The Engagement

Overview

On the outskirts of Paris, a prostitute is found murdered in a vacant lot. In a seedy apartment house nearby lives pasty, fat Mr. Hire. Mr. Hire, who earns his living through a petty postal scam, is a convicted pornographer, a peeping Tom, and, once a week, the unlikely star of a Parisian bowling club, where people think he works for the police. He is a faceless man of regular habits who keeps to himself and gives his neighbors the creeps. After the murder, Mr. Hire’s concierge points a finger at him: he was out ...
See more details below
Paperback
$10.70
BN.com price
(Save 17%)$12.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (16) from $3.69   
  • New (12) from $7.16   
  • Used (4) from $3.69   
Sending request ...

Overview

On the outskirts of Paris, a prostitute is found murdered in a vacant lot. In a seedy apartment house nearby lives pasty, fat Mr. Hire. Mr. Hire, who earns his living through a petty postal scam, is a convicted pornographer, a peeping Tom, and, once a week, the unlikely star of a Parisian bowling club, where people think he works for the police. He is a faceless man of regular habits who keeps to himself and gives his neighbors the creeps. After the murder, Mr. Hire’s concierge points a finger at him: he was out late the night of the crime. The police have the suspect under 24-hour surveillance. They are only waiting for him to make the inevitable mistake and give himself away.

Except that creepy Mr. Hire is in fact an innocent man, whose only mistake is to have fallen head-over-heels in love with the wrong girl.

One of the most chilling and compassionate of Simenon’s extraordinary psychological novels, The Engagement explores the mystery of a blameless heart in a compromised soul.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Published when Europe was between the wars, the novel depicts the impoverished City of Light as a moral vortex where truth isn’t as highly valued as survival. As with all of the hard novels, The Engagement is considerably more complex than most existential thrillers. Gripping, too—you’d have to scan the rest of the Simenon shelf to find a more engrossing beach read." --Time Out New York

“This is a quietly compelling story with no hero, no villain and no justice–just the inevitability of fate.” —Publishers Weekly

"Simenon is best-known for his Inspector Maigret mysteries. But he also wrote what he called romans dur - "hard novels," unblinkingly realistic psychological studies. The Engagement, first published in 1933, is one of the earliest of these...it is a mark of Simenon's artistry that he can devise so compelling a tale." --Philadelphia Inquirer

“Attention should be paid to the New York Review of Books' continuing reissues of Georges Simenon. Simenon was legendary both for his literary skill–four or five books every year for 40 years–and his sexual capacity, at least to hear him tell it. What we can speak of with some certainty are the novels, which are tough, rigorously unsentimental and full of rage, duplicity and, occasionally, justice. Simenon's tone and dispassionate examination of humanity was echoed by Patricia Highsmith, who dispensed with the justice. So far, the Review has published Tropic Moon, The Man Who Watched Trains Go By, Red Lights, Dirty Snow and Three Bedrooms in Manhattan; The Strangers in the House comes out in November. Try one, and you'll want to read more.” —The Palm Beach Post

"The most extraordinary literary phenomenon of the twentieth century."—Julian Symons

"The romans durs are extraordinary: tough, bleak, offhandedly violent, suffused with guilt and bitterness, redolent of place...wonderfully entertaining. They are also more philosophically profound than any of the fiction of Camus or Sartre, and far less self-conscious." —John Banville

Publishers Weekly

First published in 1933, this new English translation of a short, bleak psychological drama from Simenon (1903–1989), creator of Inspector Maigret (Lock 14, etc.), dispassionately describes the fate of the odd Mr. Hire, a reclusive middle-aged man whose life of dull routine begins an inevitable slide into disaster when a prostitute is brutally murdered near his apartment in a Paris suburb. Guilty only of a slightly disreputable occupation, a voyeuristic fascination and an unusual physical appearance, Hire inadvertently seals his fate with mundane, unremarkable observations and suggestions. His concierge brings him to the attention of the police. Though Hire is aware of the net being spread for him and tries to escape it, eventually, like a swimmer struggling against an undertow, he's gradually exhausted and sucked further away from the safety of the shore. This is a quietly compelling story with no hero, no villain and no justice—just the inevitability of fate. (Mar.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590172285
  • Publisher: New York Review Books
  • Publication date: 3/6/2007
  • Series: New York Review Books Classics Series
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 337,241
  • Product dimensions: 5.23 (w) x 7.95 (h) x 0.36 (d)

Meet the Author

Georges Simenon (1903—1989) was born in Liege, Belgium. He started working as a reporter at the age of fifteen and by the end of his life had published hundreds of novels under his own name and sundry pseudonyms. Renowned all over the world for his series of mysteries featuring Inspector Maigret, Simenon was also the author of many psychological novels. The Engagement is one of eight novels by Simenon published by NYRB Classics.

John Gray is Professor of European Thought at the London School of Economics. He is the author of many works of philosophy and is a regular contributor to the Guardian and the Times Literary Supplement. He lives in Oxford.

Anna Moschovakis is the author of a book of poems, I Have Not Been Able to Get Through to Everyone and co-founder of the Ugly Duckling Presse. In 2005 she translated The Authentic Bistros of Paris for The Little Bookroom. She teaches Comparative Literature at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City. 

Read More Show Less

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)