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The Hanged Man of Saint-Pholien by Georges…

The Hanged Man of Saint-Pholien

by Georges Simenon

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Maigret (4)

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» See also 43 mentions

English (8)  French (3)  Danish (2)  Spanish (1)  Italian (1)  Dutch (1)  All (16)
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
My favorite one so far. Excellent plot and characters. Stands up after nearly 100 years! ( )
  BooksForDinner | Apr 4, 2017 |
Not to re-read. ( )
  TanteLeonie | Apr 12, 2016 |
When I lived in Neuchatel, Switzerland for a couple of years while in high school, I fell in love with Inspector Maigret and read most of the series in French. My French being worse than dormant in my dotage, I have been pleased to see the release of the Maigret stories for my Kindle and have added several.

Hanged Man was the fourth of the series. Unlike most of the subsequent books, it’s less a police procedural as technically he doesn’t even has a case, and more of a psychological novel resembling his non-Maigret stories. Here, Maigret has been traveling and watching a man senses something peculiar in his behavior. He follows the man who then commits suicide. This leads Maigret to pursue assorted leads in order to understand the motivation behind the man’s suicide. I won’t give away more except to say the book is an interesting examination of guilt.

Maigret is such an interesting character. He can adopt a multitude of persona from the bumbling ignoramus to the brilliant and insightful detective while being compassionate or cruel as the situation demands. ( )
  ecw0647 | Apr 11, 2016 |
This is also known in English as "The Crime of Monsieur Maigret", which I think is a better title. The book begins with Maigret tailing a mysterious man on a long rail journey, ending with the man committing suicide in Bremen. Feeling that he himself drove the man to suicide, Maigret decides to investigate the man's back story.

I'm not sure that this is the kind of mystery that can be easily solved by the reader, but to be fair Maigret himself is not that much further ahead. It's simply a matter of following him along on his quest. And because he is a pleasant fellow, this is a pleasant book. The translation in my edition is a bit giggle-inducing though because in some places it sticks fairly close to the French: a character is said to "throw (or maybe throw down) the sponge", which is probably a rendering of "jeter l'éponge", or "throw in the towel" (i.e. to give up). There were one or two other places where it had a somewhat translation-y flavour, but it did not make it difficult to understand the story. And this was originally translated in the early 1960s, so perhaps a more modern translation would sound different.

Overall I enjoyed my first adventure with Monsieur Maigret and look forward to visiting with him again. ( )
1 vote rabbitprincess | Sep 19, 2014 |
George Simeon's output seems unbelievable considering there were 76 Maigret novels alone published in his lifetime, at least the first four of which saw the light in 1931 when he was merely 28 years old. It seems the character of Maigret appeared to him one day and inhabited him throughout his career, although when he fist conceived the middle-aged, 50-something Maigret, Simenon himself was only 26. Maigret and the Hundred Gibbets was one of two Maigret books offered at the launch of the new series (the other was Maigret Stonewalled) during a glittering Parisian event which included among it's many famous guests personalities such as Kiki de Montparnasse, author Colette and the Baron Philippe de Rothschild. From the first, Simenon establishes Maigret as a very human detective, fallible, compassionate and seeking answers within himself more than 'out there', and I found this 4th novel showed him as such most notably, especially in the final outcome, in which the suspects' unseen children have a large role to play in Maigret's decision on how to wrap up the case. It begins with him following a suspect on a whim, because of the man's nervous disposition and poor appearance, and the cheap, newly-bought suitcase he carries, which intrigues the inspector. On a whim, Maigret decides to purchase the exact same suitcase shortly after he sees the man leave the shop with it, and at the first occasion, makes a switch to see what might happen. Then to his great dismay, after he follows to man to a run-down hotel, and as he watches from the communicating keyhole between their rooms, he witnesses the man put a revolver in his mouth and shoot himself when the swap is discovered. From there, Maigret feels a responsibility to find out what might have led this man to suicide, who moments before showed no signs of having any intention to kill himself, as attested by the still uneaten buns he'd just bought at a bakery shortly before. Another great mystery filled with atmosphere and plenty of pipe smoke. Won't belong before I start on #5 in the series, A Man's Head. ( )
  Smiler69 | Jul 8, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (46 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Georges Simenonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Cañameras, F.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Coverdale, LindaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tlarig, M.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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No one noticed what was going on.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
In the French original, Le pendu de Saint-Pholien (1931).

Variously published in English as:
(i) The Crime of Inspector Maigret (1932), and in Introducing Inspector Maigret (1933) (trans. Anthony Abbot);
(ii) Maigret and the Hundred Gibbets (1963), and in Maigret Meets a Milord (1983) (trans. Tony White);
(iii) The Hanged Man of Saint-Pholien (2014) (trans. Linda Coverdale).
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On a trip to Brussels, Maigret unwittingly causes a man's suicide, but his own remorse is overshadowed by the discovery of the sordid events that drove the desperate man to shoot himself.

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