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The Carter of ‘La Providence’

Inspector Maigret; Book 2
Narrated by: Gareth Armstrong
Series: Inspector Maigret, Book 2
Length: 3 hrs and 28 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (77 ratings)

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Summary

Georges Simenon's tragic tale of lost identity, translated by David Coward as part of the new Penguin Maigret series.

What was the woman doing here? In a stable, wearing pearl earrings, her stylish bracelet and white buckskin shoes! She must have been alive when she got there because the crime had been committed after 10 in the evening. But how? And why? And no one had heard a thing! She had not screamed. The two carters had not woken up.

Inspector Maigret is standing in the pouring rain by a canal. A well-dressed woman, Mary Lampson, has been found strangled in a stable nearby. Why did her glamorous, hedonistic life come to such a brutal end here? Surely her taciturn husband, Sir Walter, knows - or maybe the answers lie with the crew of the barge La Providence.

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.

David Coward is Emeritus Professor of French at the University of Leeds, England, and an award- winning translator of numerous works from French.

©1931 Georges Simenon. Translation ©2014 David Coward. (P)2014 Audible Ltd

Critic reviews

"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." ( Guardian)
"A supreme writer... unforgettable vividness." ( Independent)

What members say

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Brilliant stories, shame I'm not French...

Gareth Armstrong has a good voice and reads well, but oh God I wish he weren't so limited. I'm now on my fourth Maigret download and his stock minor characters are beginning to get on my nerves. I'm also becoming increasingly sensitive to some really clunky translation - I don't pretend to be in anything like the same league as David Coward, let alone Mr Bellos, but there are whole passages where you just know they weren't even trying to render these fabulous stories into the kind of natural, idiomatic English they deserve. It's all getting very frustrating.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Good story plenty of local colour and information.

I enjoyed the story and the pace. The historical details were very interesting and helpful.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Never Play Near the Canal

Simenon owned a yacht and took many holidays round the French coast and canal system. Whether this was before or after writing The Carter of the Providence , I don't know, but he immersed the reader in the atmosphere of the industrial canals with vivid characters and authentic description in several books. Here we are plunged into the dangerous world of the congested 1920s canals where workers and their families compete to be the first through the locks yet have a tight knit community. So The Southern Cross, a posh English yacht and its collection of dissolute party people, seems out of place. Ah, but there are unexpected links between a humble barge and this interloper. Maigret is, as always, a wise observer with a high degree of empathy, even for the murderer.
Great narration by Gareth Armstrong. Good range of character voices and with Maigret's gravitas of thought.

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Good

Brilliant reading by Gareth Armstrong. The writing is atmospheric. Characterisation is good. I would recommend this.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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the carter of la providence

As all ways the Carter of la providence a jolly good read siminon has a good descriptive way of writing and a good eye for human foibles

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • John
  • 03-08-18

Wonderful glimpse into the French coastal life

Very good story with a wonderful glimpse into the French coastal life early in the 20th century.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Sue Smith
  • 06-02-18

One of Simenon,s best.

Full of suspense, local color, and psychological insight. Both male and female characters resonate and fascinate.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful