Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Of course there's always reading for classes - student papers or Thoreau, Tolstoy and the like. It is amazing how many new insights you can get into a story you've read several times before. Still, for fun recently, I've been reading Georges Simenon, author of a few hundred short novels and hundreds more short stories.

Simenon is best known as the author of the "Maigret" novels. Maigret is a Parisian police detective and one of the subtler creations I've read in the mystery field. The novels are short and spare (generally less than 200 pages), but they contain all they need to be effective on a variety of fronts. They present a real mystery and clues, but they also bring interesting character portraits.

For instance, there is teh waitress in Maigret and the Yellow Dog. With a look, Maigret can tell she is an object to be pitied. And in Maigret and the Saturday Caller, I damn near cried to read of the tribulations the title character's problems. And how it all ends! Well, I won't say anything.

Of course, as a writer, I want to know Simenon's tricks for making these addictive novels, so I'll be heading to the library this Saturday with the hopes of getting another book or two.

And if I could learn how Simenon was able to apparently write up to 20,000 words a day, that would be even better.


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