The Late Monsieur Gallet

late-gallet

Georges Simenon

First Sentence:     The very first contact between Detective Chief Inspector Maigret and the dead man with whom he was to spend several weeks in the most puzzling intimacy was on 27 June 1930 in circumstances that were mundane, difficult and unforgettable all at the same time.

Back of the book:

Instead of the detail filling itself in and becoming clearer, it seemed to escape him. The face of the man in the ill-fitting coat just misted up so that it hardly looked human. In theory this mental portrait was good enough, but now it was replaced by fleeting images which should have added up to one and the same man but which refused to get themselves into focus.”

The circumstances of Monsieur Gallet’s death all seem fake: the name the deceased was travelling under and his presumed profession, and more worryingly, his family’s grief. Their haughtiness seems to hide ambiguous feelings about the hapless man. In this haunting story, Maigret discovers the appalling truth and the real crime hidden behind the surface of lies.

Quote from the book:

He slept heavily until the train reached Paris, and his sleep was populated by indistinct silhouettes and a nauseating sense of teeming crowds.

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Pietr The Latvian

pietr-latvian

Georges Simenon

First Sentence:     Detective Chief Inspector Maigret of the Flying Squad raised his eyes.

Back of the book:

“Not that he looked like a cartoon policeman. He didn’t have a moustache and he didn’t wear heavy boots. His clothes were well cut and made of fairly light worsted. He shaved every day and looked after his hands.
But his frame was proletarian. He was a big, bony man. His firm muscles filled out his jacket and quickly pulled all his trousers out of shape.
He had a way of imposing himself just by standing there. His assertive presence had often irked many of his own colleagues.”

In Simenon’s first novel featuring Maigret, the laconic detective is taken from grimy bars to luxury hotels as he traces the true identity of Pietr the Latvian.

Quote from the book:

But Maigret had already moved off and was standing all clumsy and awkward in the middle of the lobby. He looked like a tourist in a historic church trying to work out without the help of a guide what there was to inspect.

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Bonjour Tristesse

BT

Françoise Sagan

First Sentence:     This strange new feeling of mine, obsessing me by its sweet languor, is such that I am reluctant to dignify it with the fine, solemn name of ‘sadness’.

Back of the book:

Stylish, shimmering and amoral, Sagan’s tale of adolescence and betrayal on the French Riviera was her masterpiece, published when she was just eighteen. However, this frank and explicit novella was considered too daring for 1950s Britain, and sexual scenes were removed for the English publication. Now this fresh and accurate new translation presents the uncensored text in full for the first time.

Bonjour Tristesse tells the story of Cécile, who leads a carefree life with her widowed father and his young mistresses until, one hot summer on the Riviera, he decides to remarry – with devastating consequences. In A Certain Smile, which is also included in this volume, Dominique, a young woman bored with her lover, begins an encounter with an older man that unfolds in unexpected and troubling ways.

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List Of The Lost

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Morrissey

First Sentence:     Ezra, Nails, Harri, Justy.

Back of the book:

‘Beware the novelist . . . intimate and indiscreet . . . pompous, prophetic airs . . . here is the fact of fiction . . . an American tale where, naturally, evil conquers good, and none live happily ever after, for the complicated pangs of the empty experiences of flesh-and-blood human figures are the reason why nothing can ever be enough. To read a book is to let a root sink down. List of the lost is the reality of what is true battling against what is permitted to be true.’ Morrissey

Quotes from the book:

‘The years pass as quickly as the sentence that describes their speed, yet you cannot believe it until you very suddenly look behind you and see a space once relied upon as being the future.’

In the church of secret service known as the abattoir this is exactly what humans excitedly do to beautiful bodies of animals who were also crafted in care by some divine creationist, yet at the human hand the animals are whacked and hacked into chopped meat whilst gazing up at their protector with disbelief and pleading for a mercy not familiar to the human spirit, ground and round into hash or stew for the Big Mac pleasure of fat-podge children whose candidature for roly-poly vicious porkiness makes their plungingly plump parents laugh loudly, as little junior blubber-guts orders yet another Superburger with tub-of-guts determination to stuff death into round bellies, and such kids come to resemble their parents as ten pounds of shit in a five-pound bag.

‘How does sports news qualify to be mentioned alongside the murderous insanity of this planet?’

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A Clockwork Orange

9780141197531Anthony Burgess

First Sentence:     ‘What‘s it going to be then, eh?’

Back of the book:

Fully restored edition of Anthony Burgess’ original text of A Clockwork Orange, with a glossary of the teen slang ‘Nadsat’, explanatory notes, pages from the original typescript, interviews, articles and reviews Edited by Andrew Biswell With a Foreword by Martin Amis ‘It is a horrorshow story …’ Fifteen-year-old Alex likes lashings of ultraviolence. He and his gang of friends rob, kill and rape their way through a nightmarish future, until the State puts a stop to his riotous excesses. But what will his re-education mean? A dystopian horror, a black comedy, an exploration of choice, A Clockwork Orange is also a work of exuberant invention which created a new language for its characters. This critical edition restores the text of the novel as Anthony Burgess originally wrote it, and includes a glossary of the teen slang ‘Nadsat’, explanatory notes, pages from the original typescript, interviews, articles and reviews, shedding light on the enduring fascination of the novel’s ‘sweet and juicy criminality’.

Quote from the book:

Then, brothers it came. Oh, bliss, bliss and heaven. I lay all nagoy to the ceiling, my gulliver on my rookers on the pillow, glazzies closed, rot open in bliss, slooshying the sluice of lovely sounds. Oh, it was gorgeousness and gorgeosity made flesh. The trombones crunched redgold under my bed, and behind my gulliver the trumpets threewise silverflamed, and there by the door the timps rolling through my guts and out again crunched like candy thunder. Oh, it was wonder of wonders. And then, a bird of like rarest spun heavenmetal, or like silvery wine flowing in a spaceship, gravity all nonsense now, came the violin solo above all the other strings, and those strings were like a cage of silk around my bed. Then flute and oboe bored, like worms of like platinum, into the thick toffee gold and silver. I was in such bliss, my brothers.

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