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The Thin Man Paperback – Jul 17 1989


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (July 17 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679722637
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679722632
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 13 x 1.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #46,585 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tom From NY on July 7 1999
Format: Paperback
Forget those movies. They took a grimly funny novel about a group of predatory monsters and turned it into a series of light comedies. As splendid as William Powell and Myrna Loy are, they cannot hold a candle to the Nick and Nora portrayed in this novel.
Hammett did not write a novel about a sophisticated couple who genteelly solve a murder while pouring cocktails and trading quips. He wrote a dark novel about an ex-detective who has married a wildly wealthy woman, and wants to spend the rest of his life managing her money. He is only faintly connected to the murders, having known the victim and his family briefly several years before, and wants nothing to do with the whole business. He is continually dragged in, however, and very nearly becomes a victim himself. Even a cursory reading of the novel should demonstrate that Hammett was up to much more than a series of one-liners with detective interruptions. Why else would Hammett, one of the most economical of authors, bring the novel to a halt to include a case history of Alfred Packer, the only American convicted of the crime of cannibalism?
There is much more here than Hollywood, or anyone else that I know of, has yet realized.
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By bernie TOP 100 REVIEWER on Nov. 14 2013
Format: Paperback
When I see a film based on a novel, I like to read the novel to compare plots and execution. Most of the time the novel or story is fuller than the movie due to the short media time and the target audience. In this case, the novel does have a better-developed plot and is more cohesive. The characters are more true to form and there is a real Rosewood/Rosebrien. However, the book characters are more sinister and Dorothy is sleazy. I planed to make this the last story I would read by Dashiel Hammett. However, others tell me I just picked the wrong one to start with.

The film on the other hand, was modified to give a lighter approach. It is the film that I will think of as the real "Thin Man" and Maureen O'Sullivan as the real Dorothy that was concerned about her father. Speaking about that, what is the Sullivan act?

The Thin Man Starring: William Powell, Myrna Loy
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on April 17 2004
Format: Paperback
The last of Dashiell Hammett's novels was "The Thin Man," and what a last novel it is. A hard-edged whodunnit, Hammett's writing had become very polished and his characters even more intricate by the time he wrote this, and while it's not the best he had written, it's a solid example of his work.
Nick Charles was a rough'n'tough detective... until he married wealthy socialite Nora. Now he's retired early, drinks a lot, and has no apparent wish to come into contact with his messy past life. Enter Dorothy Wynant, daughter of weird (and possibly insane) inventor Clyde Wynant. As it happens, Wynant's secretary/mistress has just been murdered, and was found dying by his ex-wife Mimi.
Nick keeps insisting that he doesn't want to detect, but somehow he gets sucked into it anyway when a gangster (ex-boyfriend of the murdered woman) invades his home and nearly kills him. Dorothy keeps popping up and pleading for help and protection; Charles' old flame Mimi is acting oddly; and her husband has some secrets of his own. Despite Nick's aversion to detective work, he and Nora set out to unravel the mystery surrounding the Thin Man. (Wynant, for your information)
Hammett's cynical attitude was a huge part of his writing, but there's a new dimension to it in "Thin Man." Charles spends a lot of time trying to distance himself from his detective past, and in a way it feels like Hammett was distancing himself from his detective novels. Was Nick's dissatisfaction a sign of Hammett's? Quite possibly.
But many of the things about "Thin Man" are vintage Hammett: lying waifs, men in disguise, lots of lying and booze. Almost everyone is sociopathic, and Nick and Nora aren't exactly what one would call "heroes.
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Sept. 21 2003
Format: Paperback
For those of you who allow amature reviewers to guide your reading decisions, know this: Those reviews that talk about the book as being about a "destructive relationship" and the characters of Nick and Nora Charles as the user and the willing usee have made the mistake of not reading the actual text on the page, but instead have tried to apply some late-twentieth century literaty criticism, which they don't fully know how to apply, paired with the social-moral attitides toward blatant alcoholism and frivolity, to a book that is simply what it purports to be: a detective novel with imperfect characters and a perfectly logical final twist. If they find Nick Charles to be a violent womanizer, one can only imagine what they have made of Chandler's Marlowe . . . although I wouldn't be surprised to find similarly misinformed opinions of those books by the same reviewers if I could be bothered to look for them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 15 2002
Format: Paperback
This may be a "detective novel," but that's the least of it. The Thin Man is a statement of the good life, and included are plenty of style and sexiness. Nick and Nora Charles are the greatest, most reasonably decadent couple and the final, best commentary on the American high life that was thrown into such relief by the foil of Prohibition. Sure, there's a murder mystery, but there's also raw roast beef and onions, plenty of onions, from an all-night deli, washed down with perpetual scotch and soda. ... Dashiell Hammett wrote Nick Charles in order to be Dashiell Hammett: drunk, yes, but so what? Once great, always great, as long as you leave a legacy that people admire.
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