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A Crime in Holland: Inspector Maigret #7 by [Simenon, Georges]
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A Crime in Holland: Inspector Maigret #7 Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Length: 160 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

'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.' -- The Guardian
'I love reading Simenon. He makes me think of Chekhov.' -- William Faulkner
'The greatest of all, the most genuine novelist we have had in literature' -- Andre Gide
'A supreme writer...unforgettable vividness' -- The Independent
'Superb... The most addictive of writers... A unique teller of tales' -- The Observer
'Compelling, remorseless, brilliant.' -- John Gray
'A truly wonderful writer... marvellously readable - lucid, simple, absolutely in tune with the workd he creates' -- Muriel Spark
'A novelist who entered his fictional world as it he were a part of it' -- Peter Ackroyd
'Extraordinary masterpieces of the twentieth century' -- John Banville

About the Author

Georges Simenon was born in Liège, Belgium, in 1903. He is best know in Britain as the author of the Maigret novels and his prolific output of over 400 novels and short stories have made him a household name in continental Europe. He died in 1989 in Lausanne, Switzerland, where he had lived for the latter part of his life.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 701 KB
  • Print Length: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (1 May 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00JFJIIPG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #32,625 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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By lucas TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 20 May 2014
Format: Paperback
I've just started to read this last "Maigret" published by Penguin , "A crime in Holland", and decided to give up reading this Penguin series because it seems that most translations will be "new" and "new" translations are very often poor translations. Right in the beginning of "Crime in Holland", for example, someone refers to a French professor as "great lawyer" ( un grand avocat , in the French original) but the translation goes as "a top lawyer"...

What on Earth is wrong with "a great lawyer" as it says in the original text?

Never mind that I never read something like "John G., a bottom lawyer" or "Jane B. a bottom doctor". Reading this idiocy of "top lawyer" I felt as if I was reading the "Guardian" or any other of so many "top" newspapers who practice lazy journalism. But I was reading Simenon, I was reading a book written in France during the 1930s, more than 80 years ago.

One reason to read a book like a "Maigret" novel is to use your imagination to travel in time and space. I want to imagine France in the early 1930s, I don't want to feel as if I am in 2014 reading a newspaper at Starbucks. I was writing this comment when it occurred to me that these lazy, dumbed down translations which apply modern expressions or ideas to old books are like those stationary bicycles in gyms: You ride, ride but stay in the same place.

I would rather use a real bicycle and see different landscapes and people as I ride.
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Format: Paperback
This is one of ten Maigret books Georges Simenon (GS) wrote in 1931. He continued writing ‘romans policiers’ for decades and some of the lesser-known of the 100+ Maigret cases are available in vintage omnibus editions. This novel captures a number of GS’ frequent themes and areas of interest: inequality within marriage, communities and society at large, with domestic servants particularly at risk. That some boundaries cannot be crossed, but that fate decries that they are, with terrible, unforeseen consequences. What is a human life? A compromise between passion and control, madness and wisdom: adultery is another GS theme. So are all things maritime. They form the backdrop, décor for this novel..
A bonus for Dutch readers is the perspective of a French crime writer in 1931 on the town of Delfzijl (1930 pop. 5.000; now 25.000), a small harbor with 15 tobacconists, full of sailing freight ships and coasters bringing timber from the Baltic region, a naval academy and linked by road, train and two canals to the rest of the country. Maigret is amazed by its apparent social harmony: when caught stealing a loaf of bread means a denial of life’s conventions and two months in jail. Here, no crime, no clochards or littered streets and everything inside and outside the home carefully cleaned, swept and painted… Still, can people really co-exist as harmoniously as on a picture postcard?
Of course, passion rages without borders. Delfzijl has illicit business, security frauds. Then, a teacher, ex-sea captain at the local naval school is shot dead. The prime suspect is his French houseguest, a professor of criminology on a lecturing tour. Which explains Maigret’s involvement, although he works in an unofficial capacity.
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Format: Paperback
Simenon's literary genius enthrals me. The simplicity in which the depth of mystery unfurls is very inherent to Simenon's writing that a book written by him turns out to be a captivating journey as what starts like a very mundane topic evolves into a poignant analysis of crime and society. The translation of this book, however, is one of the worst I have ever happened to read. The impotence of the translator left its corroding mark in every single page that the experience of reading this great piece of literature felt like reading a newspaper. The choice of words does not match the meaningful French original. The book deserves much better translation than this. Nowadays attempts to modernize the translations of some great classics achieve nothing but ransack their meaningful texture.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Simeon's Maigret is a timeless classic, rather like the Father Brown books. I have read most Maigret but I think that this is a new translation. Maigret still conjours up the old France - train stations, eating croissants and drinking coffee and of course all the wonderful sites of Paris.
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Inspector Maigret arrives in Delfzijl, a small town in Holland at the request of a French professor who has been the guest of local teacher Conrad Popinga and his family. After the professor's lecture one night, Conrad Popinga is shot dead while coming back from escorting the buxom young Beetje back home. It is the professor who emerges carrying the offending gun, but he says that he found it in the ustairs bathroom. Is the professor telling the truth, could it have been the jealous wife, the aspiring young admirer of Beetje, the seasoned old mariner whose cap is discovered in the house, or any other of the characters associated with that evening?
Maigret is helped and hindered by the gullible local policeman, Pijpekamp, and by the problem with language and translation. (Only some of the characters speak French). The reader has a similar problem, as has been mentioned by other reviewers. The style seems awkward and just does not flow. Not having seen the original I cannot tell whether this story has been translated too literally, but it just does not sound like good English. I nearly gave up reading, but after half way it was less tormenting and the story became more interesting, as Maigret stages a reconstruction of the murderous evening, gathering the suspects under one roof. By then we also have some sense of the rhythm of life in a small Dutch town. Ideally, I would like to have found an older translation, and maybe it would have been a more satisfactory read?
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