The Two-penny Bar

Paperback | March 31, 2015

bySimenon, GeorgesTranslated byDavid Watson

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A forgotten crime comes to light in the Parisian summer in Georges Simenon's twisted tale. Book eleven in the new Penguin Maigret series.

'A radiant late afternoon. The sunshine almost as thick as syrup in the quiet streets of the Left Bank . . . there are days like this, when ordinary life seems heightened, when the people walking down the street, the trams and cars all seem to exist in a fairy tale.'

A story told by a condemned man leads Maigret to a bar by the Seine and into the sleazy underside of respectable Parisian life. In the oppressive heat of summer, a forgotten crime comes to light.

Penguin is publishing the entire series of Maigret novels in new translations. This novel is a revised translation, previously published as The Bar on the Seine.

'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

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From the Publisher

A forgotten crime comes to light in the Parisian summer in Georges Simenon's twisted tale. Book eleven in the new Penguin Maigret series.'A radiant late afternoon. The sunshine almost as thick as syrup in the quiet streets of the Left Bank . . . there are days like this, when ordinary life seems heightened, when the people walking down...

Georges Simenon was born in Liège, Belgium, in 1903. Best known in Britain as the author of the Maigret books, his prolific output of over 400 novels and short stories have made him a household name in continental Europe. He died in 1989 in Lausanne, Switzerland, where he had lived for the latter part of his life.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:160 pages, 7.75 × 5.15 × 0.35 inPublished:March 31, 2015Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:014139417X

ISBN - 13:9780141394176

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Georges Simenon THE TWO-PENNY BARTranslated by David WatsonPreviously published as The Bar on the SeinePENGUIN BOOKSPublished by the Penguin Group Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite700, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4P 2Y3 (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.) Penguin Ireland, 25 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd) Penguin Group (Australia), 707 Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3008, Australia (adivision of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd) Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi – 110 017, India Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, Auckland 0632, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd) Penguin Books (SouthAfrica) (Pty) Ltd, Block D, Rosebank Office Park, 181 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parktown North, Gauteng 2193, South AfricaPenguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, Englandwww.penguin.comFirst published in French as La Guinguette à deux sous by Fayard 1932This translation first published as The Bar on the Seine in Penguin Books 2003, and revised 2014Copyright 1932 by Georges Simenon LimitedTranslation copyright © Georges Simenon Limited, 2003, 2014GEORGES SIMENON ® Simenon.tmMAIGRET ® Georges Simenon LimitedCover photograph (detail) © Burt Glinn/Magnum PhotosFront cover design by Alceu Chiesorin NunesCover credit: © Harry Gruyaert/Magnum PhotosAll rights reservedThe moral rights of the author and translator have been assertedTypeset by Palimpsest Book Production Ltd, Falkirk, StirlingshireISBN: 978-0-698-18304-9Title PageCopyright PageAbout the Author1. Saturday with Monsieur Basso2. The Lady’s Husband3. The Two Boats4. Meetings in Rue Royale5. The Doctor’s Car6. Haggling7. The Second-Hand Dealer8. James’s Mistress9. Twenty-Two Francs of Ham10. Inspector Maigret’s Absence11. Ulrich’s MurdererEXTRA: Chapter 1 from The Shadow PuppetPENGUIN CLASSICSTHE TWO-PENNY BAR‘I love reading Simenon. He makes me think of Chekhov’— William Faulkner‘A truly wonderful writer … marvellously readable – lucid, simple, absolutely in tune with the world he creates’— Muriel Spark‘Few writers have ever conveyed with such a sure touch, the bleakness of human life’— A. N. Wilson‘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’— Guardian‘A novelist who entered his fictional world as if he were part of it’— Peter Ackroyd‘The greatest of all, the most genuine novelist we have had in literature’— André Gide‘Superb … The most addictive of writers … A unique teller of tales’— Observer‘The mysteries of the human personality are revealed in all their disconcerting complexity’— Anita Brookner‘A writer who, more than any other crime novelist, combined a high literary reputation with popular appeal’— P. D. James‘A supreme writer … Unforgettable vividness’— Independent‘Compelling, remorseless, brilliant’— John Gray‘Extraordinary masterpieces of the twentieth century’— John BanvilleABOUT THE AUTHORGeorges Simenon was born on 12 February 1903 in Liège, Belgium, and died in 1989 in Lausanne, Switzerland, where he had lived for the latter part of his life. Between 1931 and 1972 he published seventy-five novels and twenty-eight short storiesfeaturing Inspector Maigret.Simenon always resisted identifying himself with his famous literary character, but acknowledged that they shared an important characteristic:My motto, to the extent that I have one, has been noted often enough, and I’ve always conformed to it. It’s the one I’ve given to old Maigret, who resembles me in certain points … ‘understand and judge not’.Penguin is publishing the entire series of Maigret novels.1. Saturday with Monsieur BassoA radiant late afternoon. The sunshine almost as thick as syrup in the quiet streets of the Left Bank. And everything – the people’s faces, the countless familiar sounds of the street – exuded a joy to be alive.There are days like this, when ordinary life seems heightened, when the people walking down the street, the trams and cars all seem to exist in a fairy tale.It was 27 June. When Maigret arrived at the gate of the Santé prison he found the guard gazing soppily at a little white cat that was playing with the dog from the dairy.Some days the pavement must be more resonant underfoot: Maigret’s footsteps echoed in the vast courtyard. He walked to the end of a corridor, where he asked a warder:‘Does he know? …’‘Not yet.’A key turned in the lock. The bolt was pulled back. A high-ceilinged cell, very clean. A man stood up, looking unsure as to which expression to adopt.‘All right, Lenoir?’ the inspector asked.The man nearly smiled. But a thought came into his mind and his face hardened. He frowned suspiciously, and his mouth twisted into a sneer for a moment or two. Then he shrugged his shoulders and held out his hand.‘I see,’ he said. ‘What do you see?’A resigned smile.‘Give it a rest, eh? You must be here because …’‘I’m here because I’m off on holiday tomorrow and …’The prisoner gave a hollow laugh. He was a tall young man. His dark hair was brushed back. He had regular features, fine brown eyes. His thin dark moustache set off the whiteness of his teeth, which were as sharp as a rodent’s.‘That’s very kind of you, inspector …’He stretched, yawned, put down the lid of the toilet in the corner of the cell which had been left up.‘Excuse the mess …’Then suddenly, looking Maigret in the eye, he said:

Editorial Reviews

‘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'I love reading Simenon. He makes me think of Chekhov.' — William Faulkner'The greatest of all, the most genuine novelist we have had in literature' — André Gide‘A supreme writer…unforgettable vividness’ — The Independent'Superb... The most addictive of writers... A unique teller of tales' — The Observer‘Compelling, remorseless, brilliant.’ — John Gray'A truly wonderful writer... marvellously readable - lucid, simple, absolutely in tune with the workd he creates' — Muriel Spark'A novelist who entered his fictional world as it he were a part of it' — Peter Ackroyd'Extraordinary masterpieces of the twentieth century' — John Banville