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Monsieur Monde Vanishes (New York Review Books Classics) Paperback – July 31, 2004
Intrusion: A Novel
A loving couple, grieving the loss of their son, finds their marriage in free fall when a beautiful, long-lost acquaintance inserts herself into their lives. Learn More
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"A truly wonderful writer…marvellously readable, lucid, simple, absolutely in tune with that world he creates."
— Muriel Spark
Top Customer Reviews
The largely passive Monde exits his successful life in Paris to allow another life in Nice to happen to him. In the end, this change enables him to return to his prior existence possessed of enhanced stature with his business, his wife and his son. The breaking of his life pattern, even though he is compelled to return to it, seems to give Monde additional power over his environment.
Read this book and get swept up in the rhythm of an unspectacular life that is likely different than your own in detail but not in method.
On the topic of identity and alienation, one key text is Erich Fromm’s “The Sane Society” and it is this classic of social psychology I will quote below and pair with my commentary as a way of highlighting the wisdom nectar contained in Georges Simenon’s fine novel.
“By alienation is meant a mode of experience in which the person experiences himself as an alien. He has become, one might say, estranged from himself. He does not experience himself as the center of his world, as the creator of his own acts—but his acts and their consequences have become his masters, whom he obeys, or whom he may even worship.” ---------- Monsieur Monde turns 48 but will his wife, his son, his daughter, his business associates remember and wish him a happy birthday? Is Monsieur the center of his own world? Is he really alive? Monsieur recognizes the answer to all of the above is ‘no’; at the same time he also realizes it is time to make a quick exit from his comfortable, predictable, deadening upper-upper-middle class life and hit the road. And that is exactly what Monsieur does.Read more ›
With one or two sentences, Simenon takes one into the small villages and homes of France and then right into the minds of the characters who live there. It's really easy to understand the people in each book and somehow identify with them due to Simenon's fantastic ability to describe their emotions. I have about 150 Simenon books in my library and have another five which I just ordered from Amazon so I guess that will tell you how much I enjoy them.
In "Monsieur Monde Vanishes," the story's protagonist, Norbert Monde, a man with a comfortable, upper-middle class life suddenly bolts from his marriage and professional responsibilities at the end of one ordinary workday and takes another identity and eventually begins to lead another life. Unfortunately for M. Monde, he is a magnet for others who are less fortunate or whose lives are less orderly. Through a series of encounters, his innate sense of responsibility (not shed with the old identity) pulls him back toward the accountabiity that he had hoped to be rid of forever. When he comes across the woman who was his first wife and his first great disappointment with life, in a state of crisis, the die is cast and Norbert Monde's vanishing act will soon be history.
The story speaks to virtually everyone's inevitable dissatisfactions with life, but makes no attempt to provide answers or comfort. Perhaps there are none to be had.
Interesting short novel. I have to admit that I prefer to have Inspector Maigret along for these crises de vie that are manifest in Simenon's writing.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is not a Maigret novel, but one of Simenon's more serious works. It follows Monsieur Monde, a bourgeois small business owner who simply has enough of his current life and... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Mark Smallwood
I'm a big fan of Simenon, but was disappointed. The protagonist was the man who "vanishes" and he was totally without direction, intention or purpose. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Green Hornet
knut hamson and simenon are my two favorites and this is one of simenon's best. simenon wrote two kinds of novels, the maigret mysteries and his "romans durs" ("hard... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Gordon Ackerman
Simenon’s “Monsieur Monde Vanishes” was well written. The interior life of this once pathetic man is revived by disappearing for 3 months to Nice. Read morePublished 24 months ago by Jim
Georges Simenon, Monsieur Monde Vanishes
Norbert Monde walks out on his bourgeois existence, leaving behind his second wife, his career and what the average person would... Read more
Monsieur Monde while looking at life in the face, transformed from a rider along in life to a person fully engaged in his own life. He satisfied himself, as long last.Published on October 17, 2013 by Skip55
A typical Simenon story with dark undericurrents. Is this Everymans desire to escape or a moral tale? Reader
Monsieur Monde Vanishes was first published as La Fuite de Monsieur Monde in 1952. It was translated into English by Jean Stewart. Read morePublished on January 3, 2013 by Phillip Kay