Tfitoby's Reviews > The Blue Room

The Blue Room by Georges Simenon
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's review
Aug 23, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: lit, translation
Read on April 09, 2012

Fabulous work once more from Simenon.

This piece of psychological drama, this study of human nature, this look at male guilt, is a remarkable piece of fiction not least because it manages to set itself up in turn as a courtroom drama, a crime thriller and a James M. Cain style noir and gets every aspect correct for every genre whilst never really being any one of them.

The blurb gives very little away, as usual with these fabulous old Penguins and the journey is unexpected, Tony takes us through the fateful days after he flees a hotel room in fear of being caught in flagrante with another mans wife, via a succession of interviews with members of the French justice system.

The memories are vivid yet sparse and matter of fact, the psychological turmoil of Tony as he's telling the story is real and affecting, the suspense and tension keeping you guessing and flipping pages as Simenon drip feeds you information as to what the crime under discussion actually is and whether our protagonist is actually an innocent man.

In a brief 150 pages Simenon manages to make statements about the treatment of immigrants, the justice system, the sexual urges of men (him being a famed womaniser himself) and having an existential world view.

I'm yet to read one of his lesser works, it seems so far that the man can do no wrong.
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