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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nighthawks
If you want to have a good idea about what to expect from this book then look at Edward Hopper's "Nighthawks" or listen to Erik Satie's Gymnopédies.

This is the second "non Maigret" book by Simenon that I've read and, once again, I really enjoyed the experience. The first one was "The Widow", which was published in the same year as Camus' "L'Etranger" as...
Published 8 months ago by lucas

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but no masterpiece
More autobiographical than most of Simenons novels, as this is somehow the story of the writer's meeting with his second wife, Denise. No reason to bring a summary of novel here, as you can read it elsewhere. If you are interested in the person Simenon, this book is a must of course, but the novel didn't really turn me on. As the title tells, the book takes place in New...
Published 14 months ago by J.J. Larsen


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nighthawks, 18 April 2014
This review is from: Three Bedrooms in Manhattan (New York Review Books Classics) (Paperback)
If you want to have a good idea about what to expect from this book then look at Edward Hopper's "Nighthawks" or listen to Erik Satie's Gymnopédies.

This is the second "non Maigret" book by Simenon that I've read and, once again, I really enjoyed the experience. The first one was "The Widow", which was published in the same year as Camus' "L'Etranger" as almost as good.

The story is about a French man who meets an Austrian woman in New York in the 40s. It is not a crime story and it has many poetic moments such as " She didn't open her eyes. Her eyelids fluttered a bit but didn't open, and they made him think of a great bird beating its wings but somehow unable to take flight". The book was first published in 1946.

The book has an excellent introduction by Joyce Carol Oates but read it only after you have read the book. The publisher should have used Ms. Oates' writing should as an afterword, not an introduction.

The book itself is very good to read. The pages are of a creamy off white, what makes for more comfortable reading. Its paperback format is very good but it is a shame that there is not, as far as I know, a better designed version of this book on hard cover.

I liked the translation as it is not one of those modern, dumbing down translations that try to reduce everything to the present vocabulary.

One word of warning: Do not read the three stars review "Interesting but no Masterpiece". Its author is very inconsiderate and reveals how the story ends...
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars elegant ennui, 4 April 2010
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This review is from: Three Bedrooms in Manhattan (New York Review Books Classics) (Paperback)
i actually was bought this for christmas but seeing, unbelievably, that no-one has reviewed it yet i thought i should give a few words of encouragement to potential readers.

georges simenon's romans durs are stunning pieces of twentieth century fiction, slim and sparse, written with a dispassionate world view, weary and yet piercing, they stand shoulder to shoulder with camus and sartre and i firmly believe would share the same high regard if simenon had not also been responsible for the maigret novels. for critics it is impossible to be literary and popular of course!

three bedrooms in manhattan is the story of a chance encounter between a french actor in self-imposed exile in new york and a down at heel american divorcee who is looking for a little comfort. the two form an attachment which is by turns tender and antagonistic, he is possessive and mistrustful after his wife's affair but she is so emotionally starved that she will tolerate almost anything. the relationship is unromantic but all the more real for it's awkward contradictions.

there are hints of nabokov and richard yates - the whole book is drenched in nightglow and streetlights and, in my mind at least, is very Mad Men.

the actual book is nicely produced, sleek and glossy like simenon's writing, and is a credit to NYRB, who are definitely worth supporting as a small publishing house.

a five star read
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but no masterpiece, 14 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Three Bedrooms in Manhattan (New York Review Books Classics) (Paperback)
More autobiographical than most of Simenons novels, as this is somehow the story of the writer's meeting with his second wife, Denise. No reason to bring a summary of novel here, as you can read it elsewhere. If you are interested in the person Simenon, this book is a must of course, but the novel didn't really turn me on. As the title tells, the book takes place in New York, and the writer's description of The Big Apple isn't bad at all, but nevertheless I miss the French atmosphere from other books. This is a minor complaint though. The main reason why I can't really recommend the novel is because it, surprisingly, has a happy end. The two main characters DO make it - but the reader don't really believe in it, and reality shows that the reader is right, as Simenon's and Denise's relationship was a disaster. Furthermore the reader finds it hard to find sympathy for the 2 persons. The male protagonist, a famous actor, is a self-obsessed chauvinist, and the sad truth is, that this is just what Simenon was. Nevertheless his books are full of compassion and understanding, but for the reader it's very hard to find the same compassion for the 2 protagonists in this novel.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Adolescent behaviour of a middle aged man, 1 Mar 2014
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This book and author have a strong repuation - the writing is fine but I'm afraid the psychological insights are few and far between and, unless you find adolescent the infatuation/bad behaviour of a middle aged man either interesting or charming, then perhaps skip this (try Colette or any of the many mature writers instead)
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Three Bedrooms in Manhattan (New York Review Books Classics)
Three Bedrooms in Manhattan (New York Review Books Classics) by Georges Simenon (Paperback - 1 Sep 2009)
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