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The Late Monsieur Gallet

Inspector Maigret, Book 3
Narrated by: Gareth Armstrong
Series: Inspector Maigret, Book 3
Length: 4 hrs and 3 mins
4.4 out of 5 stars (115 ratings)

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Summary

George Simenon's devastating tale of misfortune, betrayal and the weakness of family ties, translated by Anthea Bell.

Instead of the detail filling itself in and becoming clearer, it seemed to escape him. The face of the man in the ill-fitting coat just misted up so that it hardly looked human. In theory this mental portrait was good enough, but now it was replaced by fleeting images which should have added up to one and the same man but which refused to get themselves into focus.

The circumstances of Monsieur Gallet's death all seem fake: the name the deceased was travelling under and his presumed profession, and more worryingly, his family's grief. Their haughtiness seems to hide ambiguous feelings about the hapless man. In this haunting story, Maigret discovers the appalling truth and the real crime hidden behind the surface of lies.

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.Anthea Bell is the award-winning translator of numerous French and German works: from the Asterix comics to W. G. Sebald's literary masterpiece Austerlitz.Audible will be producing all 75 Maigret titles. The next audiobook in the series is: The Hanged Man of Saint-Pholien on 2nd January 2014.

©2013 Georges Simenon (P)2013 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 listeners say about The Late Monsieur Gallet

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • D
  • 03-05-14

One of the best Maigret booksl

What made the experience of listening to The Late Monsieur Gallet the most enjoyable?

This was a good reading of one of the better plotted Maigret books. I think you either take to Maigret, and the evocation of a particular kind of France, or you don't. If you do, then you will overlook the occasional repetious and clumsy writing in favour of an engrossing immersion into a vanished world.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Maigret dominates the book: the other characters are drawn dispassionately. You understand them, but you don't like them.

What about Gareth Armstrong’s performance did you like?

I gave the reading full marks: it's a bit hard to say what makes a good reading, but it was well paced and somehow Gareth's voice suited the Maigret world.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

All the Maigret books seem to me to be emotionally chilly. You are interested in his world, but not engaged with individual characters.

Any additional comments?

I've gone back to the Maigret books after a long absence and am enjoying them. I've got a bit fed up with serial killers and convoluted plots and these score with me because of the atmosphere they build up and because Maigret himself is sympathetic. They aren't perfect - sometimes the writing is slap dash, though it can also be very evocative, particularly of place. You won't enjoy them if you like fast paced thrillers, but you will if you like crime fiction which takes you to a different place and time.

3 people found this helpful

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Excellent as always

What did you like most about The Late Monsieur Gallet?

Again an excellent story. Excellent narrator very good characterisation thoroughly good read well listen

What about Gareth Armstrong’s performance did you like?

A perfect voice for these books

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

yes

2 people found this helpful

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An Excellent Listen

I don't think there was anything I didn't like about this audiobook. The reading was excellent, the characters well brought out and the story engaging. Perhaps you can guess the solution before the end but it is still enjoyable to listen to because of Maigret's quiet outrage whenever someone behaves as they do in this story. I also loved the first book in this series and have just downloaded the third.

2 people found this helpful

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  • L
  • 23-05-14

excellent

I just love the Maigret books and this was read perfectly - very atmospheric of France in that era. A great detective story.

2 people found this helpful

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A whodunnit of human nature

Inspector Maigret: Book 3 – The Late Monsieur Gallet by Georges Simenon, translated by Anthea Bell Hello once again my readers and fellow audio enthusiasts! I wasn’t quite sure what my next review could be after discussing my last few topics so I decided to return to a previous subject: The member of the French Flying Squad Inspector Maigret. I discussed the first book in his long lasting series back in July of last year and recently got books two and three in the series to pass the time. I decided to review book three because it seemed interesting material. As I mentioned back during my review of book one, Maigret’s author the Belgian Monsieur Simenon was and is a respected name in crime fiction across Europe with more than 400 published books to his name. As a result Maigret has had several adaptations in film, radio, TV and theatre over the years. The plot of book two in the series (following the somewhat confusing numbering of the modern English translations by Penguin. Why couldn’t they have been released in chronological order like it should be?) is as follows: Maigret has been tasked with solving a rather ordinary but unpleasant case. Monsieur Gallet is dead. He had been an example of middle class or bourgeois respectability selling christening cups and various other bits and pieces of silver giftware throughout Normandy with a good wife in a town in Burgundy living in a home that cost two thousand francs a month. But many parts of the seemingly easy puzzle of Monsieur Gallet’s life are in fact a lie. How will Maigret find the true solution? Can he even find connections in this puzzle? And just what led to Gallet’s unpleasant death? This story is a very entertaining whodunnit. Simenon excellently depicts the complexities of human nature in the process, both leaving potential clues to the reader and listener and pointedly developing his characters so that they come across as people. Perhaps unsavoury or unlikeable people but people nonetheless. There is a good helping of red herrings throughout but unlike his contemporary Christie he doesn’t leave one vital clue out. Maigret also comes across as compassionate, genuinely thinking about the consequences of discovering the ‘real truth.’ Who does it benefit? He may be blunt or somewhat pointed while asking questions but this particular case definitely eats at the Inspector. To be honest? This case would make an excellent jumping on point for the curious among my readers as there is no real need to read or listen to the series in order. As well as making Maigret himself and the potential suspects come across as distinctly human (even if Maigret does not show that many of his usual quirks), the author also does an excellent job of characterising France itself during the period of the late 1920s and early 1930s. There is much time devoted to the layout of places, the intense heat, the general feel of almost anything named in the book and the intricacies of the social orders and how that affects things. The book is very engaging despite being fairly short and I found it a very gripping listen as I waited eagerly for the next vital potential clue. I’m sure I won’t be the only one gripped by the writing style and narrative of Simenon! The narration for this whodunnit is performed by Gareth Armstrong who I mostly know – discounting other mysteries in the Maigret series – for his involvement with audio versions of Warhammer stories such as The First Heretic, Little Horus and other similar stories. His narration is very enjoyable, easily letting you slip back in time to the France of Maigret. Suitably entertaining he is very good at performing the Inspector in all kinds of moods whilst also excellently pulling off the various accents required for the sake of the narrative from the upper class snobs all the way to the maid servants. The age of the story can sometimes affect the use of certain words that are no longer said for various reasons but at the same time you have to take these things into account when you read old material and can’t judge these things by modern standards because in fifty years what we think of as progressive will be considered horrendously outdated. In conclusion if you are already a fan of Maigret, are curious to try the series or enjoy traditional classic crime stories I highly recommend giving The Late Monsieur Gallet a read or a listen. It’s definitely my favourite out of the Maigrets I’ve experienced so far. Sayonara! Nephrite

1 person found this helpful

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classic Maigret...crusty n compassionate

very well performed...I could see in my mind all the different characters...Maigret at his crusty, clever and compassionate best..

1 person found this helpful

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Depicting a tough but empathic Maigret

I was y this story with its varied characters Nd murder . The reading was excellent and added to the enjoyment of the story

1 person found this helpful

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Very Good

An excellent narrator made this story alive and evocative of time and place. The character of Maigret is as large as life as he works through the heat of the summer days. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys detective novels of the Golden Age. A satisfying story. Well crafted.

1 person found this helpful

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A Classic Whodunnit

Excellent stuff that unwinds at just the right pace. It won't be the least expected ending you've read, especially if you know Homes well, but satisfying none the less. Enjoyable

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  • Adeliese Baumann
  • 09-12-14

Five star fiction, highly recommended

On June 27, 1930 Maigret is called to inform Aurore Gallet that her husband, Emile, a commercial traveler, has been found murdered. The lady is grand, puts on airs, and doesn't make things any easier for Maigret, who is in no mood for what he suspects is another tedious case. But the mystery takes on darker possibilities when it becomes known that Emile Gallet has been living a second, secret life.

That story is nothing new and could be quite predictable. But in the hands of Simenon, it becomes a creative, vital story that kept me interested right to the end. I am continually stunned at the way he can conjure up an entire character or atmosphere with the perfect, brief description. His style is deft, his storytelling original, and his characters utterly realistic. This is fiction worth reading if you enjoy crime and detection, old school style.

Anthea Bell's translation is outstanding, as is Gareth Armstrong's narration.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Anniebligh
  • 27-11-13

This one lingers in the mind

I expect I will up this to a 5 rating after a second listen

From the local Inspector's dismissal of this 'most uninteresting murder' and Maigret's expectation of a routine investigation to Maigret's report on the murder we are truly led through a shifting mirage.

Set in 1930 France, there is both careful investigating and world weariness as counterpoints. As listener you may well guess this and that but for me the story is in the story. It is in the homes, the hotel rooms, the bars and restaurants, the streets. trains, bridges and the people who are moved through the investigation.

So there is no great car race. shooting spree or jumping out of tall buildings but an unfolding of the why and how. The truth does come out of the shadows and the story lingers.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Charnley
  • 06-05-15

After two tries, I understand

A bit confusing but a pretty good mystery. I had to listen to it twice to figure out what happened.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Angus Davis
  • 29-07-16

Simenon is a master

No words are wasted in the taut polished account of the great Maigret’s pursuit of the truth. A murder without a murderer?

1 person found this helpful

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  • Victoria J. Mejia-Gewe
  • 28-04-18

A highly creative mystery

Inspector Maigret deals with a strange murder in The Late Monsieur Gallet by Georges Simenon, translated from the French by Anthea Bell. Getting sent to the countryside to deal with a murder, Maigret has a hard time picturing the victim, as the body looks nothing like the old photograph. But then, Madame Gallet explains her husband had been dieting. People say he was right-handed, but evidence suggests the victim is left-handed. And the victim uses different names. Further, he hasn't worked for the company he supposedly has been employed by for 18 years, yet he has a sizable life insurance policy.

No one heard the shot because a fun fair was taking place right outside the victim's hotel. But curiously, someone shot him from at least six feet away while he was in a room five feet wide and long. But then he was stabbed soon after that. Maigret is determined that something fishy is going on in this case, especially since ther victim's family doesn't seem to mourn him much.

The Late Monsieur Gallet has a really curious and creative plot. The Maigret books run half the length of most golden era mysteries, with this one's lasting 4 hours and 3 minutes actually longer than the other Maigret books I possess. One would imagine that such a short book would be incapable of providing any complexity, but this book has a unique ending with plenty of creativity.

Gareth Armstrong performs the audio edition of this book and sounds much as I might imagine Maigret sounds. He steps back from his personal identity in order to play the role of the famous French detective, giving good expression without over emotion.

The Maigret books have a different feel to them than our typical mystery novels, being both French and first published in 1929. But they show distinct genius, as many critics have identified. The Late Monsieur Gallet has much creativity, deserving its five stars.

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  • Adam Shields
  • 09-06-17

Maigret has a murder that doesn’t make sense

I keep hearing about the brilliance of Georges Simenon and his Inspector Maigret series. The first couple (realize that there are over 100 of these) were fine but nothing special. And even this one, which I think has been the best so far, isn’t really good enough to be top level. But I can see the glimpses of where Simenon can really shine.

Inspector Maigret does not really want to investigate this seemingly standard murder himself. It is the summer and other inspectors are on vacation and really no one else can do it except himself. But something seems off. Maigret’s image of the man does not really match the descriptions that others give of him. And then the facade starts to crumble. But was it murder or revenge, was the victim a crook, was the victim even who he said he was?

I have not read any of the original translations. I have picked up a couple of the new Penguin translations as they have been on sale. (Late Monsieur Gallet has been $2.99 for a long time now.) So I don’t know how they compare to the older translations. But this seems like good period piece mystery. Maigret is intelligent and intuitive, but not unbeatable or greater than everyone. He is determined to get to the bottom of the crime, but the crime is not everything, justice can be greater than the legal system.

That being said. If you are going to go through the expense of retranslating over 100 books because you think they are worth having a new modern transition, why not spend a few buck to make them look good. The cover here screams self published clip art. The audiobook is good (I alternated between audio and kindle). So they didn’t skimp there, but they did skimp on the cover. There are things I don’t ever really understand about business decisions.