Mr Hire's Engagement
Georges Simenon's chilling portrayal of tragic love, persecution and betrayal.
'One sensed in him neither flesh nor bone, nothing but soft, flaccid matter, so much so that his movements were hard to make out. Very red lips stood out from his orb-like face, as did the thin moustache that he curled with an iron and looked as if it had been drawn on with India ink; on his che...more
"Now I'm afraid to run into him on the stairs!" cried the concierge. "I've always been scared of him. Everyone's scared!" No question about it, Mr. Hire gives everyone the creeps, especially the men and women in his seedy apartment building, and most especially after a prostitute is brutally murdered just two blocks away.
And Mr. Hire doesn’t have to metamorphose into a giant Gregor Samsa-like bug; being a loner, an outsider who looks the way he does - short flabby body, round staring eyes, puff ...more
Indeed the ending of this intense psychological portrait brought this home with terrific force and poignancy. I wasn’t expecting to be struck down so utterly, to be so completely unable (and fiercely unwilling) to turn away. And while the story was admittedly somewhat slow to start, it all finally came t ...more
I didn't expect Simenon to be such a gripp ...more
The murder of a call girl in the Villejuif area of Paris has more than a few people on edge. The murder itself is not an event in this novel, but what happens to the protagonist of this novel, M. Hire, is based on fallout from the fear surrounding the killing. It all begins when the concierge of M. Hire's apartment building spies a bloody towel on his washstand while deli ...more
4* Act of Passion
4* Pietr the Latvian (Maigret, #1)
3* The Carter of 'La Providence' (Maigret, #2)
3* The Late Monsieur Gallet (Maigret, #3)
4* The Hanged Man of Saint-Pholien (Maigret, #4)
3* A Man's Head (Maigret #5)
4* The Yellow Dog (Maigret #6)
4* The Night at the Crossroads (Maigret #7)
2* A Crime in Holland (Maigret #8)
3* The Grand Banks Café (Maigret, #9)
3* The Dancer at the Gai-Moulin (Maigret #10)
3* The Two-Penny Bar (Maigret, #11)
3* The Shadow Puppet (Inspecto ...more
The ending, chased by a mob is very poignant.
M. Hire is a solitary oddball, a sort of flabbily packed sausage on legs, who lives in a seemingly rather seedy apartment building somewhere in one of the les ...more
The title of Mr Hire's Engagement could refer t ...more
I never thought I would get done with this thing. It was like sticking pins in my eyeballs, a similar feeling of when I read ' Waiting for Godot '.
I saw this film ( Monsieur Hire ) the other week so I figured if I found the film interesting, the book would probably be good too. NOT !
I will save you the trouble if I have put you off by now of telling you everything you need to know :
grey pieces of paper, a Peeping Tom and breast fondling.
You're welcome !
Oh! The descriptions of street noises and weather and so-called background are fantastic. No wonder Andrew Gide sang Simenon's praises. My goal ...more
He falls in a type of love with a woman across from his flat, and he watches her through the window each night.
While the author is famous for simply writing a character's actions and not their motivations, it seemed a bit confusing at times. I never fully understood the woman Alice's pe ...more
The interesting thing about his non-detective novels is that they have no fixed sense of right and wrong, there doesn't seem to be "justice" as we see it in conventional mystery novels. Like Paul Auster's New York Trilogy, the ending ends up raising more questions than answering them. It's fun to be so let down by yo ...more
Atmospheric in narration. I personally, love everyday characters sketched out from small fictitious streets, shops and ...more
Despite his failings you really can't help but feel sorry for this anti-hero.
Simenon uses the protagonist as a foolproof device to expose the seedy underbelly of Parisian life and morals in the 1930s.
It was a time when whispers became screams and racism, the easily spun web of local gossip and the theory that France is a country built on the premise of laissez faire are all investigated and savagely dissected here.
And underneath it all, a tale of murder ...more
This is a lean story about a bumbling lowlife destroyed by an indifferent world. The world is described cinematically, with atmosphere and action moving it along. There is no time wasted on the cognitive activity or emotional experience of the characters. No one is likable and no one ...more
He is best known, however, for his 75 ...more