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Dashiell Hammett: The Complete Novels Hardcover – Aug 30 1999

4.8 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 967 pages
  • Publisher: Library of America; First Printing edition (Aug. 30 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1883011671
  • ISBN-13: 978-1883011673
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 3.1 x 20.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 699 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #15,531 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Library Journal

It was a big year for Hammett. He was the subject of a TV film as well as an American Masters TV biography. Knopf, his original publisher, gathered 20 early stories, and the Library of America added his complete novels to its prestigious ranks. Long overdue recognition. (Classic Returns, LJ 8/99)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Steven Marcus is the author of Dickens: From Pickwick to Dombey and Freud and the Culture of Psychoanalysis and editor of The Life and Works of Sigmund Freud. His work has appeared in many periodicals, including Commentary, The New York Review of Books, Partisan Review, and The New Statesman.


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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This publisher creates quality bound hardcover collections of a variety of American authors. The books are a pleasure both for their physical properties and their content. I own several and this was no exception. Without Hammett would there have been a Chandler, or a Spillane? Great stories in a classy hardcover.
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By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Sept. 7 2003
Format: Hardcover
He's known best for the creation of Sam Spade and the Maltese Falcon. But Dashiell Hammet was responsible for a lot more -- the hardboiled crime novel as we know it today, with femme fatales, charmingly sinister crooks and cynical antiheroes.
"Red Harvest" introduces the Continental Op, cool-as-a-cucumber private detective who arrives in Personvilles (often pronounced "Poisonville") for a client, Donald Wilson, who has been suddenly murdered. Soon the Continental Op finds himself being hired by Donald's father Elihu to clean up Personville. To do so, he'll have to fight fire with fire, and play dirty with the many dangerous crooks.
"The Dain Curse" starts off with an ordinary diamond heist where things don't seem quite right. It soon leads the Continental Op to Gabrielle Leggett, a young woman with a drug habit, an attachment to a cult, a bizarre family secret, and who is convinced in the "Dain Curse" that has supposedly slain her entire family. The Op sets out to discover the origins of the cult and cure Gabrielle of her drug use...
"The Maltese Falcon" starts with a simple case, in which a young woman asks the private investigators Sam Spade and Miles Archer to trail her sister's lover. Except not only does she not have a sister, but she's wrapped up in a bizarre hunt for the priceless, elusive Maltese Falcon. Sam Spade must unravel a tangle of lies and murder to find out who killed Miles, and what is going on with the Falcon.
"The Glass Key presents Ned Beaumont, a gambler-turned-murder-investigator who has to start investigating when a Senator's son is murdered. What he uncovers is more than murder, but deception, desperate political games, gangsters and money.
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Format: Hardcover
I have reviewed each of these books separately. Having them all together in one volume is invaluable. And reading these consecutively is hardly boring, because there's a world of difference between them.
RED HARVEST featuring the Continental Op is a real romp through a completely corrupt town which gets what's coming to it because a corrupt police official makes the middle aged fat man protagonist mad. There's an underlying theme of corruption as a true poison.
THE DAIN CURSE is again the Continental Op, and here you see glimpses of a tender side to a character who is basically completely self controlled. And in this, you see the very weak female character turn into an admirably strong woman.
THE MALTESE FALCON is of course the true classic, a study of greed and deception. Sam Spade's story of a character named Flitcraft gives the reader the author's perspective on the randomness of life.
THE GLASS KEY gives a sleazy view of politics and makes a couple of points about friendship.
THE THIN MAN appears lightweight after the first four, but a second reading reveals a portrait of a very able person who allowed passion to leave his life, and is slowly going down the drain.
Crime fans will especially love this collection, but there is a whole lot of value concerning human nature and the framework of society here.
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Format: Hardcover
The Thin Man was a popular series of films starring the unforgettable Myrna Loy and the talented William Powell. The films starred a wire fox terrier that played the couples' dog, Asta. I think it is important to note that in Hammett's novel, Asta is actually a schnauzer. Also, the Thin Man in the films refers to Powell's character, and in the book it refers to one of the other characters. In any case, Hammett's novels are as fresh and as entertaining today as any top-notch detective writer. I think Patricia Cornwell should read some Hammett and learn how to inject a little levity into Scarpetta. That is one uptight woman!
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By A Customer on June 5 2001
Format: Hardcover
Wow. Finally the publishers are making what needs to be made more often.
Hammett reinvents the hard-boiled and hard-boiled is forever changed. With his tight yet elegant prose that recalls Hemingway, Hammett leads us head-first through a maze of corruption and murder with genius that is only matched later by Raymond Chandler. Hammett never trusts the reader, much to the reader's delight: the endings are stunning yet not fantastic (as was Poirot). The only reason for which you shouldn't read this book would be to give other authors a fighting chance on your bookshelf...
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Format: Hardcover
during early Depression America. Each of these five classics shed light on the human condition,corruption, nastiness,and sometimes,redemption, and are as good now as 65-plus years ago. The most famous THE MALTESE FALCON, and THE THIN MAN have been made into several classic films over the years. RED HARVEST seems to have a corrupt town as it's main character,a town called PERSONVILLE, but usually pronounced POISONVILLE. The GLASS KEY is also a classic,if less known film.THE DAIN CURSE rounds out the series. Simply, not to be missed!
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