I’ve had a few comments lately about one or other of the Simenon reviews. For those who want to start getting seriously into Simenon, I recommend making the modest purchase of a slim, but invaluable paperback: George Simenon by David Carter (The Pocket Essential).
The author’s a huge Simenon fan, and he’s certainly done his research. The intro contains how his interest in Simenon started, a brief bio, and an article on the origins of Maigret. Then comes the invaluable info for the serious collector: Carter lists the Maigret novels and then the romans durs chronologically. Each entry includes a brief synopsis and a rating of the novel on a 5 point system. He includes the French title and then the various translated titles, and this is invaluable because when you go to buy out-of-print Simenon titles, it becomes very easy to buy duplicate copies of the same novel as there may be 3 or 4 titles given to the same book.
Also, Carter includes the contents of various Simenon omnibus editions, so this makes it possible for the collector to buy one omnibus edition that includes several titles–again that helps in the duplication and cost department.
Finally there’s two articles: Simenon on film & Simenon on TV and Radio followed by a couple of pages of reference materials. So for all you Simenon fans out there, do yourself a favour, and if you plan to get seriously into Simenon, the best advice I can give is to use this wonderful little book as your guide. It’ll save you in the long run, and you’ll easily be able to keep track of which titles you’ve read and which ones you’d like to read.
And if you’re in the mood for a bio of this phenomenal author, try The Man Who Wasn’t Maigret by Patrick Marnham.