Ralph's Reviews > The Man Who Watched Trains Go By

The Man Who Watched Trains Go By by Georges Simenon
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's review
Oct 29, 11

really liked it
Read from October 18 to 29, 2011

Kees Popinga has always played by the rules, and enjoyed the rewards of doing so. When he is ruined financially by his boss's fraud, he suddenly stops watching the train (as metaphor for life) and decides to get on it -leaving it all behind: job, wife, kids, status and friends. The ties that bound him, once removed, free his most base impulses, leading to terrible crimes and the life of a fugitive. Most of the book revolves around the tension of his life on the run, and his internal monologue. He feels, for some reason, as if he is smarter than everyone around him, and maligned by the press, who follow his crimes closely. While he plots his retorts to the police and press, and schemes to evade authorities and informants, the reader can see not only the foolishness of his plans, but the enjoyment he gains from a hardscrabble existence, in which he is constantly hunted.
A quick, interesting study of a man who decides to ride actively rather than watch passively, and the price of indulging your passion and impulses.


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10/20/2011 page 21
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