Monday, October 18, 2010

Three Beds in Manhattan by Georges Simenon

One of Simenon's romans durs (the current NYRB edition has been retitled to Three Bedrooms in Manhattan for some reason), in which two lonely and desperate people meet late one night at an all-hours diner in New York. Together they move from one bar to another, and then from bedroom to bedroom around the city (a hotel, hers, and then his). You can almost visualize the thick haze of smoke, whiskey, and desperation present throughout the book. The writing is hard, unsentimental, and spare--romantic and yet not. The noirish elements might almost be a bit much--it definitely doesn't live up to The Widow, which is still my favorite.

Simenon's many praises.

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