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Havoc By Accident [Talatala / The Breton…
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Havoc By Accident [Talatala / The Breton Sisters]

by Georges Simenon

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Two novels in one volume. One of them is pretty good and the other will knock your teeth out. The blurb refers to Simenon's technique as "controlled and caustic art." The New York Times 1943.
Talatala takes place on an African plantation, and concerns the owner of the plantation and one of those devastating Englishwomen-- rich, beautiful, well-born--whose hobbies are airplanes, opium and adultery. The hero is considerably taken with her and a few subsidiary characters shoot each other.
The Breton Sisters - Jules Guerec is a Breton fisherman who lives with his three sisters. They adore him, attend to his every comfort, protect him from the results of his follies and they sap his mental and moral strength as neatly as if they had gone to work with a suction pump. The story is superbly told, with an off-hand manner that is far more blood-curdling than any insistence on the horror of the situation might be. In the end, Jules, lost, and afraid only that his sisters will die and leave him, makes a mental note to buy Celine some caramels.
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