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The Grandmother

3.5  ·  Rating details ·  24 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
Hardcover, 172 pages
Published January 1st 1980 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P (first published 1959)
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Rick Skwiot
Jan 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
In Europe, I'm told, short, psychologically intense novels are known as "simenons," after the prolific author and creator of the Maigret detective series. The Grandmother is one of his best such simenons in many ways. Distilled, frank, decadent and engaging, it tells of the chance reacquaintance of a high-living Parisian celebrity and her long-lost and impoverished grandmother. Not a "cozy" read, but affecting literature.
Peter
How many books did Simenon write ? 200? 300? I've read varying accounts as to the exact number, so maybe no one really knows? Seems like he would dash off a book in a week or so, then take a few days off, eating and drinking at the cafes, thinking up the next story. With so many books, he was bound to come up with one that would be less than his usual stellar quality.

After a spectacular opening, where the characters are introduced and you can just sense so many layers of meaning in their dialog
...more
Judy
Jan 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Well written story about the sudden appearance of a long lost grandmother into the life of a single well-to-do woman, who may be a lesbian, but fears and is repelled by the thought of marriage. the granddaughter however has a habit of collecting people who need saving, and this may have contributed to her accepting to live with her grandmother.

the grandmother, Juliette, says "A woman is never a complete being. A woman is a piece of something, a piece of something that perhaps doesn't exist" I wo
...more
Chanie
Dec 27, 2013 added it
Still not sure what the Simenon wonder is. I think I'm too addicted to the overtly psychological take. His subtle construction of human interaction leaves me cold. A little bored.

Now that I've completed the novel I understand that the coldness I feel is because his characters are cold. It was an uncomfortable place to be. Glad I'm finished with his world.
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Simenon was one of the most prolific writers of the twentieth century, capable of writing 60 to 80 pages per day. His oeuvre includes nearly 200 novels, over 150 novellas, several autobiographical works, numerous articles, and scores of pulp novels written under more than two dozen pseudonyms. Altogether, about 550 million copies of his works have been printed.

He is best known, however, for his 75
...more
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