Simenon: A Biography

Overview

Numbering more than four hundred in all, including the beloved Inspector Maigret stories, Georges Simenon's novels have been translated into some fifty languages, with sales exceeding 500 million copies worldwide. Now, drawing on unprecedented access to Simenon's papers, family, and friends, Pierre Assouline gives us the utterly absorbing story of this tormented and egomaniacal genius of literary mass production. The narrative begins with a troubled youth in France during the 1920s: Simenon's early involvement ...
See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (36) from $1.99   
  • New (2) from $51.78   
  • Used (34) from $1.99   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$51.78
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(257)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
Brand New Item.

Ships from: Chatham, NJ

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$65.00
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(136)

Condition: New
Brand new.

Ships from: acton, MA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by
Sending request ...

Overview

Numbering more than four hundred in all, including the beloved Inspector Maigret stories, Georges Simenon's novels have been translated into some fifty languages, with sales exceeding 500 million copies worldwide. Now, drawing on unprecedented access to Simenon's papers, family, and friends, Pierre Assouline gives us the utterly absorbing story of this tormented and egomaniacal genius of literary mass production. The narrative begins with a troubled youth in France during the 1920s: Simenon's early involvement with crime and prostitutes inspired the guilt that would haunt his adulthood and the subjects he would obsessively probe in his fiction. Assouline vividly re-creates Simenon's complex and painful family relationships, as well as his controversial political activities, occasionally as a partisan of the extreme Right. As we witness Simenon's evolution into a self-fashioned literary prodigy (at the height of powers he could produce eighty pages a day), we also watch the growth - and satisfaction - of his notoriously outsize appetites for fame, wealth, and women. And we see him in the company of some of the great cultural icons of his time, including his lover Josephine Baker as well as Henry Miller, Colette, Jean Renoir, and Andre Gide, who called Simenon the greatest novelist of the century.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Cahners\\Publishers_Weekly
The life of Belgian writer Georges Simenon (1903-1989) is a tale of rags to wretched excess. Precocious and prodigious in word and deed, Simenon landed his first newspaper job at 16 and by his late 20s had cranked out volumes of pseudonymous pulp novellas. In 1931 he told one interviewer, "My ambition is to produce semi-literary novels as a step toward rising to the class of a Jack London, or, who knows? maybe one day a Conrad." Three years later he published Maigret, the first of more than 75 books starring the famous curmudgeonly working-class inspector of the same name. Over the years that followed, Simenon would write more than 200 books, which with translations into dozens of languages brought him international literary stardom. But years of infidelities, extravagances and shifting loyalties may have denied him the professional credibility for which he yearned. Assouline (whose previous subjects have included D.H. Kahnweiler and Gaston Gallimard) was given unprecedented access to Simenon's considerable personal papers and has proved himself worthy of that trust. He describes Simenon's capacious appetites, but always with an eye to illumination rather than titillation. Assouline's interviews with Simenon's ex-wife, sons and companions reveal the human side of a somewhat monstrous man. Scholarly Simenonists will be delighted to find in the back of the book exhaustive lists of everything by or about Simenon, including a filmography. One minor flaw: coy references to the horrible secret which drives Simenon's daughter Marie-Jo into deep depression seem inappropriate in a book that candidly examines the most unusual arrangements chez la famille Simenon.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The life of Belgian writer Georges Simenon (1903-1989) is a tale of rags to wretched excess. Precocious and prodigious in word and deed, Simenon landed his first newspaper job at 16 and by his late 20s had cranked out volumes of pseudonymous pulp novellas. In 1931 he told one interviewer, "My ambition is to produce semi-literary novels as a step toward rising to the class of a Jack London, or, who knows? maybe one day a Conrad." Three years later he published Maigret, the first of more than 75 books starring the famous curmudgeonly working-class inspector of the same name. Over the years that followed, Simenon would write more than 200 books, which with translations into dozens of languages brought him international literary stardom. But years of infidelities, extravagances and shifting loyalties may have denied him the professional credibility for which he yearned. Assouline (whose previous subjects have included D.H. Kahnweiler and Gaston Gallimard) was given unprecedented access to Simenon's considerable personal papers and has proved himself worthy of that trust. He describes Simenon's capacious appetites, but always with an eye to illumination rather than titillation. Assouline's interviews with Simenon's ex-wife, sons and companions reveal the human side of a somewhat monstrous man. Scholarly Simenonists will be delighted to find in the back of the book exhaustive lists of everything by or about Simenon, including a filmography. One minor flaw: coy references to the horrible secret which drives Simenon's daughter Marie-Jo into deep depression seem inappropriate in a book that candidly examines the most unusual arrangements chez la famille Simenon. Photos not seen by PW. (June)
Library Journal
French editor and author Assouline, who has written a number of biographies (e.g., on the life of Parisian art gallery owner D.H. Kahnweiler, An Artful Life, Fromm Internat., 1991), probes in his latest the life and work of Georges Simenon, best known in the United States as the author of the Inspector Maigret mysteries. In fact, he wrote over 400 novels, in addition to uncounted newspaper articles and stories. He wrote quickly and disliked rewriting, which accounts, in part, for his prodigious output. For this biography, Assouline has amassed a wealth of information on his life, which rivaled his fiction for adventure and amazement (for example, he had a love affair with Josephine Baker, traveled about the European continent in his houseboat, and filmed an Inspector Maigret story with Jean Renoir). Mystery readers, especially fans of Maigret, will find this biography riveting, and all readers will find much to fascinate them in the life of Simenon. Recommended for public libraries.Denise Johnson, Bradley Univ. Lib., Peoria, Ill.
Kirkus Reviews
The legendary and extraordinarily prolific Belgian novelist Georges Simenon is profiled in a detailed but surprisingly dry biography.

Simenon, creator of the unforgettable Inspector Maigret mysteries, published over 400 books in his lifetime. Almost a decade after his death, his detective and psychological crime novels remain both popular and influential. Assouline, editor of the French magazine Lire, patiently chronicles the evolution of Simenon's style and sifts fact from fiction in the novelist's own memoirs. He examines Simenon's egocentric behavior and compulsive womanizing (he bragged of bedding ten thousand woman) with a noncensorious Gallic shrug. Assouline is at his best when uncovering suppressed areas of Simenon's life, such as his early anti-Semitic writings and his wartime near-collaboration. But for the most part the writer fails to come to life in this narrative, in which mountains of facts take the place of revealing anecdotes. Simenon took his business dealings as seriously as his writing, and Assouline follows suit by presenting his every contract negotiation in tedious detail. Rather than discussing Simenon's art while documenting his life, he saves his discussion of Simenon's body of work for one chapter awkwardly placed near the book's end. In addition, Assouline finds the key to understanding Simenon's character in his relationship with his daughter Marie-Jo, whose obsessive love for her father ultimately led to her suicide. But he hides this information until the last chapter of the book, when he springs it on the reader, acting rather like Maigret revealing some villainy. But playing detective novel tricks with a real family's tragedy comes across as coy at best, exploitative at worst.

Assouline's biography fails to be what Simenon's novels almost always were: concise, perceptive, and readable.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679402855
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/10/1997
  • Pages: 447
  • Product dimensions: 6.58 (w) x 9.54 (h) x 5.53 (d)

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)