Lupin: The Extraordinary Adventures of Arsene Lupin, Gentleman-Thief (Paperback)
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The creator of Arsene Lupin, Maurice Leblanc, was born in Rouen in 1864. At the request of a Paris magazine, Je Sais Tout, he began a series of stories featuring the character Lupin, a 'gentleman thief', which appeared in this publication, starting in 1907. The blueprint for this new magazine was England's Strand Magazine in which Conan Doyle had first introduced his character Sherlock Holmes.
The stories were wildly successful and later led to plays, TV adaptations and movies. The most memorable of these adaptations for an anglophone audience being the recent (but ongoing) Netflix series "Lupin", starring Omar Sy. However, before this, in 1919 Agatha Christie reportedly considered basing her first detective on Lupin. Jean Cocteau wrote about the stories in his diaries, Sartre described Lupin as "the Cyrano of the underworld." When Leblanc died in 1941 Ellen Queen pronounced him as "the greatest thief in the whole world". Even T. S. Eliot was an avid reader of Lupin stories.
The translation by Texeira da Matos is immaculate and reads as effortlessly today as it would have done in 1907 when this collection was first published. The book comprises 9 stories:
THE ARREST OF ARSENE LUPIN
ARSENE LUPIN IN PRISON
THE ESCAPE OF ARSENE LUPIN
THE MYSTERIOUS TRAVELLER
THE QUEEN'S NECKLACE
THE SEVEN OF HEARTS
MADAME IMBERT'S SAFE
THE BLACK PEARL
SHERLOCK HOLMES ARRIVES TOO LATE.