Monday, April 18, 2016

Getting his due …

… Bryan Appleyard — Simenon: The Artist of the Irresponsible. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Behind all this lies Simenon the man, one of the most successful authors of all time. He sold more than 600m books around the world. He wrote almost 500 and could knock off a Maigret in 10 days — eight days’ writing and two revising.
These astounding figures, and the fact that his most famous works are detective stories, have perhaps disguised from a few literary snobs that he is, without doubt, one of the greatest writers of our time, not least because, like Maigret, he is so perfectly of our time. André Gide was one of the earliest to point this out, and he has been followed by William Faulkner, Muriel Spark, Peter Ackroyd, PD James and John Banville.
He really is a great writer.


  1. Among crime fiction authors -- and European writers of all genres of his era -- Simenon remains my favorite; his under-rated status is being improved by Penguin's recent series of newly published paperbacks of all Maigret and a few non-Maigret novels (and I have been collecting and reading all of them).

  2. Hi Tim,
    The new Penguins are better, more accurate translations.