Three Bedrooms in Manhattan by Georges Simenon

Three Bedrooms in Manhattan

Three Bedrooms in Manhattan
closely based on the story of Georges Simenon’s own meeting with his second wife.


“It was almost a game–and deeply pleasurable. This was the third room they’d been in together, and in each he’d discovered not only a new Kay but new reasons to love her, different ways of loving her.”

Unemployed French actor whose wife has abandoned him for a much younger man finds himself living in New York coping with loneliness. He happens to meet an equally lonely divorcee and the two attempt to extinguish the pain of loneliness and need.


“Kay would never understand. Why should she? What sort of ridiculous pedestal had he placed her on just because he had run into her one night when he could no longer bear to be alone, a night when she was just looking for a man, or at least a bed?”

Not your average love story by any means…. Both rebounding, lonely and wanting desperately to love and be love we tag along on this sadistic/masochistic emotional relationship. Francoise is obsessed – not only with Kay but with fighting off loneliness. He’s a pendulum swinging with love and loathing for the needy and submissive Kay. Kay fights her ghost of loneliness as well as enables Francoise’s mercurial affections, she is a needy/clingy woman. Two desperate bodies craving to fill the void of emptiness, seeking to repair the damage failing to remember they are broken.

A love story full of sadness, two pitiful souls fractured attempting life together in fast forward motion. Painful and frustrating, fascinating and morbid perhaps embodying the struggle of brain vs. heart with a big fat dose of dysfunctionality for good measure. Effing exhausting!!

Published October 31st 2003 by NYRB Classics (first published 1946)
Pages 176
ISBN13: 9781590170441

Recommendation: 3/5

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