Pietr the Latvian: Inspector Maigret #1 Paperback – 7 Nov 2013
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'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
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. Best known in Britain as the author of the Maigret books, 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.
David Bellos is Director of the Program in Translation and Intercultural Communication at Princeton University and has won many awards for his translations including the Man Booker International Translator's Award (2005). He is the author of Is that a Fish in your Ear: The Amazing Adventure of Translation.
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Top Customer Reviews
Either way, bringing out one title per month is going to be a long-haul for even the most patient Maigret fan, so Penguin should perhaps review the approach they are taking if they are serious about giving us all 75 novels. Six years and counting....
As far as the story goes, the early Maigrets always were a bit hit and miss. This one darts about all over the place and is quite ragged in terms of style, plot and narrative, but every writer has to start somewhere, and Pietr The Latvian is one of a handful of titles that Simenon rattled off for publication in 1931. Not sure what makes the new translation so "gripping" to be honest. It perhaps captures the raw nature of Simenon's early - slightly rushed - writing, but apart from that, hard to see what new insights it offers.
Padding the Kindle edition with a lengthy excerpt from the next title to be released really is taking the biscuit (and yes, Penguin repeat the trick in that one as well to beef up the content), and with no page numbering there is still clear room for improvement in how the publisher releases e-book versions of their texts.
So, good to see the books appearing, but we'll have to dig deep in our pockets to get the full set - and grow old doing it. Poor marketing, guys.
Much of this short novel is spent with Maigret doing old fashioned legwork and stakeouts. You sympathise with the fact that he has just got the stove in his office to the right temperature, when he has to set out in the cold and rain yet again, as events unfold. The man who he witnessed leaving the train is settled in the exclusive Hotel Majestic consorting with millionaires; people seem to disappear and reappear, change names and appearance and yet Maigret is patient and gradually unravels the mystery.
This is a darker read than most mysteries set in that Golden Age of 1930’s mysteries. We travel from luxurious hotels and theatres to seedy boarding houses and there is true despair in some of the characters we meet. I feel glad that I have finally met the character of Maigret and discovered his fictional world and feel sure that I will read on in the series. This is not stylistically full of flowery prose, but it is compellingly written, with a realistic sense of the underworld and Maigret as a determined and –often sympathetic - investigator.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am a long-time Maigret fan but had never read this particular title before. I thoroughly enjoyed it, it is exciting and fast paced, and I can really recommend it for all Maigret... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Scribblie Reader
I have not finished this book yet but it has me hooked, I am having problems putting it down.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Cold and wet seen to be the default conditions, a good fire and a glass of beer or two the best remedy, I can see why they have been so popular over the yearsPublished 3 months ago by Dave Robson
Read a lot of Simenon when I was a youth really enjoyed them then couldn't make head nor tails of this maybe nor the best translation never mindPublished 4 months ago by mick foster
Having read one Maigret novel that my husband found for me in an Oxfam shop, I decided I must go back to the beginning of the series, so I bought this one. Read morePublished 4 months ago by RachelD