The Engagement by Georges Simenon
(New York Review Books Classics)

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Synopsis

On the outskirts of Paris, a prostitute is found murdered in a vacant lot. In a seedy apartment house nearby lives pasty, fat Mr. Hire. Mr. Hire, who earns his living through a petty postal scam, is a convicted pornographer, a peeping Tom, and, once a week, the unlikely star of a Parisian bowling club, where people think he works for the police. He is a faceless man of regular habits who keeps to himself and gives his neighbors the creeps. After the murder, Mr. Hire’s concierge points a finger at him: he was out late the night of the crime. The police have the suspect under 24-hour surveillance. They are only waiting for him to make the inevitable mistake and give himself away.

Except that creepy Mr. Hire is in fact an innocent man, whose only mistake is to have fallen head-over-heels in love with the wrong girl.

One of the most chilling and compassionate of Simenon’s extraordinary psychological novels, The Engagement explores the mystery of a blameless heart in a compromised soul.
 

About Georges Simenon

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Georges Simenon (1903-1989) was born in Liege, Belgium. He started working as a reporter at the age of fifteen and by the end of his life had published hundreds of novels under his own name and sundry pseudonyms. Renowned all over the world for his series of mysteries featuring Inspector Maigret, Simenon was also the author of many psychological novels. The Engagement is one of eight novels by Simenon published by NYRB Classics.John Gray is Professor of European Thought at the London School of Economics. He is the author of many works of philosophy and is a regular contributor to the Guardian and the Times Literary Supplement. He lives in Oxford.Anna Moschovakis is the author of a book of poems, I Have Not Been Able to Get Through to Everyone and co-founder of the Ugly Duckling Presse. In 2005 she translated The Authentic Bistros of Paris for The Little Bookroom. She teaches Comparative Literature at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City.
 
Published March 6, 2007 by NYRB Classics. 160 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Engagement

Publishers Weekly

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First published in 1933, this new English translation of a short, bleak psychological drama from Simenon (1903–1989), creator of Inspector Maigret (Lock 14 , etc.), dispassionately describes the fate of the odd Mr. Hire, a reclusive middle-aged man whose life of dull routine begins an inevitable ...

Jan 29 2007 | Read Full Review of The Engagement (New York Revi...

Bestsellersworld

Mr. Hire, who earns his living through a petty postal scam, is a convicted pornographer, a peeping Tom, and, once a week, the unlikely star of a Parisian bowling club, where people think he works for the police.

Mar 06 2007 | Read Full Review of The Engagement (New York Revi...

The New York Review of Books

Having written nearly two hundred books under his own name and become the best-selling author in the world, Simenon retired as a novelist in 1973, devoting himself instead to dictating several volumes of memoirs.

Mar 06 2007 | Read Full Review of The Engagement (New York Revi...

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