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Nightmare Town: Stories Paperback – Sep 12 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (Sept. 12 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375701028
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375701023
  • Product Dimensions: 20.5 x 13.3 x 2.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 322 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #266,380 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Arch Llewellyn on Dec 11 2001
Format: Paperback
I bought this book for its snappy cover and intro on Hammett's fascinating life. But the stories themselves are mostly a let-down. Hammett really hit his stride with the novels, and it's hard to tell from these early magazine pieces how good a writer he'd become. Still, the violence, corruption and sexy seediness that make his other work so much fun are here in embryo. If you're already a Hammett fan, reading these stories is like watching an all-star's warm up swings before he nails a home run. If not, let "The Maltese Falcon" or "Red Harvest" knock your socks off before you make the trip to Nightmare Town.
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Format: Paperback
As a long-time fan of 'classic' noir/detective fiction (Hammett, Chandler, MacDonald, Thompson) and it's stylistic roots in the pulps, I have to say I'm somewhat disappointed with this volume. There's alot here in terms of sheer number of stories, but aside from the very worthwhile Sam Spade shorts (which bump it to 3 stars), it's very uneven in quality. Your taste buds will like the delicious descriptive and atmospheric elements (particularly for hard-core Chandler fans like me...his inspirations via Hammett are in good supply) but the story construction leaves much to desire. The better part of the book is made up of hastily conceived vignettes that will remind you just as to why most of 'pulp' writing was considered disposable.
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By A Customer on Aug. 9 2001
Format: Hardcover
These stories were printed in the 1920s by "Black Mask" magazine, one of the monthly pulp magazines that entertained America before radio and television. Some of the stories were repeated in later works ("Who Killed Bob Teal") and never reprinted in Samuel Dashiell Hammett's lifetime. The stories are still entertaining today, and also provide a glance at a life that few of us know.
SDH worked as a Pinkerton detective for years, seeking fun, travel, adventure. The stories reflect his life as a private detective would see it: a world of crime and corruption. Would this work damage an operative expecially when de didn't have a normal family and home life? Does this reoccur today?
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Format: Paperback
Great addition to the works of Hammett. I'm only half way through it, but the first story is worth the price of admission. I wish the slime that sent Dash to prison could see how beloved he is today. For that matter, I wish he could. Thank you, Black Lizard. The Continental Op lives. For those who remember, even Dorothy Parker said nice things about Hammett. For those who don't, you might start with "The Maltese Falcon", "The Glass Key", (which became "Yosimbo" and " A Fist Full of Dollars"), or "The Big Knockover". This is the guy who created"Crime Fiction", and Big Jim Thompson, John McDonald and Ross McDonald would be the first to credit him. If those names mean nothing to you, you are very fortunate, you have some great reading to do! If you know who they are, you have probably already ordered this so enjoy! Black Lizard, More Please!
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