Notes On Simenon: The Man, The Books, The Films: A 21st Century Guide (2022) by Barry Forshaw

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Oldcastle Books, 2022. Book Format: Kindle Edition. File Size: 1655 KB. Print Length: 202 pages. ASIN: B09M84S5MK. eISBN: 978-0-85730-514-5.

41YPY5SybLLBook Description: The legendary Georges Simenon was the most successful and influential writer of crime fiction in a language other than English; André Gide called him ‘the greatest French novelist of our times’.

Celebrated crime fiction expert Barry Forshaw’s informed and lively study draws together Simenon’s extraordinary life and his work on both page and screen. By the time of Simenon’s death in 1989, his French copper Maigret had become an institution, rivalled only by Sherlock Holmes. The pipe-smoking Inspector of Police is a quietly spoken observer of human nature who uses the techniques of psychology on those he encounters (both the guilty and the innocent) – with no rush to moral condemnation. Simenon’s non-Maigret standalone books are among the most commanding in the genre, and, as a trenchant picture of French society, his concise novels collectively offer up a fascinating analysis. And his influence on an army of later crime writers is incalculable.

Alongside his own considerable insights, Barry Forshaw has interviewed people who worked either with Simenon or on his books: publishers, editors, translators, and other specialist writers. He has created a literary prism through which to appreciate one of the most distinctive achievements in the whole of crime fiction.

My Take: A brief overview of the contents of this book, in addition to the usual headings, shows us that it is divided into the following sections: Simenon: The Man; Maigret’s Paris; Writers On Simenon; Publishing Simenon; Translating Simenon; Adapting Maigret; Desperately Seeking Simenon; Simenon: The Books and Simenon On Screen. The book is timely, as it follows the recent release of Maigret’s 75 novels, some collections of short stories and other non-series Simenon books, the so-called “romans durs”, under new translations by Penguin Crime Classics. My interest in this book should come as no surprise to those who have read my blog posts on Maigret mysteries or know of my fondness for these novels. I have enjoyed in particular the sections: Translating Simenon, Simenon: The Books and Simenon on Screen. Highly recommended both for those already familiar with Simenon oeuvre as for those who would like to delve into it for the first time.

Simenon: The Man, The Books, the Films has been reviewed, among others, by Ayo Onatade at ‘Shotsmag’, and Martin Edwards at ‘Do You Write Under Your Own Name?’.

About the Author: Barry Forshaw’s books include Crime Fiction: A Reader’s Guide, Nordic Noir and British Crime Film. Other work includes Death in a Cold Climate: A Guide to Scandinavian Crime Fiction, The Rough Guide to Crime Fiction and British Crime Writing: An Encyclopedia, along with books on Italian cinema, film noir and the first biography of Stieg Larsson; he also provides essays and commentaries for Blu-rays, writes on classical music. His next books are British Gothic Cinema and a study of Thomas Harris and The Silence of the Lambs. He writes for various national newspapers and magazines, edits Classical CD Choice, DVD Choice and Crime Time, and broadcasts for ITV and BBC TV documentaries. He has been Vice Chair of the Crime Writers’ Association, and has taught an MA course at City University on the history of crime fiction.. (Source: barryforshaw.co.uk)

Oldcastle Books publicity page

SIMENON: El hombre, los libros, las películas: una guía del siglo XXI (2022) por Barry Forshaw

Descripción del libro: El legendario Georges Simenon fue el escritor de novela policiaca de más éxito e influyente en un idioma que no sea el inglés; André Gide lo llamó ‘el más grande novelista francés de nuestro tiempo’.

El estudio informado y animado del célebre experto en novela policiaca Barry Forshaw reúne la extraordinaria vida de Simenon y su trabajo tanto en las páginas impresas como en la pantalla. En el momento de la muerte de Simenon en 1989, su policía francés Maigret se había convertido en una institución, solo rivalizada por Sherlock Holmes. El inspector de policía que fuma en pipa es un observador de la naturaleza humana que habla en voz baja y utiliza las técnicas de la psicología con aquellos con los que se encuentra (tanto con los culpables como con los inocentes), sin prisa por condenar moralmente. Los libros independientes de Simenon que no son de Maigret se encuentran entre los más destacados del género y, como una imagen mordaz de la sociedad francesa, sus novelas concisas colectivamente ofrecen un análisis fascinante. Y su influencia en un ejército de escritores policíacos posteriores es incalculable.

Además de sus considerables conocimientos, Barry Forshaw ha entrevistado a personas que trabajaron con Simenon o en sus libros: casa editoriales, editores, traductores y otros escritores especializados. Ha creado un prisma literario a través del cual apreciar uno de los logros más distintivos de toda la novela policiaca.

Mi opinión: Una breve descrición del contenido de este libro, además de los títulos habituales, nos muestra que está dividido en las siguientes secciones: Simenon: el Hombre;; el París de Maigret; Escritores Sobre Simenon; Publicar a Simenón; Traducir a Simenon; Adaptaciones de Maigret; Buscando desesperadamente a Simenon; Los libros de Simenon y Simenon en pantalla. El libro es oportuno, ya que sigue el reciente lanzamiento de las 75 novelas de Maigret, algunas colecciones de relatos y otros libros de Simenon que no pertenecen a la serie, los llamados “romans durs“, bajo nuevas traducciones por Penguin Crime Classics. Mi interés en este libro no debería sorprender a quienes han leído las publicaciones de mi blog sobre los misterios de Maigret o saben de mi afición por estas novelas. He disfrutado en particular de las secciones: Traducir a Simenon, Los libros de Simenon y Simenon en pantalla. Muy recomendable tanto para los que ya conocen la obra de Simenon como para los que quieran adentrarse en ella por primera vez.

Sobre el autor: Los libros de Barry Forshaw incluyen Crime Fiction: A Reader’s Guide, Nordic Noir and British Crime Film. Otros trabajos incluyen Death in a Cold Climate: A Guide to Scandinavian Crime Fiction, The Rough Guide to Crime Fiction y British Crime Writing: An Encyclopediaa, junto con libros sobre cine italiano, cine negro y la primera biografía de Stieg Larsson; también proporciona ensayos y comentarios para Blu-rays, escribe sobre música clásica. Sus próximos libros son British Gothic Cinema y un estudio de Thomas Harris y The Silence of the Lambs. Escribe para varios periódicos y revistas nacionales, edita Classical CD Choice, DVD Choice y Crime Time, y emite documentales para la ITV y BBC TV. Ha sido vicepresidente de la Crime Writers’ Association y ha impartido un Master  en la Universidad de la City sobre historia de la novela policiaca. (Fuente: barryforshaw.co.uk)

Looking Forward To

Brit Noir by Barry Forshaw

Publication Date: 24 March 2016

9781843446408Barry Forshaw is one of the UK’s leading experts on crime fiction and film. His latest books are Euro Noir, Nordic Noir, British Crime Film and British Gothic Cinema. Other work includes Death in a Cold Climate: A Guide to Scandinavian Crime Fiction, The Rough Guide to Crime Fiction, and the Keating Award-winning British Crime Writing: An Encyclopedia, along with books on Italian cinema and the first biography of Stieg Larsson. He writes for various national newspapers, edits Crime Time (www.crimetime.co.uk), and is a regular broadcaster. He has been Vice Chair of the Crime Writers’ Association, and has taught an MA course at City University on the history of crime fiction. 

Continuing the earlier success of the series with Nordic Noir and Euro Noir, Barry Forshaw now returns home to produce the definitive reader’s guide to modern British crime fiction. Every major living writer of the British Isles is considered, often through a concentration on one or two key books, and exciting new talents are highlighted for the reader. And as the genre is as much about films and TV as it is about books, Brit Noir celebrates crime on the screen as well as on the page. Barry Forshaw’s personal acquaintance with writers, editors and publishers is unparalleled, and the book contains a host of new first-hand insights into the genre and its practitioners. (Source: Pocket essentials)

Review: Euro Noir by Barry Forshaw

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Pocket Essentials an imprint of Oldcastle Books, 2014. Kindle edition. (604 KB). ISBN: 978-1-84344-247-9. 256 pages. ASIN: B00J75NBO6.

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Following my previous blog entry here I’ve spent a few hours in the company of Barry Forshaw and his new book Euro Noir. A pocket essential guide, as suggests its subtitle, to European Crime Fiction, Film and TV. The guide is divided into nine chapters, each of a different extension, covering Italy; France; Germany, Austria and Germany; Spain and Portugal; Greece; The Netherlands; Poland; Romania; and Scandicrime Revisited. In addition it has an Introduction and six Appendices: 1. Publishing Translated Crime Fiction, 2. The Petrona Perspective, 3. Crossing the Bridge with Sofia Helin, 4. Jørn Lier Horst: Language – Hero – Environment, 5. Selected Top Crime Novels by Country and 6. Selected Top Crime Films and TV by Country. In essence, Euro Noir follows the same structure as Barry Farshaw’s previous pocket guide, Nordic Noir, you can find my review here. Though, this time, I miss an Index at the end. 

Despite the fact that Barry Forshaw hardly needs any presentation, it’s worth to remember here that he’s one of the UK’s leading experts on crime fiction and film. His latest books are Nordic Noir, British Crime Film and British Gothic Cinema. Other work includes Death in a Cold Climate: A Guide to Scandinavian Crime Fiction, The Rough Guide to Crime Fiction, Euro Noir and the Keating Award-winning British Crime Writing: An Encyclopedia, along with books on Italian cinema and the first biography of Stieg Larsson. He writes for various national newspapers, edits Crime Time (www.crimetime.co.uk), and is a regular broadcaster. He has been Vice Chair of the Crime Writers’ Association, and has taught an MA course at City University on the history of crime fiction. (Oldcastle Books)

In my view, this is an easy-to-read guide, amusing and entertaining. The aficionado will thus be able to widen her/his knowledge of the current state of crime fiction in other European countries. What’s certainly a highly commendable task. Besides. Barry Forshaw has had the ability to follow the advice of some local experts, with whom he has gathered. As he states himself in the Introduction:

The idea is to present a user-friendly, wide-ranging snapshot of the best achievements (both on the printed page and on screen) of crime not originally written (or played) in English. However, unlike my earlier Nordic Noir (where even in 160 pages it was possible to present a largely inclusive survey), such comprehensive coverage would obviously be impossible in an area which has been producing splendid work from a variety of countries for so many years and with the space available to me in Euro Noir. I’ve tried to pack in as much as I can. I’ve concentrated on Western Europe and I’ve had to be selective, with an emphasis on the contemporary rather than the classic.

I cannot overlook the Appendix in which Maxine Clarke (Petrona) is mentioned. Despite the time elapsed since she is no longer with us, her memory continues to be present among all who once, consider ourselves her friends. She will be forever in our memories. 

But let me finish with a more cheerful note and highlight the contribution of my dear friends, Karen Meek at Euro Crime, Kat Hall at Mrs Peabody Investigates and Sara Ward at Crimepieces. Let me suggest you a visit to their blogs, you won’t regret it and you’ll thank me if you don’t know them yet.

My rating: A (I loved it) 

Oldcaste Books

Q&A with International Crime Fiction aficionado and critic Barry Forshaw

Amazon.es

Euro Noir de Barry Forshaw

Como continuación a mi entrada de blog anterior aquí he pasado unas horas en compañía de Barry Forshaw y su nuevo libro Euro Noir. Una guía esencial de bolsillo, como sugiere su subtítulo, sobre novela negra europea, Cine y Televisión. La guía se divide en nueve capítulos, cada uno de una extensión diferente, cubriendo Italia; Francia; Alemania, Austria y Alemania; España y Portugal; Grecia; Países Bajos; Polonia; Rumanía; y un nuevo repaso a la Novela Negra Nórdica. Además cuenta con una Introducción y seis apéndices: 1. La edición de novelas negras traducidas, 2. La perspectiva de Petrona, 3. Cruzando el puente con Sofia Helin, 4. Jørn Lier Horst: Idioma – Héroe – Ambiente, 5. Una selección de las mejores novelas negras por países y 6. Una selección de las mejores películas y series policíacas por paises. En esencia, Euro Noir sigue la misma estructura que la guía de bolsillo anterior de Barry Farshaw, Nordic Noir, usted puede encontrar mi reseña aquí. Aunque, esta vez, echo de menos un índice al final.

A pesar de que Barry Forshaw no necesita ninguna presentación, vale la pena recordar aquí que es uno de los principales expertos en novela negra y cine del Reino Unido. Sus últimos libros son Nordic Noir, British Crime Film y British Cinema Gothic. Otros trabajos incluyen Death in a Cold Climate: A Guide to Scandinavian Crime Fiction, The Rough Guide to Crime Fiction, Euro Noir y el laureado con el Premio Keating British Crime Writing: An Encyclopedia, junto con libros sobre cine italiano y la primera biografía de Stieg Larsson. Escribe para varios periódicos nacionales, edita Time Crime (www.crimetime.co.uk), y es un presentador habitual. Ha sido Vicepresidente de la Asociación Británica de Escritores de Novelas Policíacas, la CWA, y ha impartido un curso de maestría en la Universidad de la City sobre la historia de la novela negra. (Oldcastle Books, mi traducción libre).

En mi opinión, esta es una guía de fácil lectura, divertida y entretenida. El aficionado podrá así ampliar sus conocimientos sobre la situación actual de la novela policíaca en otros países europeos. Lo que es sin duda una tarea muy encomiable. Además. Barry Forshaw ha tenido la habilidad de seguir los consejos de algunos expertos locales, con quienes se ha reunido. Como él mismo señala en la introducción:

La idea es presentar una amplia gama de instantánes fáciles de utilizar con los mejores logros (tanto en letra impresa como en pantalla) de novelas policíacas no escritas (o rodadas) originalmente en Inglés. Sin embargo, a diferencia de mi anterior libro Nordic Noir (donde incluso en 160 páginas era posible presentar un amplio sondeo), una cobertura tan completa, obviamente, sería imposible en un área que ha estado produciendo espléndidas obras en diversos países durante tantos años y con el espacio que podía disponer en Euro Noir. He tratado de incluir todo lo que me ha sido posible. Me he concentrado en Europa Occidental y he tenido que ser selectivo, haciendo un mayor hincapié en lo contemporáneo frente a lo clásico. (Mi traducción libre). 

No puedo pasar por alto el Apéndice en el que menciona a Maxine Clarke (Petrona). A pesar del tiempo transcurrido desde que ya no está con nosotros, su recuerdo sigue presente entre todos los que una vez, nos consideramos sus amigos. Ella estará siempre en nuestra memoria.

Pero permítanme terminar con una nota más alegre y destacar la contribución de mis queridas amigas, Karen Meek en Euro Crime, Kat Hall en Mrs Peabody Investigates y Sara Ward en Crimepieces. Dejeme que les sugiera una visita a sus blogs, no se arrepentirán y me lo agradecerán si no los conocen todavía.

Mi valoración: A (Me encantó)

Barry Forshaw’s Five Minute Guide to Nordic Noir

I’m currently reading Euro Noir: The Pocket Essential Guide to European Crime Fiction, Film and TV by Barry Forshaw and I came across the following video that I would like to share with you. You can read the Introduction and Chapter One of another one of his books: Nordic Noir: The Pocket Essential Guide to Scandinavian Crime Fiction, Film and TV here.

Euro Noir The Pocket Essential Guide to European Crime Fiction, Film and TV by Barry Forshaw

https://i0.wp.com/www.oldcastlebooks.co.uk/images/large/9781843442455large.jpgEuro Noir by Britain’s leading crime fiction expert Barry Forshaw (author of Nordic Noir) examines the astonishing success of European fiction and drama. This is often edgier, grittier and more compelling than some of its British or American equivalents, and provides a highly readable guide for those wanting to look further than the obvious choices.

The sheer volume of new European writers and films is daunting but Euro Noir presents a roadmap to the territory and is the perfect travel guide to the genre. The book covers influential Italian authors such as Andrea Camilleri and Leonardo Sciascia and Mafia crime dramas Romanzo criminale and Gomorrah, along with the gruesome Gialli crime films. From France and Belgium, important writers from Maigret’s creator Georges Simenon to today’s Fred Vargas, cult television programmes Braquo and Spiral and films, from the classic heist movie Rififi to modern successes such as Hidden, Mesrine and Tell No One. German and Austrian greats are covered including Jakob Arjouni and Jan Costin Wagner, crime films including Run Lola Run and The Lives of Others.

Euro Noir also covers the best crime writing and filmmaking from Spain, Portugal, Greece, Holland and other European countries and celebrates the wide scope of European crime fiction, films and TV.

Read more at Pocket Essentials

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