Now 2023 Previous Articles Road Essays Road Reviews Author Black Authors Title Source Age Genre Series Format Inclusivity LGBTA Portfolio Artwork WIP

Recent posts

Month in review

The Arcanum by Thomas Wheeler
Are These My Basoomas I See Before Me? by Louise Rennison
Athena by George O'Connor
Bagelmania by Mountain Lion Books
Bird by Zetta Elliott
Busy Woman Seeks Wife by Annie Sanders
The Clock Without a Face by Gus Twintig
The Dancing Pancake by Eileen Spinelli
Doctor Who: The Ripper by Tony Lee
Every Soul a Star by Wendy Mass
Fullmetal Alchemist 11 by Hiromu Arakawa
Going Around the Sun by Marianne Berkes
How to Survive a Killer Seance by Penny Warner
Jane Bites Back by Michael Thomas Ford
Once Upon a Starry Night by Jacqueline Mitton
The Pepins and Their Problems by Polly Horvath
Pieces for the Left Hand by J. Robert Lennon
Pining to Be Human by Richard Bowes
Polar Bear Night by Lauren Thompson
Pride and Prejudice (audio) by Jane Austen
Rampant by Diana Peterfreund
Slog's Dad by David Almond and Dave McKean
"Stand Back," Said the Elephant, "I'm Going to Sneeze!" by Patricia Thomas
Steinbeck's Ghost by Lewis Buzbee
Theodosia and the Last Pharaoh by R.L. LaFevers
The Train by Georges Simenon
Twin Spica 03 by Kou Yaginuma
Under the Night Sky by Amy Lundebrek
The Writing Circle by Corinne Demas
xxxHolic 05 by CLAMP

Mount TBR 2012 What are you reading? (November 07)
What are you reading? (November 14)
What are you reading? (November 21)
What are you reading? (November 28)

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

Beat the Backlist 2023

Canadian Book Challenge: 2022-2023

Chicken Art

Privacy policy

This blog does not collect personal data. It doesn't set cookies. Email addresses are used to respond to comments or "contact us" messages and then deleted.

The Train 11/13/11

cover art

Georges Simenon was a Belgian born writer who had a prolific career. He's best known for his Commissaire Maigret series which spans 75 novels and 28 short stories. He also wrote many other stand alone pulp novels under a variety of pseudonyms.

As his Maigret series pretty much drowns out the other books, it's been difficult to find much information about The Train. I can tell you that it was first published in 1961 as Le Train and it was first translated into English in 1964. It has since been retranslated and reissued by Melville books; it was their review galley that I read.

Marcel Féron has a normal, unexceptional life as a radio repairman in the Ardennes region of France. He has a 4 year old daughter and a wife who is seven months pregnant. As Paris falls and Belgium is invaded, he realizes he and his family have to make their escape. They head for the trains. So does (nearly) everyone else.

When traveling to escape there's no time to think and little time to react. Féron takes the new facts of his life with the same calmness that he takes all other aspects of his life.

There's a detachment to Féron. He reports on the dangers on the train with the same quietude as he describes his morning routine at home. Féron is a hard character to read. He is very much akin to the protagonist in Banana Yoshimoto's The Lake but I just couldn't relate to him as well.

Three stars.

Comments (2)

Lab puppy
Email (won't be posted):
Blog URL:

Comment #1: Thursday, December, 29, 2011 at 01:37:24


I recently read The Train and I thought it was really great. I just wanted to make a small correction to your review - the translation in the Melville House publication by Robert Baldick is the original 1964 English translation. It sort of maintains a mid-1960's feel.
My review is here if you're interested:

Comment #2: Wednesday, January 04, 2012 at 21:35:13


Thank you for the information and for the link to your review.

Twitter Tumblr Mastadon Flickr Facebook Facebook Contact me

1997-2023 Sarah Sammis