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Spade's partner is murdered on a stakeout; the cops blame him for the killing; a beautiful redhead with a heartbreaking story appears and disappears; grotesque villains demand a payoff he can't provide; and everyone wants a fabulously valuable gold statuette of a falcon, created as tribute for the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV. Who has it? And what will it take to get it back? Spade's solution is as complicated as the motives of the seekers assembled in his hotel room, but the truth can be a cold comfort indeed.
Spade is bigger (and blonder) in the book than in the movie, and his Mephistophelean countenance is by turns seductive and volcanic. Sam knows how to fight, whom to call, how to rifle drawers and secrets without leaving a trace, and just the right way to call a woman "Angel" and convince her that she is. He is the quintessence of intelligent cool, with a wise guy's perfect pitch. If you only know the movie, read the book. If you're riveted by Chinatown or wonder where Robert B. Parker's Spenser gets his comebacks, read the master. --Barbara Schlieper
The mystery story is a morality tale and the tough guy genre started here. The very title is exotic. Dashiell Hammett was Raymond Chandler's model. Read morePublished on Feb. 3 2004 by Mary E. Sibley
Dashiell Hammett is best known as the man who wrote "Maltese Falcon," the classic noir mystery behind the classic noir film. Read morePublished on Jan. 22 2004 by E. A Solinas
What makes a classic? Perhaps that in itself is more of a discussion than is allowed in the Amazon word allotment, so I will limit myself to my personal definition: a classic has... Read morePublished on Oct. 29 2003 by mrliteral
Smoky offices with names on the doors. Femme fatales begging for help. Sinister men in trenchcoats. Mysterious shootings. Read morePublished on Oct. 28 2003 by E. A Solinas
This novel remains one of the original masterworks in the genre of American detective fiction-a genre Hammett virtually created single-handedly. Read morePublished on Oct. 19 2003 by Johnny Lee
Several reviewers have said it's impossible not to picture John Huston's cast when reading this novel, even though Humphrey Bogart, for example, doesn't look like the Sam Spade... Read morePublished on Oct. 18 2003 by Fred Wemyss (Actual Name)
When I first saw this book at the store, I thought to myself "Hey, isn't that the movie with Humphrey Bogart? Read morePublished on Oct. 13 2003 by Bryan Schingle
I am sorry but I am going to have to disagree with almost everyone who has written a review for The Maltese Falcon. Read morePublished on Sept. 11 2003 by "roonetta"