Review: Maigret’s Revolver, 1952 (Inspector Maigret #40) by Georges Simenon (Trans: Siân Reynolds)


Esta entrada es bilingüe, para ver la versión en castellano desplazarse hacia abajo

Penguin Classics, Reprint edition, 2017. Format. Paperback. 192 pages. ISBN: 978-0241277430. First published in French as Le Revolver de Maigret by Presses de la Cité, 1952. Translated by Siân Reynolds in 2017. First translated into English in 1956 as Maigret’s Revolver by Nigel Ryan.

First paragraph: When, in later years, Maigret looked back on this particular investigation, it would always strike him as something a little out of the ordinary, associated in his mind with the kind of illness that does not declare itself clearly but begins with vague twinges, feelings of unease, symptoms too mild to take seriously.

cover.jpg.rendition.460.707 (3)Book description: When Maigret’s prized gun goes missing, he must travel to London on the trail of a troubled young man on the run…

My take: A young man, who later turns out to be Alain Lagrange, tries to visit Maigret at his house when he is out, but the young man leaves before Maigret returns, taking with him a revolver that Maigret has in great esteem, a gift from his colleagues at the FBI. That same night M. et Mme Maigret are invited to dinner at M. et Mme Pardon’s house. But another guest, a certain François Lagrange, Alain’s father and former classmate of Pardon, does not show up, despite his keen interest to get to know the famous Commissaire Maigret. Intrigued, the next day Maigret decides to visit Lagrange, who excuses himself claiming he was sick. However, when Maigret leaves, he finds out from the concierge that, the night before, Lagrange was perfectly fine. In fact he left his house with a heavy trunk on his back. As the story unfolds, the police finds Lagrange’s trunk at the Gare du Nord left-luggage office,  with a corpse inside. The body turns out to be that of a politician, the Deputy André Delteil,, but Lagrange refuses to speak by pretending to be insane. Meanwhile, Maigret travels to London in search of Lagrange’s son, Alain.

Probably this instalment is one of the last occasions when Maigret, in order to investigate a case, has to travel outside France. More precisely to London where  the stiff English timetables will get him totally by surprise. But getting back into the story in question, I’ve found this book quite engaging and Simenon, in full form, is as able as no one to keep the intrigue and suspense of the plot, even when barely nothing noteworthy happens. Simenon’s sober style and the good pace of the narration, help to increase the reading pleasure. The following article on Maigret and the translators did whet my appetite to read it, and although I enjoyed it, I need to recognise as well it has not make me as thrilled as I was expecting. In any case my keenness for the series remains intact and I’m looking forward to reading a new instalment.

My rating: B  (I liked it)

About the Author: Georges Simenon (Liège, Belgium, 1903 – Lausanne, Switzerland, 1989) wrote one hundred and ninety-one novels with his name, and an undefined number of novels and stories published under different pseudonyms, as well as memorabilia and dictated texts. The Commissaire Maigret is the protagonist of seventy-five of these novels and twenty-eight short stories, all published between 1931 and 1972. Famous throughout the world, already recognized as a master storyteller, today no one doubts he is one of the greatest writers of the 20th century.

About the Translator: Born in Cardiff, Siân Reynolds taught at the universities of Sussex and Edinburgh before being appointed to the Chair of French at Stirling (1990-2004). Since taking early retirement, she has acted as consultant for the School, while continuing with research and translation. Among recent publications, she was co-editor of the Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women (EUP, 2005), and authored Paris-Edinburgh: cultural connections in the Belle Epoque (Ashgate, 2007, shortlisted for the Saltire Society History Prize). Her latest book is a double biography of two French revolutionaries: Marriage and Revolution: Monsieur and Madame Roland (OUP 2012). She has translated many books on French history, including most of the works of Fernand Braudel. Recent translations include fiction by Virginie Despentes, Antonin Varenne and French crime novelist, Fred Vargas. Four Vargas translations have been awarded the Crime Writers’ Association International Dagger (2006, 2007, 2009, 2013). She is currently Chair of the Scottish Working People’s History Trust, honorary vice-president of the Association for the Study of Modern and Contemporary France, and honorary Fellow of the IGRS. In 2010 she was promoted Officier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques, and in 2013 elected Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales. She is a member of the editorial board of the journal Clio, Femmes, Genre, Histoire, currently taking responsibility for the online English version. (Source: University of Stirling)

Maigret’s Revolver has been reviewed at Crime Review, and John Grant has also reviewed it at Goodreads.

Penguin UK publicity page

Penguin US publicity page 

Le Revolver de Maigret 

Maigret of the Month: May, 2007

Tout Maigret

audible 

El revolver de Maigret, de Georges Simenon

Primer párrafo: Cuando, años mas tarde, Maigret vuelva la vista atrás sobre esta investigación en concreto, siempre le parecerá algo fuera de lo común, asociada en su mente con el tipo de enfermedad que no se manifiesta claramente sino que comienza con punzadas imprecisas, sensaciónes de malestar, síntomas demasiado leves para ser tomados en serio.


Descripción del libro
: Cuando el arma que Maigret apreciaba especialmente desaparece, éste debe viajar a Londres siguiendo el rastro de un joven problemático a la fuga …

Mi opinión: Un joven, que más tarde resulta ser Alain Lagrange, intenta visitar a Maigret en su casa cuando él está fuera, pero el joven se marcha, antes de que Maigret regrese, llevándose consigo un revólver que Maigret tiene en gran estima, un regalo de sus colegas en el FBI. Esa misma noche, M. y Mme Maigret están invitadas a cenar a la casa de M. et Mme Pardon. Pero otro invitado, un tal François Lagrange, padre de Alain y ex compañero de clase de Pardon, no aparece, a pesar de su gran interés por conocer al célebre comisario Maigret. Intrigado, al día siguiente Maigret decide visitar a Lagrange, quien se excusa diciendo que estaba enfermo. Sin embargo, cuando Maigret se marcha, se entera por el conserje de que, la noche anterior, Lagrange estaba perfectamente bien. De hecho, salió de su casa con un pesado baúl a la espalda. A medida que se desarrolla la historia, la policía encuentra el baúl de Lagrange en la consigna de la Gare du Nord, con un cadáver dentro. El cuerpo resulta ser el de un político, el diputado André Delteil, pero Lagrange se niega a hablar fingiendo estar loco. Mientras tanto, Maigret viaja a Londres en busca del hijo de Lagrange, Alain.

Probablemente esta entrega es una de las últimas ocasiones en que Maigret, para investigar un caso, tiene que viajar fuera de Francia. Más precisamente a Londres, donde los rígidos horarios ingleses lo sorprenderán por completo. Pero volviendo a la historia en cuestión, he encontrado este libro bastante interesante y Simenon, en plena forma, es tan capaz como nadie de mantener la intriga y el suspense de la trama, incluso cuando apenas pasa nada digno de mención. El estilo sobrio de Simenon y el buen ritmo de la narración, ayudan a aumentar el placer de la lectura. El siguiente artículo sobre Maigret and the translators despertó mi apetito por leerlo, y aunque lo disfruté, debo reconocer que no me ha emocionado tanto como esperaba. En cualquier caso, mi entusiasmo por la serie permanece intacto y estoy deseando leer una nueva entrega.

Mi valoración: B (Me gustó)

Sobre el autor: Georges Simenon (Lieja, Bélgica, 1903 – Lausana, Suiza, 1989) escribió ciento noventa y una novelas con su nombre, y un número indefinido de novelas e historias publicadas bajo diferentes seudónimos, así como recuerdos y textos dictados. El comisario Maigret es el protagonista de setenta y cinco de estas novelas y veintiocho relatos cortos, todos publicados entre 1931 y 1972. Famoso en todo el mundo, reconocido como un narrador consagrado, hoy nadie duda de que es uno de los mejores escritores del siglo XX.

2 thoughts on “Review: Maigret’s Revolver, 1952 (Inspector Maigret #40) by Georges Simenon (Trans: Siân Reynolds)

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