Simenon’s Island Of Bad Dreams

John Banville writes: ‘In “Monsieur Monde Vanishes,” one of the finest of what Simenon (pictured) called his romans durs, or “hard” novels, the central character, a successful, middle-aged Parisian businessman, simply walks out of his life one day, without a word to anyone, including his family. He takes a train to Marseilles and checks into an anonymous hotel.’ What a wonderful premise for a novel!

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