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Georges Simenon (1903–1989) was a phenomenally successful author of crime fiction. His 75 Maigret novels and 28 Maigret short stories were published between 1931 and 1972 to great international acclaim (he is the only non-anglophone crime writer to have achieved such renown). His Maigret stories are regarded by many as having established a new direction in crime fiction, emphasizing social and psychological portraiture rather than focussing on a puzzle to be solved or on “action.” This book examines the importance of social class and social change in the Maigret stories, giving a particular emphasis to the early formative novels and the development of plot, characterization and setting. The author seeks to establish the extent to which Simenon’s portrait of French society is historically accurate and the nature of the influence of the author’s own class position and ideology on his fiction.
This book not only includes chapters on more than twenty new screen sleuths but also updates information on several detectives included in the first two volumes of Famous Movie Detectives. Author Michael Pitts also provides new material on sleuths in silent films and serials, as well as a listing of radio and television detective programs.
 Georges Simenon’s 75 novels and 28 short stories that feature Chief Inspector Jules Maigret provide us with a great deal of information about the French police detective—but only in small, episodic doses. As readers become acquainted with Maigret one detail at a time, he slowly takes on a flesh-and-bone realism—not merely a character in a story, but someone we would like to meet in real life. This book presents all the canonical facts and details about the detective and his world in one place, presented with tabulations and analyses that enable a better understanding of the works and of Maigret himself.
The Babel guide has 150 original reviews of books by over 100 authors from France, Quebec, North and West Africa, Belgium and Switzerland. Each review provides a kind of trailer for the work and is followed by an excerpt as a taster. It introduces big names of French literature such as Sartre, Camus, Colette and Duras, and a collection of less familiar writers, such as Driss Chraibi and Madeline Bourdouxhe. It includes a database of French fiction translated in the UK since 1950, with original titles and current prices. This is the third in a series of accessible and illustrated guides to world fiction available in English translation, aimed at journalists, academics, teachers and the ordinary reader. The reviews let potential readers have a idea as to whether a work might suit them.
The most comprehensive account of Georges Simenon's life and work in either English or French--from his youth and adolescence in Belgium, through his spirited beginnings as a writer of pulp fiction in the Paris of the 20s, his invention of Maigret in 1930, his turn to straight fiction in the 30s, and from the 40s on, his prolific output of detective and straight fiction.His obsession with women and his major friendships (Jean Renoir, Charlie Chaplin, Thornton Wilder, and others) are detailed. Also, critical evaluations of his fiction (including the largely ignored pulp fiction), Simenon's relationship to popular traditions, literature, detective fiction, high literature and the critics are offered. The photographs are rare and revealing (e.g., with Josephine Baker, cutting up in a bistro.)

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