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Georges Simenon (2008) The Widow

If I hadn't read Ticket of Leave (The Widow), I couldn't have written The Stranger (Albert Camus). A psychological masterpiece! Nasty and brutal.

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Georges Simenon (2005) Tropic Moon.

In the former French colony of Gabon, Joseph Timar has taken on a job with a timber company. He stays at a small hotel in Libreville, where he gets obsessed with the hotelier's wife, Adèle. In the sweltering heat of the tropical sun, Joseph is dragged into the moral decay of crude lust, drinking and brutality of the French expatriates.

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Georges Simenon (2005) The Man Who Watched Trains Go By. (First published in 1938)

Kees Popinga, a Dutch bourgeois and model husband, likes to play chess and look on impassively as the trains to the outside world go by. But then his life falls apart as his company goes into bankruptcy. He quickly degenerates into a amoral creature and embarks on a journey of ruthless brutality.

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Georges Simenon (2006) The Strangers in the House.

Hector Loursat has been a hermit in his own house ever since his wife abandoned him years ago. Only when a gunshot raises him from his alcohol-induced stupor he takes notice of his teenage daughter and her dangerous friends living in his house. Simenon's dispassionate masterpiece is a philosophically profound examination of emotional decay and resurrection.

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Georges Simenon (2003) Dirty Snow. (First published in 1950)

Set in occupied France during WWII, Simenon's bleak masterpiece is a dispassionate description of human cruelty. No other writer has achieved the psychological intensity of Simenon. “What many regard as the finest of all noir novels…"--Tim Rutten, The Los Angeles Times

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