Pietr the Latvian : Inspector Maigret

  • by Georges Simenon, David Bellos (translator)
  • Narrated by Gareth Armstrong
  • Series: Inspector Maigret
  • 3 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The first audiobook which appeared in Georges Simenon's famous Maigret series, in a gripping new translation by David Bellos.
Inevitably Maigret was a hostile presence in the Majestic. He constituted a kind of foreign body that the hotel's atmosphere could not assimilate. Not that he looked like a cartoon policeman. He didn't have a moustache and he didn't wear heavy boots. His clothes were well cut and made of fairly light worsted. He shaved every day and looked after his hands. But his frame was proletarian. He was a big, bony man. His firm muscles filled out his jacket and quickly pulled all his trousers out of shape. He had a way of imposing himself just by standing there. His assertive presence had often irked many of his own colleagues.
In Simenon's first novel featuring Maigret, the laconic detective is taken from grimy bars to luxury hotels as he traces the true identity of Pietr the Latvian. 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 Bellos is Director of the Program in Translation and Intercultural Communication at Princeton University and has won many awards for his translations including the Man Booker International Translator's Award (2005).
Audible will be producing all 75 Maigret titles. The next two in the series are:
The Late Monsieur Gallet on 5th Dec 2013
The Hanged Man of Saint-Pholien on 2nd January 2014

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What the Critics Say

"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)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Long live Maigret

I've been disappointed with so many new, highly acclaimed books lately that I find myself turning back to the classics once again. (As usual, curmudgeon that I am). Now I'm working my way back through the Simenon canon and enjoying every minute. I'd almost forgotten how much I loved Maigret! A big, strong, man of few words who can take a bullet and keep on working, never complaining or blaming. For me, that's old school sexy and I'd like to see it come back into style!

The stories are edgy, sometimes raw, and always realistic. Paris is not idealised as it is so often, but shown with all its flaws and very much anchored in that particular postwar time. Simenon knows how to choose just the right detail in his description, saying volumes in a simple but compelling observation. Such simplicity is a great gift, and much appreciated.

In short, you can't go far wrong. The translation is good, the story fast-paced and interesting, and Gareth Armstrong has fantastic pacing, a beautiful voice, and gives us an excellent narration. May you enjoy taking a trip into the old days with the unforgettable, highly original character that is Maigret.
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- Die Falknerin "Painter, musician, bibliophile..."

Real crime here is the English accent narration

Has Pietr the Latvian turned you off from other books in this genre?

No this genre, but certainly this Audible series as they are all narrated in an English accent


What didn’t you like about Gareth Armstrong’s performance?

Mr Armstrong is a wonderful narrator. But Audible should have chosen someone with a French accent to narrate this French story. This was like listening to Sherlock Holmes with a Spanish accent.


Any additional comments?

Why in the world would Audible take a classic French detective series and have it narrated with an English accent? So much of the atmosphere and locality is completely missed when the characters of a French detective novel speak with English accents (except, oddly enough, the Latvian).

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- Neal

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-07-2013
  • Publisher: Audible Studios