Fine book in fine dust jacket.
Why did Antoine drink? Why, after his performances as a conjurer, did he invariably end up in the sordid little cafe in the Rue Montmartre knowing, as he did, the humiliation and anguish that awaited him when he staggered home?
The anxiety and panic of his wife, Julie, his anger at her silent censure of his conduct and their pathetic determination to forgive one another, make each return a nightmare and each attempted reconciliation more heartbreaking than the last.
When Julie's health deteriorates and the contemptuous nurse, Madame Arnaud, disrupts their routine, Antoine's depressions worsens - with disastrous consequences.
Simenon describes with astonishing psychological insight the illusions and yet curious lucidity of a drunkard, but it is above all for his intimate picture of the tragic relationship between Antoine and Julie that this poignant novel will be long remembered.