Tuck's Reviews > Dirty Snow

Dirty Snow by Georges Simenon
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Mar 27, 12

bookshelves: noir
Read in March, 2012

is frank friedmaier the darkest character ever created in fiction? could be (though this dude alex in stamm's "7 years" is pretty vile Seven Years though also, we sort of know WHY alex is a douche while with frank, there is just a big blank). set in wwii occupied city, we don;t know where exactly, nor by whom, but DO know the occupation has succeeded in turning each and every soul into a brutal monster. there has been much talk about what simenon was trying to accomplish with this novel, but one thing for sure to me is that in inhuman situations people rise to the occasion and turn into the monsters we don't want to think about if possible. even the "noble" characters here, the freedom fighters/terrorists/resistance are ambivalently cold blooded, rendering the reader confused and chagrined to be peeking over the transom wondering how they will act and what they will say.
the afterword by william vollmann helps one decompress and is thoughtful and kind, like a hobo helping you up after grabbing for the boxcar, missing, and tearing you face to ribbons in the bed by your own incompetence.
simenon wrote this in tucson az 1948 (most fitting really)
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Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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knig I am almost finished with this one, so have a pretty good grasp on it (and Love it). But I wonder whether Nazi occupied France really impacts on character development all that much: I have a feeling Frank would have evolved his thug mug wherever and whenever in the world: its the whole nature/nurture debate and Frank just seems to be innately dissolute, occupation or no. You're spot on when you say its not clear what makes him tick: I would have wanted a little more explanation. Also as to his obssession with Holst: why Holst? Now, I'm also thinking if I've seen any other such degenerate characters: you know, Boris Vian's 'I spit on your graves' is pretty close: I think you would definitely enjoy that one.


Tuck boris vian is the shit Heartsnatcher


knig I read that too: its great, but very different from 'I spit on your graves'. Oh, and I thought of another darke character: Patricia HighSmith's talented Mr Ripley


knig Btw, just finished dirty snow. Towards the end Simenon points out (a bit) why Frank is , well, Frank: he is simply tired/bored of life.


message 5: by Tuck (last edited Mar 28, 2012 07:33AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tuck there are few grisly guses out there, most of jim thompson's characters are scary sociopaths King Blood: The Armchair Detective Library and african psycho guy is pure evil, he prays at the grave of a mass murderer for strength and guidance African Psycho huckleberry finn's dad mabye has reason to be surly, but feeding his blind moonshiner pan fried long pig, just for kicks, is pretty sick Finn and the dudes in smonk would sooner gut-shoot you as look at you Smonk and this buffalo hunter single-handedly kills the last remaining 1000's of bison in one fall Butcher's Crossing but there is something simenon does, or maybe what he doesn't write/do that makes his bad people seem so so bad The Widow and mr ripley too!


Tuck his DESTINY! suicide by cop


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