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Woman in the Dark Paperback – Jul 17 1989


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (July 17 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679722653
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679722656
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 13 x 19.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 113 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #619,476 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
Originally serialized in "Liberty" magazine in 1933, "Woman in the Dark" barely qualifies as a novella. It's more an extended short story. The book is subtitled "A Novel of Dangerous Romance", and some critics have suggested that this is Hammett's least cynical work in its view of love. I don't think it is, but it might be his most optimistic portrayal of love for one of his detectives. "Woman in the Dark" is romantic in its own hard-boiled way.
A foreign woman, Luise Fischer, trying to leave her domineering lover, takes refuge at the home of a no-nonsense ex-con name Brazil. Her lover and his henchman try to coerce her to return, and Luise and Brazil are forced to flee together when the altercation turns nasty. "Woman in the Dark" really isn't a fully fleshed-out story. It feels like a vignette: Lots of texture. Interesting characters, about whom we learn almost nothing. It's the story of an incident and its aftermath among a small group of people. I enjoyed it. I would definitely recommend it to Hammett fans. But this is Hammett Lite. 3 1/2 stars. The Vintage Crime edition includes an inconsequential introduction by Robert B. Parker.
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By Michael G. on March 25 2004
Format: Paperback
This pamphlet sized publication is really a short story which can easily be read in one sitting. It's about an ex-con and a mystery woman who meet one stormy night and are forced to take flight from the woman's rich boyfriend as well as the police. Hammett's craftsmanship as a writer is well demonstrated here.The dialogue is superb; crisp, uncomplicated and studded with 1930s slang. The narrative portion of the text is equally remarkable with sentence structure that can best be described as elegant in its simplicity. Hammet provides the exact amount of information necessary to move the story forward. No more, no less. Leaving to the reader's imagination the tasks of fleshing out the characters and supplying the individual backstories that led up to the situations contained in these pages. The Woman in the Dark is storytelling in its most refined form and a great example of Dashiell Hammett's best work.
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By Neal C. Reynolds on July 25 2002
Format: Paperback
Hammett's style is good enough that you do care about the two main characters. But something's missing. It is almost as if he was lacking interest in his own story. Maybe not.
Whatever the case, it's worth reading just because it's Hammett. It tells the story of a guy who got a bad rap the first time around, and just a few weeks after getting out of jail, he finds himself in danger of going back. There's a feeling of hopelessness here and the ending seems a bit ambiguous.
It's a good crime adventure short, but far from the best Hammett. It's still worth having in your collection.
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