For forty years Charles Alavoine sleepwalks through his life. Obedient to his domineering mother's wishes, he trains as a doctor, takes a plain unassuming wife, opens a medical practice in a quiet country town, and settles into an existence of impeccable bourgeois conformity. After his first wife dies in labour, he remarries; children arrive; he becomes a family man and a cornerstone of the community. And yet at unguarded moments Charles is haunted by a sense of emptiness and futility, by the suspicion that real life is elsewhere. Looking for answers in his past, he spends more and more time recalling his depressive, suicidal father, and a youthful rendezvous with a prostitute who for a few hours gave him "the sensation of infinity."
Then, one night at a provincial railway station, laden with Christmas presents for his wife and children, he encounters Martine, an enigmatic young woman helplessly adrift in the world. Their ensuing liaison precipitates a spiritual awakening in Alavoine-and sets the stage for his tragic disintegration. Like Camus's The Fall, Georges Simenon's thriller is at once a devastating personal confession and an indictment of modern society's empty and deadening moral codes.
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A brilliantly realized portrait - and a relief to close the book. ( Times Literary Supplement)About the Author:
Georges Simenon (1903-1989) was born in Liège, Belgium. In 1923 he moved to Paris, where under various pseudonyms he became a highly successful author of pulp fiction. In the early 1930s, Simenon emerged as a writer under his own name, gaining renown for his detective stories featuring Inspector Maigret. He also began to write his psychological novels, or romans durs. He wrote nearly two hundred books under his own name and became the worldwide best-selling.
Roger Ebert is the Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic of the Chicago Sun-Times. He has also been the co-host of many successful national television programs. He resides in Chicago, Illinois.
Louise Varese (1891-1989) was an American biographer and translator, and was married to composer Edgard Varese.
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Book Description PENGUIN BOOKS LTD, 1965. Book Condition: Fair. 1St Edition. N/A. Shows definite wear, and perhaps considerable marking on inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP77027788
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Book Description Penguin, 1986. Soft Cover. Book Condition: Fair. Bookseller Inventory # 026121
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