A NOBEL PRIZE FOR DETECTIVE STORIES? I posted here that I thought that Simenon was worthy of a Nobel Prize. Some think that Simenon did not win the Prize because he was so prolific. He usually spent an intense 10 days to write a novel. Joan Acocella gives the totals of 76 Maigret novels for Simenon, with an additional 134 straight novels (most of them what Simenon called his roman durs). Simenon thought his roman durs (hard novels)—the ones without Maigret— were his best books and the critics all seem to agree. I have only read the Maigret books, probably more of them than the books of any other writer. Which means that I found myself saying that a writer of detective stories was worthy of a Nobel Prize. I am comfortable with this.Simenon created two characters with a happy bourgeois marriage who grew in stature over the 76 books (“great emotion, greatly muted”, says Acocella) . He also created hundreds of characters from all levels of French society. Ross McDonald said that Lew Archer, his detective, was really a story-telling device. Maigret explores many stories.

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