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The art of Simenon

Georges Simenon's 76 Maigret novels are studies in the art of watching the world go by—and a homage to carefully nurtured intuition

This year happens to mark 75 years since publication of the first two Maigret romans policiers out of the 76 Georges Simenon would write.

I picked up a few second hand a couple of years ago, and was dazzled by the tight form, the suspense, the minimal vocabulary. Dazzled too by the fact that in the last three quarters of a century, everyone from Elizabeth Bowen to Muriel Spark, from Thornton Wilder to Joyce Carol Oates, seems to have been a fan, and here was I, coming along so late in the day to a great writer. Immune to modesty,…

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