Tropic Moon (New York Review Books Classics)
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Newly translated for this edition.
A young Frenchman, Joseph Timar, travels to Gabon carrying a letter of introduction from an influential uncle. He wants work experience; he wants to see the world. But in the oppressive heat and glare of the equator, Timar doesn't know what to do with himself, and no one seems inclined to help except Adèle, the hotel owner's wife, who takes him to bed one day and rebuffs him the next, leaving him sick with desire. But then, in the course of a single night, Adèle's husband dies and a black servant is shot, and Timar is sure that Adèle is involved. He'll cover for the crime if she'll do what he wants. The fix is in. But Timar can't even begin to imagine how deep.
In Tropic Moon, Simenon, the master of the psychological novel, offers an incomparable picture of degeneracy and corruption in a colonial outpost.
sick, simply tired. The strange month he’d just lived through had been filled with events that had come so rapidly and been so unsettling that he still hadn’t grasped their import. He had barely gotten to Libreville before he found himself in an office with Adèle seated next to a notary and using her finger to point out the various deletions and corrections that should be made. The concession was in Timar’s name, but there was a binding contract between him and the widow Renaud, who brought two
to a hundred and five, but no one’s ever died of it.” He tried to see if she’d changed. Was she wearing her boots? He leaned over to look. There they were on her feet. “Why are you wearing those?” “I have to go supervise the work site sometimes.” “What work site?” “We’re fixing the machines.” “Who?” And that “who” was a threat. “Constantinesco. He’s a mechanic.” “Who else?” “We have two hundred native workers who are busy building huts for themselves.” “We? Who’s ‘we’?” “The two of
his right hand extended, he approached someone who was either depressed or disgusted, and who looked at Timar’s hand without taking it. “You’re the director? Pleased to meet you—I’m your new employee.” “Employed by what? Who employed you? For what? What are you doing here? I don’t need anybody.” Timar hadn’t flinched. It was the director who was astonished. Behind his glasses his round eyes grew enormous, and he became almost polite. There was something confidential in his manner of speaking.
big. My Joe, Don’t be upset. I had to go to Libreville, but I’ll be back in two or three days at the latest. Take care of yourself. Constantinesco knows what to do. Above all, try to stay calm, please. Your Adèle “So she caught the first train?” Timar said in a biting tone. “She must have taken the flatboat in the night, because when I got up an hour ago she was already gone.” There was nothing for Timar to add. He paced the room, face set, hands behind his back. “You know, it’s nothing
through the crowd toward his goal. On the official side of the rope, the prosecutor and Adèle were talking in low voices and looking at Timar. Suddenly a hand seized Timar’s arm; it was Bouilloux. A voice said, “Careful, now.” Careful of what? Of who? It was driving him mad. For a few seconds, Timar became one with the miserable, half-naked black struggling against the crowd, surrounded by, hunted by, overwhelmed by it. They were hunting him down, too! They’d sent Bouilloux over to corner him!