Synopses & Reviews
A gripping new translation of the first novel in the famous Inspector Maigret series
What he sought, what he waited and watched out for was the crack in the wall. In other words, the instant when the human being comes out from behind the opponent . . .
Who is Pietr the Latvian? Is he a gentleman thief? A Russian drinking absinthe in a grimy bar? A married Norwegian sea captain? A twisted corpse in a train bathroom? Or is he all of these men? Inspector Maigret, tracking a mysterious adversary and a trail of bodies, must bide his time before the answer comes into focus.
The first book in the brand new Penguin Simenon series featuring brilliant renderings by some of today's best translators from French, Pietr the Latvian introduces the intrepid Inspector to a new audience.
The first novel which appeared in Georges Simenon's famous Maigret series, in a gripping new translation by David Bellos.
'Inevitably Maigret was a hostile presence in the Majestic. He constituted a kind of foreign body that the hotel's atmosphere could not assimilate. 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.
Penguin is publishing the entire series of Maigret novels in new translations. This novel has been published in previous translations as The Case of Peter the Lett and Maigret and the Enigmatic Lett.
'Compelling, remorseless, brilliant.' - John Gray
'One of the greatest writers of the twentieth century . . . Simenon was unequalled at making us look inside, though the ability was masked by his brilliance at absorbing us obsessively in his stories.' - The Guardian
'A supreme writer . . . unforgettable vividness.' - The Independent
About the Author
(19031989) was born on February 12th, 1903 in Liege, Belgium. At the age of nineteen, Simenon embarked to Paris to begin a career as a writer. In 1923 he began publishing under various pseudonyms, and in 1929 began the Inspector Maigret series which helped elevate him to a household name in continental Europe. His prolific output of more than four hundred novels and the gripping, dark realism of his prose has cemented him as an inedlible fixture of twentieth century literature. He died in 1989 in Lausanne, Switzerland.
David Bellos is the director of the Program in Translation and Intercultural Communication at Princeton University, where he is also a professor of French and comparative literature. He has won many awards for his translations of Georges Perec, Ismail Kadare, and others, including the Man Booker International Translators Award.