Belgian born writer Georges Simenon (Liège, February 13, 1903 – September 4, 1989), is considered one of the best mystery writers of all times, even though some of his “psychological novels” are only being discovered. He was also a very prolific writer, and was known to be able to write anywhere between 60 to 80 pages a day. Such ability to write quickly produced almost 200 novels, 150 novellas, a number of autobiographical works, quite a number of articles and even more so called pulp novels which he wrote under various pseudonyms. When counted, Simenon had almost 550 million copies of his works printed.
Order of Georges Simenon Non-Fiction Books
Order of Georges Simenon Standalone Novels
|3||The Man Who Watched Trains Go By||1938|
|4||The Strangers in the House||1940|
|6||Monsieur Monde Vanishes||1945|
|7||Three Bedrooms in Manhattan||1946|
|8||Act of Passion||1946|
|11||The Blue Room||1960|
|13||The Bells of Bicetre||1963|
|14||The Venice Train||1965|
|16||The Old Man Dies||1966|
|18||Uncle Charles Has Locked Himself in||1969|
|21||The Glass Cage||1971|
|23||The Little Doctor||1981|
|25||The Watchmaker and the Iron Staircase||2002|
Order of Inspector Maigret Series
Order of Inspector Maigret Short Story Collections
Simenon is best known and remembered for a series of 75 novels and 28 short stories covering the adventures of police commissioner (Commissaire) Maigret. The first novel in the series appeared in 1931, while the last one hit the shelves in 1972. Currently there is quite a number of sites that continue to discuss Maigrets cases (http://www.trussel.com/f_maig.htm). The success of the Maigret series meant that the works from this series were translated into all major languages, while several of them became movies and radio plays. Maigret became particularly popular in Great Britain, where Simenon’s works were used as a base for two Maigret television series (1960-63 and 1992-93).
Simenon spent a good period of his life and career in the United States. This, so called Simenon’s “American” period is considered his most creative. Simenon drew quite some inspiration from his life in America as some of his novels were set in the scenery he lived through: (Trois chambres à Manhattan – Three Rooms in Manhattan (1946), Maigret à New – Maiget in New York York (1947), Maigret se fâche – Maigret Gets Angry (1947)).
Some of his “psychological novels” have only recently begun to catch the eye of the reading public, and include titles like La neige était sale – Snow is Dirty (1948) or Le fils – Sons (1957). H also wrote a series of autobiographical works like Je me souviens – I Remember (1945), Pedigree (1948), Mémoires intimes – Intimate memoirs (1981).
Georges Simenon Awards
While living and working in the US, Simenon was awarded the MWA (Mystery Writers of America) Grand Master Award.
In Belgium he was also nominated in 2005 for the title “De Grootste Belg (The Greatest Belgian). There were two versions of this title: Flemish and Wallon one. In the first he was in 77th place and in the other he came in 10th.
Georges Simenon Books Into Movies:
Prolific writing and popularity with readers brought along quite a number of movies and TV series being produced based on Georges Simenon works, to be precise exactly 142. Only in 2016 two TV movies were made based on Inspector Maigret series: “Maigret’s Dead Man” and “Maigrest Sets a Trap”. The first movie based on a Simenon novel was made as early as 1932: “Night At The Crossroads”. Out of these, there were 10 different TV series completed based on Simenon’s writings.
Some of Simenon’s novels are considered as a basis for some of the best movies made in the so called Film Noir genre.
Best Georges Simenon Books
There are many accounts that Georges Simenon’s tales of mystery, scandal and even sexual misconduct are in many ways based on his personal life story. It would be hard today to say what differentiates truth for fiction, but here are some of the Simenon’s key written works:
Inspector Maigret novel series. It is said that if you read one of the novels in the Inspector Maigret series, you will read all 75 of them. Of course, the quality of all is not equal, but you are sure to enjoy practically all of them, particularly if you are a mystery novel buff.
Intimate Memoirs (1981): Some critics have called Simenon’s Inspector Maigret series as “comfort food” that you recover from his more serious work. This autobiographical work only confirms, as one critic said, that a good meal was not the only thing Georges Simenon liked to enjoy. A wife and two mistresses will do the trick in that respect.
The Mahé Circle: One of so called “more serious” works of Simenon that was only recently translated into English. In it you can find the essential Simenon male character. As with most Simenon main characters presented in his “serious” works discovering different freedoms poses a challenge in making a distinction between what is just enough and what is going overboard.
Any of the mentioned “American” series novels of Simenon are worth a read, particularly “Three Rooms in Manhattan”.
In any case, anything you grab that has Georges Simenon’s name on the cover is worth your reading time. They are bound to be worth your time. As far as the movies produced based on the Simenon works, any produced during the golden era of Film Noir (late Forties to early Sixties) should be a fascinating watch for film buffs even today.