- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Orion (4 Sept. 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0752853783
- ISBN-13: 978-0752853789
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.9 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 964,263 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Stain on the Snow (CRIME MASTERWORKS) Paperback – 4 Sep 2003
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'I doubt whether it is possible for the crime novel to rise to greater heights than it does in Simenon's hands here' H.R.F. Keating
At nineteen, Frank Friedmaier is thief, pimp and murderer. He has never known his father, his mother keeps a brothel. His mind is cold and inhospitable. But Simenon reveals the obsession with self-torture that lurks within it, and explores the intricate psychology of a young criminal, even lending the repellent Frank a chilling grandeur as he faces remorseless interrogation and his fate. A bleak and brilliant masterpiece from Simenon at his superlative best.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
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The first half of the novel is relatively 'standard' describing Frank's life of violent crime, brothels and the underworld. It offers the classic 'liberal' cause of environment as responsible for Frank's actions. However the second half moves deeper into Frank's head showing his self awareness of his amorality.
There are no laughs in this novel, it is a bleak, disturbing look into a torturing and tortured mind. The final escape from the horror of it all only comes from facing the father of the despoiled Sissy. But, there is no happy ending.
There is a recurring theme of Frank as The Outsider, 'he has nothing in common with them anymore', 'he had seen what was on the other side' and 'he had set his course for the ultimate limit'. Frank's striving for the 'ultimate limit' is key but I am not 100% certain the translator has got this phrase spot on.
This is serious and multi-layered literature that I will definitely read again. Strongly recommended, oddly moving and utterly different from what I expected of Georges Simenon.
In place of the usual crisp, elegant style that we're used to with Georges Simenon, this wanders all over the place, and at over 200 pages is one of his longer novels. Proof indeed, that short and sweet was always best.
It's a hard, unengaging read, and something of a mystery to find this particular title lauded in the Crime Masterworks series, when there are so much better books from Simenon that could have been considered. The worst book I've read by him, by a long way.
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