Monday, August 24, 2009

The Hotel Majestic by Georges Simenon

The Hotel Majestic is the first novel by Georges Simenon that I read. I'd been interested in him after reading an article Luc Sante had written about him in Bookforum, and not too long afterward I spotted this book on one of the take shelves* around the building at work and picked it up. While I've since found that I prefer the romans dur (his darker noir fiction) that NYRB has just reissued, the Inspector Maigret novels are nearly just as strong, and rather addicting.

Simenon, pictured on the inside front cover of the book (the inside back cover features his signature), wrote hundreds of books, including 75 Maigret novels (and dozens more stories). Simenon himself was critical of some of his work, knowing when he was just churning it out to pay the bills. But I have yet to come across one of those.

*I've gone over this before, but there are bookshelves throughout the building where I work full of free books. It's gotten to the point where I have to remind myself when I go into an actual bookstore that I can't simply just take things off the shelves and leave.

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