Julian Barnes

Fair Treatment for the Belgian Sex Maniac

The Man Who Wasn't Maigret: A Portrait of Georges Simenon


Bloomsbury 320pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

In his book on the Lucan affair, Trail of Havoc, Patrick Marnham made one of the most vivid calculations in modern British biography. Lucan, he explained, was a very unadventurous eater. In his days as a house player at the Clermont Club, his taste ran to nothing but smoked salmon and lamb cutlets. The latter were grilled during the cold months and served en gelée in warmer times. Marnham therefore estimated: ‘If Lord Lucan ate four lamb cutlets a day, for four days a week, for eleven years, and if there are seven cutlets in a sheep, then he would have despatched 1,007 sheep.’

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