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The Maltese Falcon, The Thin Man, Red Harvest [Hardcover]

Dashiell Hammett
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Dec 5 2000 Everyman's Library Classics & Contemporary Classics
(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)

The three classic novels published here in one volume are rich with the crisp prose, subtle characters, and intricate plots that made Dashiell Hammett one of the most admired writers of the twentieth century.

A one-time detective and a master of deft understatement, Hammett virtually invented the hard-boiled crime novel. In The Maltese Falcon, Sam Spade, a private eye with his own solitary code of ethics, tangles with a beautiful and treacherous woman whose loyalties shift at the drop of a dime. The Thin Man introduces Hammett's wittiest creations, Nick and Nora Charles, who solve homicides in between wisecracks and martinis. And in Red Harvest, Hammett's anonymous tough-guy detective, the Continental Op, takes on the entire town of Poisonville in a deadly war against corruption.

"Dashiell Hammett is a master of the detective novel, yes, but also one hell of a writer."—Boston Globe

”Hammett was spare, hard-boiled, but he did over and over what only the best writers can ever do. He wrote scenes that seemed never to have been written before.”—Raymond Chandler

”Hammett’s prose was clean and entirely unique. His characters were as sharply and economically defined as any in American fiction.”—The New York Times

”As a novelist of realistic intrigue, Hammett was unsurpassed in his own or any time.”—Ross Macdonald

”Dashiell Hammett’s dialogues can be compared only with the best in Hemingway.”—André Gide

”Hammett is one of the best contemporary American writers.”—Gertrude Stein

Frequently Bought Together

The Maltese Falcon, The Thin Man, Red Harvest + The Postman Always Rings Twice, Double Indemnity, Mildred Pierce, and Selected Stories + The Big Sleep; Farewell, My Lovely; The High Window
Price For All Three: CDN$ 58.94

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Maltese Falcon June 19 2004
By Amanda
Format:Paperback
To be honest before I read this book I had never even heard of Dashiell Hammett. If I had heard of him I probably would have completely ignored his books due to the fact I usually can't stand Detective stories. So with only a thought as to the fact he has an interesting name I would have simply written him off as just another author in a genre which I usually never venture into.
So, why did I bother reading The Maltese Falcon? Well, like most people I assume, I saw the movie starring Humphrey Bogart, and was hooked. Initially after first seeing the movie I had no idea there was actually a book which it was based off of. Then I noticed it at first on the Barnes and Noble bags, and figured that to be some sort of sign that I should go and read this book. Initially however I just placed it in my reading pile writing it off for the fact that it was just a detective novel, and probably would probably be no where as good as the movie was. So sadly it sat in my room unread for almost 3 months, then one day since I was nearing the bottom of my stack of books waiting to be read I grabbed and decided to just suck it up and read it since I had already spent the money for it. Let me tell you I sat and read almost the entire book that night!
Hammett's style of writing is tight, with all the details, suspense and mystery you're pulled through the entire novel from cover to cover. Spade's character is certainly "rough" and in the book is described as a "blond Satan" and believe me it's easy to see why. I'll spare going into the entire plot for you since it seems just about every other review already has that. But believe me you should definitely read this book, even if Detective stories aren't your thing, you won't be disappointed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars THE archetype of the detective genre May 30 2004
Format:Paperback
Dashiell Hammett not only writes an amazing detective novel with the utmost suspense but also writes amazingly well -- detective novel or not. Perhaps he is undervalued in the scheme of things as far as his vast influence over the genre as a whole. Of late, however, he has received the credit he duly deserves since The Maltese Falcon is ranked as the #56 novel of the 20th Century by the Modern Library.
Featuring the irrepressible straight-shooter Sam Spade and his unforgettably cunning and sexy female counterpart Brigid O'Shaughnessy, The Maltese Falcon has enough twists and turns to make your head spin. As if these two indelible characters and the super suave dialogue weren't enough, Hammett throws in such incomparable characters as The Fat Man (appropriately named Gutman), the effeminate weasel Joel Cairo, and, of course, the relentlessly maligned Wilmer, or The Undersized Shadow as the chapter is titled.
Despite all of these great characters that complement the story, none shines as brightly as our gruff, cynical, and mercilessly shrewd hero and lady's man, Sam Spade. He means what he says and says what he means - you gotta love it. If you even remotely value fine (and highly entertaining) literature that is a great read even after having seen the equally great movie, then add this to your wish list today.
"By Gad, sir, you are a character!" - Gutman to Spade
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of Hammett's Best. Masterpiece of the Genre. Feb. 25 2004
Format:Paperback
"The Maltese Falcon" is one of Dashiell Hammett's most popular novels and one of his best. It originally appeared in serial form in "Black Mask" magazine, 1929-1930. The stories in Hammett's novels are typically a mite uninteresting and the characters a little underwritten. Readers don't complain, because story and characters were never the point. They are the vehicle for Hammett's delicious hard-boiled language and biting social commentaries. Published in 1930, "The Maltese Falcon" is a noir masterpiece that offers the best of both worlds. It's full of the blunt talk and pervasive cynicism that typify the genre. But "The Maltese Falcon" also gives us an intricate story and better-drawn characters than is customary in Hammett's work, and it's his sexiest novel as well.
Our detective is Sam Spade, a San Francisco private investigator who, with his partner Miles Archer, owns his own agency. Sam's a man in his thirties who has been around, seen every side of the law, and come away unimpressed. He's hardened; he's practical; he only cares that he come out on top of each case he investigates, and richer than when he started. One day a striking woman walks into his office distraught over her younger sister who has run off with a ne'er-do-well. Sam doesn't believe her story, but he believes her money. He takes the case, and his partner Miles is murdered as a result. To make matters worse, Sam is suspected of murdering the man who was suspected of Miles' murder. So he's left with little choice other than to track down his mysterious client and solve both crimes. Sam's trying to extricate himself from this mess only leads him into an ever-widening web of deceit.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Counterfeit Feb. 3 2004
Format:Paperback
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.
Sam Spade is described as a blond Satan. His partner is Miles Archer. They are hired to secure the return of a Miss Wonderly's sister. Through the San Francisco PD Spade is called out because his partner is down, his Webley-Fosbery is missing a bullet. Miles Archer was supposed to be tailing Floyd Thursby. Thursby has been shot, too. Spade was involved with Archer's wife. There are, needless to say, complcations.
Spade discovers that Miss Wonderly's name is really Brigid O'Shaughnessy. Soon Brigid is confronted with Spade's observation that she is feeding him rehearsed lines. A man named Flitcraft disappeared from a Tacoma suburb. When Spade found him in Spokane he and his wife divorced quietly. The man changed his life when he was nearly killed on a sidewalk by a falling beam. Brigid is surprised that Sam Spade takes such a high-handed manner with the police.
Brigid claims that she and Floyd Thursby and Joe Cairo were involved in a plot to obtain the black bird, the Maltese falcon. She has not touched it and has only seen it once. It is possible police brutality was the norm in 1929 when THE MALTESE FALCON was written. At any rate, midway through the story, Joe Cairo receives a going over. Brigid is to stay with Spade's secretary, Effie Perrine, because it is feared she is in danger.
The Maltese falcon has to do with tribute paid by the crusaders. The treasured piece ended up in the hands of a Greek dealer. It belongs to either a Russian general or to the King of Spain. It is discovered that Thursby was a bodyguard to a gangster, after all this is prohibition, who had immense gambling debts.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Legendary Novel
Although several of his novels have considerable merit, Dashiell Hammett (1894-1961) will be best remembered for a single work: THE MALTESE FALCON. Read more
Published on July 2 2004 by Gary F. Taylor
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Hammett
Dashiell Hammett is best known as the man who wrote "Maltese Falcon," the classic noir mystery behind the classic noir film. Read more
Published on Jan. 22 2004 by E. A Solinas
5.0 out of 5 stars A True Classic
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 more
Published on Oct. 29 2003 by mrliteral
5.0 out of 5 stars Prime noir
Smoky offices with names on the doors. Femme fatales begging for help. Sinister men in trenchcoats. Mysterious shootings. Read more
Published on Oct. 28 2003 by E. A Solinas
4.0 out of 5 stars A hallmark of American detective fiction...
This novel remains one of the original masterworks in the genre of American detective fiction-a genre Hammett virtually created single-handedly. Read more
Published on Oct. 19 2003 by Johnny Lee
5.0 out of 5 stars More Than A Detective Story
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 more
Published on Oct. 19 2003 by Fred Wemyss (Actual Name)
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, from chapter one to the end
When I first saw this book at the store, I thought to myself "Hey, isn't that the movie with Humphrey Bogart? Read more
Published on Oct. 13 2003 by Bryan Schingle
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I am sorry but I am going to have to disagree with almost everyone who has written a review for The Maltese Falcon. Read more
Published on Sept. 11 2003 by "roonetta"
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Detective Story
I am not usually a huge fan of the detective genre but this book is great because it not only is a quick-paced, clever mystery, but it is a work of literature. Read more
Published on June 22 2003 by P. Costello
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