest throughout. Would recoo
4.0 out of 5 stars Dog days in Brittany,
"The Yellow Dog" is an enjoyable short read that was published early in the Inspector Maigret series (1931). The setting--Concarneau, a small rural town in Brittany--is one of author Georges Simenon's favorites. No fan of the petits bourgeois, here, as is repeated fairly often, Simenon writes of crimes committed by and against the big frogs in a small pond--a social group that the author particularly loathes. The story starts with the unexplainable shooting of the town's best liked citizen, followed by the attempted poisoning of several of the victim's friends. Inspector Maigret is dispatched to the scene from nearby Rennes where he's on assignment from Paris. The Inspector adopts a very laid back approach to investigating the crimes, seeming to be preoccupied with an attractive barmaid and a yellow mongrel dog who keeps appearing at the scene of the crimes. While the burghers of Concarneau grow increasingly panicky, Maigret keeps his cool and his own counsel.
The story is told mostly in narrative form and the resolution of the crimes is closely held to the last few pages of the book. Simenon includes a satisfying epilogue to assure the reader that justice can prevail. Altogether, an entertaining novel that displays the format and attitude that the author will often use in the dozens of crime stories that are to follow.
4.0 out of 5 stars Not your average Maigret thriller,
The Yellow Dog (Le Chien Jaune) has many of the characteristics typical of a Georges Simenon thriller, even if it initially seems like there are going to be rather a few more deaths than is usual for the usually more sedate confines of a Maigret novel. Maigret, working on a temporary transfer from the Paris jurisdiction to Rennes, is called out to a small Brittany port, Concarneau, to investigate the shooting of one of the town's most important businessmen, shot in a doorway while he struggled drunkenly against the elements to light a cigar after an evening with friends at the Admiral hotel. And sitting alongside the crime is a mysterious yellow dog that appears like a premonition of doom.
As Maigret makes his entrance to meet the businessman's friends - several other people of note within the small town, all of them gathered around a bar (of course), drinking Pernod (a few drinks essential for any Maigret investigation) - the scene seems to be set for a slow-burn after-the-fact teasing out of events in the manner of La Guinguette a deux sous (The Tavern on the Seine) or another non-Maigret small port thriller, The Man from London. All it takes is time to get to grips with the provincial smalltown mentality, the rumours, the feuds and the rivalries, (several of the group seem to be having an affair with the hotel's young barmaid), Maigret letting events leisurely unravel as he downs a few Pernods and Calvados.
But, no - and much to the reader's surprise - Maigret discovers just in time that his very first Pernod, and those of his companions, has been spiked with strychnine. As it looks like each of the men seem to be under threat from an unknown person with a vendetta against them, it becomes clear that The Yellow Dog is a more exciting prospect than the usual leisurely Maigret investigation, closer to Les Fantômes du Chapelier, with its serial killer out to exact vengeance on a small group of townsfolk.
While there are crucial differences in this early 1936 Maigret novel however, the allure of Simenon's detective is in place, the Commissioner refusing to follow the usual lines of extensive legwork and deductive reasoning, demonstrating rather a wonderful ability to understand and relate to people, consider the passions that motivate them and predict the actions that are likely to ensue. It all comes together marvellously in The Yellow Dog, Simenon creating an intriguing situation with no shortage of incident that fully brings out the character, the mentality and the dangerous dynamic that can exist in small provincial towns.
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The Yellow Dog: Inspector Maigret #5 by Georges Simenon (Paperback - 6 Mar 2014)