If you’ve read Georges Simenon’s classic of existential noir Dirty Snow you will probably believe there was mutual influence between Simenon. Georges Simenon’s Dirty Snow, a noir chronicle of a mean, vicious soul, is anything but the feel-good read of the summer. But novelist Jim. Georges Simenon is reasonably well-known as the Belgian author of the Maigret detective stories, but deserves to be a good deal more famous.

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Was it a crime to rob or kill German soldiers? Well the answer to that depends on who you are talking to. When the novel begins, Frank is a petty dirtg, a bully, and a pimp.

If the mother-son team are on a roll, they will keep two girls—one of whom also cleans the apartment. For this reason, girls are snoww kept for a few weeks before they are turfed out.

Frank notices that the girls become increasingly sloppy the longer they stay in the apartment: It was always that way at first. They had to be tamed. They looked at a piece of sugar as though it was something precious.

It was the same with the milk, with everything. And after a certain time they had to be sent away because they stole from the cupboards. Although, granted, they would have been sent away in any case. Some of them would weep with emotion, fill their plates, and then be unable to eat. That whiteness, glaring, translucent, had something menacing about it, something absolute and eternal. Perhaps by informing on someone, which was the simplest way. Frank commits his murder, and the crime leads to more depravity.

With each incident, Frank appears simenoon grow more calloused—even savagely betraying a young girl who lives in his apartment building. But it should be remembered that Frank is tough from bullying his mother and the starving girls he lures to his apartment. While he thinks he knows everything and he is not unintelligent in many ways, he is still a callow youth with no idea how things work.

The other man said just one word, and I tell you, that officer got right up simwnon stood at attention. He took his wallet from the women. He paid his check. You could see the starch go right out of him. He left the women there, without a word of explanation, and went out with the civilian. Some of them seem powerful, and maybe for the moment they are.

Dirty Snow by Simenon | His Futile Preoccupations

This is a story of moral degradation, but it is also a story of redemption. While Simenon glides through this complex spectrum, questions lurk beneath the surface. Is his lack of concern about his life a continuation drty the blunting of his emotions, or does Frank simply not want to become one of the weak he despises so much? Filed under FictionSimenon. Sounds bleak but interesting, will have to see how this is called in French. This would be, and certainly was, a perfect moment to cover up all sorts of crimes and slide into moral sirty.


Telling on simdnon is no less a crime. In some ways it touches on the question of guilt in a Macbeth-kind of way. Is Lady Macbeth, the force behind the crime, less of a murderer than the one committing it?

Movies on the Resistance, at least the ones I saw, tend to highlight moral superiority of those involved. My gravatar is small but it says: The Snow is Black. With the Macbeth question, I ask myself: This does sound very good.

I have a Kersch lined up for sometime in the future, so I really interested to see what you think of dirgy. Night and The City is on my top noir film list. Beautiful cover bis and the second quote is beautiful as well. The question about murder and its justification by circumstances made me think snoq The Pale Horse.

Frank is a revolting individual whose descent into crime is horrible. Only a wonderful writer can make snnow reader sympathize with an despicable character.

I wonder how Simenon managed to write so ximenon books and maintain a certain level in the language and quality of the plots and depth of the characters. Was he working night and day or was exceptionnally gifted or both? Which one is your favourite one so far? One novel he wrote while waiting for friends in a cafe. The bio shows him as a very intense person. Smow threw himself into writing a novel, and then after a few weeks it was done.

I think he was an exceptional man, and unfortunately the fact that he wrote SO many novels tends to make critics dismiss his work.

Dirty Snow was magnificent, but it was also painful. To dislike a character and then to move to pity and sorrow—well, it does something to the reader.

‘Dirty Snow’: Dismal Perfection

She describes how a boy, who was an ordinary boy of a poor neighbourhood in London became a murderer, how the whole system social workers, school, police failed to prevent this good boy to become a delinquent.

Bleak, without any compromise but really well-written. I like the Lynley serie, btw.

An interesting look on the British social classes system. I bought What came before he shot her not long ago. I was highly interested when I read about it. I had both Dirty Snow and Three Crimes in my hand and chose the former: Dirty Snow is the better book much better writtenand in Three Crimes I get the sense that Simenon is still very troubled by what happened in his youth.


The intro explains the title differently, but I think the three crimes refers to the two murderers and the suicide that might have been something else. Just finished this Guy. What a harsh, grim book, but quite stunning as well in ways.

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You do find a kind of sympathy for him leaking in, because Simenon describes so powerfully how he tries to cling to his identity and existence. This book has gelled very well since I read it and it has become one of my favourite Simenon novels. I just got the new version of Act of Passion which I should get to with luck in the next few months.

Thanks for the comment. Hard to pick just one book simwnon the best of the year, but since Reading Matters twisted my arm, this was it. Wow, like me you went back to an early one in the year. What does that say about our reading year!

I know a few people who really like Simenon … I guess I really should try him one day. I just finished another Simenon and as usual the book was stunning. This book left me feeling raw for days, so powerful! Where do you get them? Are these 2nd-hand finds?

They have far more appeal to me than Maigret which I djrty otherwise have to resort to soon. You can get most of them second hand. I recommend Alibris and if you use the same seller Better World Books always seems to have a lot of titles you can save on shipping. Some are out of print and others cost an exorbitant sbow.

I wonder if Nazi occupied France had any real significance in how Frank turns out: And, my only gripe with this excellent novel: You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Simdnon how your comment data is processed.

Enter your email address ditry subscribe to sinenon blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. His Futile Preoccupations …. January 27, at 5: January 28, at 3: The romans dur attract me more than the Maigret, but then I share your love of noir. January 31, at 5: I should hopefully get to write it up tomorrow. I loved The Naked City. Yes, he was blacklisted during the making of the film.