Arsène Lupin, The Gentleman Burglar by Maurice Leblanc Arsène Lupin, The Gentleman Burglar by Maurice Leblanc
Series: Arsène Lupin #1
Published by Amazon Digital Services on October 11, 2015 (first published June 1907)
Source: Purchased
Genres: Vintage Mystery
Pages: 191
Format: eBook
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Arsene Lupin, The Gentleman Burglar is a collection of nine stories, written by Maurice Leblanc, who constitute the first adventures of Arsene Lupin. The color cover of the original edition is designed by Henri Goussé.

The first story in the collection, The Arrest of Arsene Lupin, was published in July 1905 in the newspaper Je sais tout. This is the first story implementing Arsène Lupin. It has a real success, Maurice Leblanc is encouraged to write the sequel by his editor. Or, as the author is perplexed on how to continue the adventures of a hero who has been locked up, the publisher ordered to him to escape. The saga of the gentleman thief was born. Several new appeared in Je sais tout, at irregular intervals, until 1907, before being grouped in volume.

4½ stars for the story, 2 stars for the translation

Arsène Lupin is simply a fabulous character. He’s a thief, but suave and brilliant and a “gentleman.” I just wish this translation by Nicolae Sfetcu had been better.

The collection includes the first nine stories:

1)   The Arrest of Arsene Lupin
2)   Arsene Lupin in Prison
3)   The Escape of Arsene Lupin
4)   The Mysterious Traveller
5)   The Queen’s Necklace
6)   The Seven of Hearts
7)   Madame Imbert’s Safe
8)   The Black Pearl
9)   Sherlock Holmes Arrives Too Late

Lupin gets arrested, organizes a heist from jail, and escapes from jail. He solves a couple of mysteries, in order to steal the items himself of course and even outwits Holmes. I truly enjoyed the stories. They’re fun and light.

This particular translation is not well done though. Aside from not being particularly smooth, the pronouns seem to get mixed up a lot – him and her almost become interchangeable, which is more than a little annoying. I could follow the story, and see what it should have been, but the next Lupin story I read will definitely be from a different translator.

Do read Leblanc’s stories. Do not read this version.

 

About Maurice Leblanc

Maurice Marie Émile Leblanc (11 November 1864 – 6 November 1941) was a French novelist and writer of short stories, known primarily as the creator of the fictional gentleman thief and detective Arsène Lupin, often described as a French counterpart to Arthur Conan Doyle’s creation Sherlock Holmes.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges: