Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Merry Christmas!

After a slightly uninspiring start, Harry Gruyaert's covers for Penguin's continuing Maigret reissues are getting really good. The Flemish House (number 14) is out now, followed by The Madman of Bergerac in January (Liberty Bar is out in March). And there's a hardback edition of the first four books in an edition originally designed by author Georges Simenon.

Happy Christmas and all the very best for 2015!

Friday, 23 May 2014

The Maigret Circle

A rare post to pull together a few developments in the Simenon universe, which seems to be expanding as Penguin floods bookstores with its new Maigret translations: number eight in the series, The Grand Banks Café (previously The Sailor's Rendez-Vous) is due out 5 June. It's a shame no bookshops have had any offers on these new imprints to tempt me to augment my complete, if ramshackle, Maigret collection, but Penguin will get me out for the English-language debut of The Mahé Circle (1944), translated by Siân Reynolds and released simultaneously with The Grand Banks

One of the prolific author's non-Maigret, romans dursThe Mahé Circle (cover image above) is an intriguing addition to Simenon's translated catalogue, in which the good Dr Mahé is trapped in a bleak infatuation on his recurring family holiday in Porquerolles - the island off the Côte d'Azur and the setting for My Friend Maigret (1949), one of the dozen or so books featured in Penguin's previous, apparently ill-fated Simenon revival back in 2003. A little down the coast, the Cannes Film Festival has hosted the premiere of Mathieu Amalric's intriguing adaptation of The Blue Room (1955), starring the actor-director alongside Stéphanie Cléau and Léa Drucker (here's the poster).

No doubt all this and more will be mulled over by biographers Pierre Assouline and Patrick Marnham when they share the stage at the Institut Français on 1 June. Their discussion follows a screening of one of my favourite Simenon adaptations, M Hire, as part of the Institut's all too short Noir is the Colour season.