Saturday, February 12, 2005

Man it's hard to catch up on these. Luckily, the reading hasn't slowed down. Here are a few back posts:

The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett

Since Nick and Nora are both drunk all the time, it seems fitting that I write this one while drunk myself.

This is the most fun Dashiell Hammet novel I’ve read. It’s got the most style and charm.

Nice and Nora are a wealthy, fast livin’ couple. They mostly go to cocktail parties speakeasies and the like. A la Agatha Christie and Murder She Wrote, crime and it’s perpetrators seem drawn to the Charles’s. Someone is murdered, other murders follow, the police are involved, and there are cocktails. Lots, and lots of cocktails.

This book was a treat, a delight, and revised my opinion of Hammet upwards a full letter grade. Unlike the Op, this pair made for a great amount of fun and a great period study.

More, later:
This is certainly the best book by Dash Hammett I've ever read. Inever canvassed the breadth of his work the way I did with Chandler, mostly because I think Hammett is about half the stylist. Never wasreally clear to me why he seemed to garner more acclaim. Neither wereprolific, both came from a genre and publication history shunned byacademia.The Thin Man is a charming book. It introduces Nick and Nora Charles awell-to-do West Coast couple who get caught up in some seedy dealingsin New York while vacationing there. They spend most of their timedrinking and partying and living a charmed and enviable lifestyle. Inthe spaces in between their dinner parties and morning martinis,various people come to visit them and give them clues which ultimatelyunravel a complicated patchwork of crimes, false identities, murders,and sordid relationships. The back of this Vintage Crime paperbackvolume credits Hammett with writing not only a fine murder mystery, but a final "comedy of manners" and indeed, like much of Chandler, so it is. Nick and Nora provide a fun insight into a time gone by when itwas possible to live large, drink cocktails with breakfast, and livein hotels for months at a time if one felt like it. How fine a thingto have been rich, young, married and cosmopolitan during the 1920s. Almost as much fun, I expect, as it is to be those things now.

PS: Please forgive bad editing in this post, it was copied and pasted and that seems to have screwed up some formatting.

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