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Maigret's Memoirs by Georges Simenon
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Maigret's Memoirs (1950)

by Georges Simenon

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Maigret (63)

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» See also 4 mentions

English (3)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  Spanish (1)  All (6)
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Takes a bit of getting used to. It is not the story of a crime solved by Maigret but Maigret's account of his relationship with Simenon, showing how he trod the beat before he became a detective and how he never judges a criminal but just tries to understand him. Really good - does it tell us more about Maigret or Simenon? It is easy to forget that Maigret is not a real person so true to life he is depicted. ( )
  jon1lambert | Feb 26, 2018 |
Personally, I like Miagret as a character, but I tend to find Simenon's mysteries about him depressingly sordid. This volume suits me, as it purports to me Maigret's own memoirs of his own fairly happy career, with some amusingly critical remarks about "Georges Sim's" fictionalizations of his cases, not unlike Holmes's critiques of Watson's stories. ( )
1 vote antiquary | Jan 9, 2016 |
A retired policeman writes about his life, his career, and his sometimes rather difficult friendship with the Belgian novelist who turned up in his office one day back in 1928 to research a crime story. Maigret wants to try to set the record straight and persuade us that there's nothing sensational about police work, that he's a civil servant like any other, that very few crimes involve the sort of intellectual detective work that is meat and drink to Simenon, and that he long ago gave up wearing a bowler hat and a coat with a velvet collar. In the course of the book, we also learn a bit more about Maigret's childhood, how he came to join the police, and how he met the future Mme Maigret.

It's a difficult trick to pull off a crime story that doesn't actually revolve around a crime, and is made to look clumsy and amateurish whilst still being cleverly enough constructed to retain the reader's interest, but Simenon is an old pro who by 1951 could do this sort of thing blindfolded with one arm tied behind his back. Of course, he is having his bit of fun teasing prosaically-minded critics whilst demonstrating just where the added value provided by a novelist lies. To even the balance, he puts in a few jokes at his own expense and a few thoughts about the ways an author comes to identify with a long-running character, and vice-versa. One unexpected thing is the way Simenon sets Maigret's early career firmly in the gaslight and horse-cab era: if he's supposed to be recently-retired in 1951, this makes sense - he might have left the force after about 40 or 45 years of service - but we don't get much indication of it elsewhere. Simenon evidently found that he still needed Maigret and had to lop a decade or two off his age to keep him in harness through to the end of the 1960s.

Probably not the most interesting book if you aren't already a Maigret addict, but indispensable if you are. ( )
1 vote thorold | Mar 29, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Georges Simenonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Cañameras, F.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tlarig, M.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Es war im Jahre 1927 oder 1928.
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