18. The Iron Staircase

The Iron Staircase by Georges Simenon
Translated from the French by Eileen Ellenbogen

Pages: 176
Finished: Jan. 26, 2008
First Published: 1953
Genre: fiction
Reason for Reading: I love Georges Simenon. I do not like his Maigret novels, but I am fascinated with what are commonly referred to as his "Psychological Novels". These books are amazing studies into the mind of a person, usually a man, who is going through some sort of hardship in life but is otherwise nondescript. It has been a while since I read one so I thought it was about time for another visit.
Rating: 5/5

First Sentence:

The first note was written in pencil, on a sheet of writing paper the size of a postcard.

Comments: A man has realized that he has not been feeling well for quite some time now and becomes suspicious of his wife. He listens to her phone calls, watches her every move. What unfolds is a roller coaster ride of tension as the reader never quite really knows what is happening until near the end. As the man's past and present are slowly unveiled, the reader is shocked and an uneasiness settles as we become unsure as to what will happen until the abrupt and startling ending. I loved this book. Simenon does what he does so well when he puts us inside this man's head. Highly recommend.


  1. This does sound good! Thanks for the recommendation and review!

  2. Huh. I couldn't get into the Maigret novels, either. Maybe I should try this one! Thanks for the review!

  3. This is a completely new author for me. Sounds very suspenseful. You really make it sound like one I need to read. Thanks.

  4. Thanks literary F. I do enjoy these books.

    Darla, these psychological novels are much better than Maigret imho.

    framed, Simenon has written many, many books (hundreds even). I definately found this one suspenseful, though not all of them are. If you enjoy getting inside the mind of a character, these books will please.


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