THE MALTESE FALCON BOOK
Sign me up to get more news about Mystery & Suspense books. Published in , The Maltese Falcon was Dashiell Hammett's third novel in two years. The Maltese Falcon [Dashiell Hammett] on cittadelmonte.info Discover delightful children's books with Prime Book Box, a subscription that delivers new books. cittadelmonte.info: Discovering The Maltese Falcon and Sam Spade: The Evolution of Ace Performer Collection series) (): Richard Layman: Books.
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The Maltese Falcon is a detective novel by American writer Dashiell Hammett, originally . The novel was serialized in five parts in Black Mask in and before being published in book form in by Alfred A. Knopf. The Maltese Falcon book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Sam Spade is hired by the fragrant Miss Wonderley to track do. The Maltese Falcon is the Hammett novel that jumps from the pages of its genre and into literature. It's the book that introduces Sam Spade, the.
Of course, the characters brought to the screen in by Humphrey Bogart, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, and Mary Astor will be fondly recalled by fans of classic film noir as well. It was time to fix this gap in my literary experience, so I pulled my dusty paperback copy of the novel off the shelf. I am not a fast reader, but the book took off from the moment we are introduced to Spade and ripped away until the final revelation about the Black Bird. Is it an easy read? Not necessarily. Hammett had a tendency to use only simple and compound sentences, which might seem like simplicity itself, except that some of them are almost a paragraph long. But once you get the gist of his writing style and his pattern of introducing characters by means of precise physical descriptions, things run along at a breakneck pace.
He acts assuredly, withou I once read the following in some TV guide regarding the classic movie adaptation: He acts assuredly, without hesitation. Yet there is a deeper part of himself that is merely along for the ride, as if some of his decisions were never really decisions at all.
He has led a life with more than a few amoral choices but when confronted with what should be the easiest of shortcuts, he discovers he has a moral core that cannot be so easily overruled.
An array of fascinating characters and an explanation and solution, perhaps the greatest explanation of all time because of the drama interwoven within, and upon rereading they almost become side issues compared how exposed Spade becomes and how he refuses to see it.
The Maltese Falcon Reader’s Guide
THE masterpiece. View all 6 comments. Apr 16, Lyn rated it really liked it. Of his character, Hammett says: He is a dream man in the sense that he is what most of the private detectives I worked with would like to have been and in their cockier moments thought they approached.
For your private detective does not — or did not ten years ago when he was my colleague — want to be an erudite solver of riddles in the Sherlock Holmes manner; he wants to be a hard and shifty fellow, able to take care of himself in any situation, able to get the best of anybody he comes in contact with, whether criminal, innocent by-stander or client.
Parker and scores of others, Hammett in this release founded an archetypal hero and a formulaic storyline. Hammett describes Spade in sinister terms, calling him a devil and revealing him to be a solver of problems with his iron will and his fists as much with his mind. A very entertaining and recommended novel.
This 's noir beauty set the template for hard-boiled detective stories, paving the way for other writers like Raymond Chandler and James M. The action begins when our hero Sam Spade, finds out his partner, Phil Archer is found shot while on a job.
The story has all you could ask for: The characters are just perfect, one of the more memorable ones being the mincing Joel Cairo whose voice on the audiobook that I listened to sounded like the python "Kaa" from the Disney film The Jungle Book.
It's so stylish and distinctive, not to mention cinematic.
I couldn't help but think of the characters moving around in black and white, smoke curling around their fingers as they bring a drink to their lips, while eyeing up a potential enemy in the room. View all 29 comments. Apr 11, Jason Koivu rated it it was amazing.
You got nothin' on this book, see?! That's right, skedaddle and quick-like! Private detective Sam Spade smells trouble when a crazy dame walks into his office, and sure enough, his life is soon turned topsy turvy. Spade gets all tangled up in a fishy double murder. The coppers are on him, he's on to the dame and people keep popping outta the woodwork goin' on and on about this g. If things keep up like this somebody's gonna get themselves killed dead.
Since the book's publication, t You got nothin' on this book, see?! Since the book's publication, the Spade character has become the ideal from which all other hired sleuths to follow would be molded. He's cool and calculating. He's no angel. No, he's in it for himself, yet only gets what he deserves often a sock on the jaw and somehow still comes out smelling like roses. This fantastically tight-wound story is a joy to read, made even more so by a hero who defines the word character.
Hammett's like an Italian tailor who's cut and sewn one of the finest suits you could imagine. It's sleek. It's stylish. You feel like a million bucks in it and you want it to last forever. Hell, with quality craftsmanship like that, it just might! View all 4 comments.
View 2 comments. Can you remember the plot of The Maltese Falcon? In late s San Francisco, a bunch of people want the priceless titular statue, and will do anything — bribe, steal, frame, kill, and lie their faces off — to get their claws on it.
And damn it, he's not gonna take the fall for anyone. It has quite the provenance! She complies. I literally LOL'd when I read the following description of a contemptuous bit of dialogue: But this book was written in , so I suppose it's understandable. View all 16 comments. Call me an uncultured Cretin it's true , but I've never seen the movie, so I have nothing to compare it to but the only other classic noir book I've ever read told you I was a Cretin , Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep.
Where Chandler's prose sets a baseline from which he can occasionally spring a trick in the form of a clever turn of phrase, Hammett's prose is as straightforward as it gets, which I saw as a minus. That said, the blandness of the language lets the reader concentrate on plot and Call me an uncultured Cretin it's true , but I've never seen the movie, so I have nothing to compare it to but the only other classic noir book I've ever read told you I was a Cretin , Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep.
That said, the blandness of the language lets the reader concentrate on plot and characterization, where Hammett shines a touch more than Chandler. Unlike the overly-convoluted un-plot of The Big Sleep , which Chandler admits he just sort of made up as he went along and never fully understood himself, Hammett unravels a mystery, the details of which are made very clear by the end of the book.
That's not to say that it's transparent, by any means. Sam Spade, the protagonist, is perpetually surrounded by liars and he's a pretty good fabricator of truths, or at least a master at twisting the truth, himself.
There are plenty of surprises in store for the reader unfamiliar with the story i. Part of the reason for this is that Spade, while staying true to his inner self, is a great wearer of masks.
His unexpected actions, which several other characters remark upon, might actually be coldly-calculated, rather than merely whimsical. And though one must question whether Spade is a good guy or a bad guy, throughout, in the end we see that he simultaneously remains true to himself while revealing his true underlying morality. Hammett shows a deft hand in presenting all of the villainous, bungling supporting cast, but shows the master-stroke in hiding the real Sam Spade until the end of the novel, where Spade's strong sense of ethics is unveiled to the reader.
Perhaps this is why I found him a more fascinating, deeper character than Chandler's Philip Marlowe whom I admired, actually. All told, though, I'm glad I read both.
And there will be more noir in my future. That's no mystery. View all 11 comments. May 24, Duane rated it really liked it Shelves: This novel is set in 's San Francisco and creates the character of Sam Spade, a name now synonymous with crime detective fiction.
One of the remarkable things about the novel is that it's not dated at all. The setting could be as well as The cast is small and well defined, and the plot is straight-forward, not complicated.
And with Hammett's ability to add exquisite detail, the end result is a This novel is set in 's San Francisco and creates the character of Sam Spade, a name now synonymous with crime detective fiction.
And with Hammett's ability to add exquisite detail, the end result is a masterpiece in the genre. This book is pretty good. The writing in Hammett's Maltese Falcon seemed to get more fluid as it went along. It started out stilted and choppy. I also wasn't particularly keen on his predilection for cataloging every single item of clothing every character was wearing. Another thing that I found strange was his choice to describe in user-manual detail exactly how, step-by-step, Sam Spade rolls a cigarette.
This happened early in the book and killed the forward movement of the narrative for me. But I read on because I found this to be a pretty interesting read as a cultural artifact, if nothing else. I was surprised to learn that Spade's physical appearance differs so greatly from how the archetypal hard-boiled detective is portrayed in film.
He's described here as a blond Satan his countenance comprised of letter Vs, like something we'd see in a Silver Age Marvel comic book , nothing like Humphrey Bogart. I was also surprised to learn that Sam Spade is a complete asshole.
You find this out early on, and it colors your perception of him throughout the book. This book had some scenes that were pretty silly. For example, at one point a stranger comes into Spade's office, and after a short conversation, points a gun at him and wants to search the office. Spade brutally disarms the gunman, knocks him out cold, and then searches through the guy's belongings.
When the gunman wakes up, they finish their conversation, come to an agreement, and Spade hands the loaded gun back to the gunman! Well, of course, the gunman goes right back to pointing the thing at Sam. Pretty silly. One more thing that I found disappointing was that the titular falcon winds up in Spade's hands through absolutely no detective work on his part.
I like it when detectives succeed through detection. I don't know, maybe I'm alone in this. I still plan on reading Red Harvest. I've not given up on Hammett, yet. View all 21 comments. Story wise - just so-so for me. It is supposed to be a classic, so I expected more from the story. But, if you are looking for all the stereotypical hard-boiled detective stuff dames and all that this book definitely delivers. First published in serial form Black Mask, The Maltese Falcon is the quintessential hard-boiled detective novel.
I read The Maltese Falcon over forty years ago, and I find it just as compelling and entertaining as I did then. After all, Bogie was Bogie. No need to re-hash the plot in a synopsis; there are plenty of synopses for those unfamiliar with this classic. Hammett makes great use of a narrative style that was pioneered by Hemingway. Rather than telling us what a character thinks or feels in any particular situation, the narrator shows us through what I call stage-craft, a combination of dialogue, movement, gestures, expressions, reactions, etc.
For example, we can learn something about Spade's character by observing the way he sits at his desk and rolls a cigarette, or his sexually suggestive byplay with his young, female secretary, his wise-cracking and defiant attitude toward both the authorities and the crooks.
The 100 best novels: No 54 – The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett (1929)
Some critics might carp about stereotypes or even caricatures, the sort of criticism leveled at Dickens, for example. Realistic and believable. Written almost ninety years ago, it still seems fresh. The Maltese Falcon is a relatively short novel, about pages in print, or about 67, words. As is, the fast pace coupled with great dialogue, unforgettable characters and a tight, expertly crafted plot are about as good as it gets.
The Maltese Falcon
Just one minor quibble: Huston cut her from the film, and I think that was a good idea. And, to be fair, Hammett's ending works fine in the novel, but wouldn't have worked in the movie. The bottom line: This novel is a must-read for anyone interested in the genre. May 01, Apatt rated it really liked it. Anybody who read this book without any prior knowledge of it would probably dismiss it as being full of cliches, archetypes and tropes, they would be dead wrong of course because this is where these tropes originated.
The anti-hero, smooth talking P. I don't actually have a lot to say about this book because, while it was moderately enjoyable, it did not do anything above and Anybody who read this book without any prior knowledge of it would probably dismiss it as being full of cliches, archetypes and tropes, they would be dead wrong of course because this is where these tropes originated. I don't actually have a lot to say about this book because, while it was moderately enjoyable, it did not do anything above and beyond being that.
I don't particularly like any of the characters, except the plucky secretary Effie Perine may be, the protagonist Sam Spade is very smart but I find him a little irritating and unappealing.
I suppose he makes a change from defective detectives who sit around smoking pipes, playing violins and going on about their little grey cells but I like the old er school quirky fellows better. Don't mind me, I believe it's all good stuff, just not my biscuit much less an entire cuppa tea. I do however like Hammett's clean prose and dialogue, I don't know much about this subgenre he was writing in but if he is indeed the first author to popularize it he probably should have coined the term iNoir.
In my quick Googly research about this book I read that it has a theme of "What it's like to want something—a fortune, a lover, or even respect—so bad that you would kill for it, give up a chance at happiness to get it, until finally the chase itself means more to you than what you're chasing. Further proof, if any was needed, of my idiocy I guess.
And, btw, the whole time I've been reading this, Sam's office I've been picturing as that depicted in a Star Trek: TNG episode where Captain Picard plays a holodeck program to relax - a detective noir program that he absolutely loves!
It had to have been this, pretty sure it was this, I remember an early scene was someone changing out the name on the outer door: I'd never seen nor read The Maltese Falcon , so I wasn't familiar with the detective story he was playing out.
It's fantastic. This one, the book, I mean. I bet that TNG episode was, too. Can't remember enough of it now. Enjoyed it at the time: D Glad I have the audiobook. Looking forward to the listen! I'll borrow the movies from the library at a later date, for sure. It was pretty good: It's short 29 mins , but pretty interesting.
I learned some things, including that the book was made into a movie three times, that The Maltese Falcon was the first detective novel to move the genre into the 'literature' category, the 'noir' genre in novel and in film was created by this book, the last film adaptation launched three careers Humphrey Bogart, someone else, and John Huston as a director.
And that The Maltese Falcon was uniquely American, Europe always looking to the past, America to the future, and so created something completely new. Also a conversation about how Dashiel Hammett is often compared to Raymond Chandler and Ross Macdonald , but again, Hammett's hero was different; Chandler's was likened to a knight 'into these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean' paraphrase , Macdonald's to a social worker 'always trying to figure out how to help someone'; Hammet's is a guy who 'does his job, follows his own rules of conduct'.
The Audio Guide is available to listen to for free on their website: Here we go. Book number two in my 25 crime-fiction classic list!
After finishing this, I probably should've started with this one but honestly, who's going to blame me for reading a Raymond Chandler novel first? Sam Spade and Miles Archer, private eyes residing in San Fransisco, are hired by a woman to procure the safe return of her little sister after she has run off with another man.
While Spade accepts the job, he doesn't completely buy Ms.
Wonderly's story feeling that there is more to what s Here we go. Wonderly's story feeling that there is more to what she's telling them. What turns out to be the understatement to end all understatement's, Spade becomes entangled in a search for a rare, valuable statue that puts his life in danger and his reputation with the law on the line. This book was just tremendous. Really, just all around greatness from start to finish. It blows my mind that there had not been many books around at the time written in this style or with characters like these.
It must have had people reeling when they finished it, scrambling for more! Like Chandler's The Big Sleep, this book is endlessly quotable.
I'm such a fan of great similes and snappy, witty dialogue and this book is just stuffed to the breaking point with memorable lines. If it hadn't been so damn entertaining, I may have taken a little bit of an issue that Spade never really seems to be in any danger. Despite the fact that these criminals have the upper hand on a few occasions, they come across as buffoons with no real plans of their own. That being said, it's hard to really find fault in something so excellent.
On a side note, something tells me that if I slap someone and they get angry, I wouldn't be able to tell them they'll take it AND like it. It works for Spade because he's clearly so damn slick but I doubt I have the ability to pull that one off. Feb 27, Stacey rated it liked it.
My expectations of The Maltese Falcon were too high. I love a good hard boiled crime story with a stereotypical detective and a bad girl. This was a good detective story and the writing was great, but ultimately I felt deflated.
I haven't seen the movie so maybe I'll check it out. Nov 20, Richard Derus rated it really liked it. Book Circle Reads 36 Rating: Spade's partner is murdered on a stakeout; the cops blame him for the killing; a beautiful redhead with a heartbreaking story appears and disappears; grotesque villains demand a payoff he can't provide; and everyone wants a fabulously valuable gold statuette of a falcon, created as tribute for the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV.
Who has it? And what will it take to get it back? Spade's solution is as complicated as the motives of the seekers assembled in his hotel room, but the truth can be a cold comfort indeed. Sam knows how to fight, whom to call, how to rifle drawers and secrets without leaving a trace, and just the right way to call a woman "Angel" and convince her that she is. He is the quintessence of intelligent cool, with a wise guy's perfect pitch.
If you only know the movie, read the book. Parker's Spenser gets his comebacks, read the master. There's nothing second-best about this book, no indeed not. It's a fine, solid book, one with a lot of good story packed into some very well-chosen words.
Collecting The Maltese Falcon by Hammett, Dashiell - First edition identification guide
But the film, well now, sometimes perfection comes in unexpected places. Bogart and Sydney Greenstreet! What a pair of second-raters! And how perfectly they meshed, and then add Peter Lorre, another second-rater, and the Holy Trinity couldn't have done better work with the tale being told here. It was a super retelling of the basic story. Wisecracks that, on the page, made me smile and even giggle, came out of Bogart's mouth, and Lorre's, and even Greenstreet's, at a wonderful pace and were there and gone Not to put down the book by any means!
It's a fun read, and it's a well-made novel, and it's a classic noir for a reason. But for me, only for me, I want the film to be my memory of this story.
I'm a claims investigator for the Medallion Life Insurance Company. She didn't glance at it. I wish he were.
Maybe you can help me. The police don't seem to care. Her lover, Peter's father, had died. April believed he'd been murdered. Dave Brandstetter's investigation takes him through the rare-book world, to backstage at a community theatre, to the home of a world-famous television performer. Along the way, Dave soon comes to agree with April. My Review: Small-town California has a lot of atmosphere, according to Hansen; I don't remember it that way, but I was young and miserable, so I'll go with the man who found there something that led to this description of an old mill made into a theater: The timbers, braced and bolted with rusty iron were heavy, hand-hewn, swollen with a century of wet.
Moss bearded the paddles, which dripped as they rose. The sounds were good. Wooden stutter like children running down a hall at the end of school. Grudging axle thud like the heartbeat of a strong old man. It's with this book, second in the series, that Hansen's chops come fully into play. He's here to wow you, and he's got the story to keep you sitting right there flipping pages.
April, the bereaved, is Rita Hayworth in my mind; Oates, the dead guy, looks like John Garfield; Peter, the son and heir, is Cabaret -era Michael York; and so on and so on.
Eve, Oates' ex-wife, is Barbara Stanwyck. I do this a lot, cast the perfect movie cast as I read along. But this time it felt as if it was all done for me.
Oates' murderer, when revealed, was a surprise to me even though this was a re-read. And the actor I'd put in the role was perfect Dave's got a man, too I so wish this had been a TV series. Magnum PI only gay! View all 3 comments. Oct 01, David Schaafsma rated it it was amazing Shelves: That means you'll be out again in twenty years.
You're an angel. I'll wait for you. It was a pleasure within the same tw "I'm going to send you over. He was your partner and you're supposed to do something about it. Then it happens we were in the detective business. Well, when one of your organization gets killed it's bad business to let the killer get away with it. It's bad all around--bad for that one organization, bad for every detective everywhere.
Brigid O'Shaughnessy: Three of the most delicious characters in fiction!!! Joel Cairo: Gutman smiled benignly at him and said: Anyhow, I love both the film and the book, though maybe the film in this instance is even better than the book. View 1 comment.
Apr 13, Matt rated it really liked it Shelves: The OG of hard-boiled, detective fiction. This book has everything that makes a classic, hard-boiled detective story. Sam Spade plays the morally ambiguous private detective. Throw in some themes about greed and mortality and Hammett has what many consider to be the template for a hard-boiled, detective story.
Maltese Falcon - Spoilers 57 Mar 15, Maltese Falcon -- No Spoilers 32 76 Feb 28, November - The Maltese Falcon 11 17 Dec 04, Readers also enjoyed. About Dashiell Hammett. Dashiell Hammett. In addition to the significant influence his novels and stories had on film, Hammett "is now widely regarded as one of the finest mystery writers of all time" and was called, in his obituary in the New York Times, "the dean of the Books by Dashiell Hammett.
Trivia About The Maltese Falcon. Quotes from The Maltese Falcon. In Hammett joined the Baltimore office of Pinkerton's National Detective Agency and subsequently filed three years of case reports, whose sparsely embellished style colored most everything Hammett ever wrote. When Hammett joined the U. Army in , he never got closer to World War I than Camp Meade, Maryland, where he drove an ambulance until his tuberculosis led to an honorable discharge.
Hammett then resumed his Pinkerton career in Washington state, where TB eventually landed him back in a military hospital. There he met Josephine "Jose" Dolan, a nurse whose care proved so attentive that they moved to San Francisco and married in July of They welcomed their first daughter four months later. The story was published, launching Hammett's career. From The Smart Set , Hammett soon graduated to detective stories in the pulp magazine Black Mask about a nameless detective.
In time, self-contained stories gave way to installments of serial novels, which Hammett then reworked into the books Red Harvest and The Dain Curse By , Hammett was written out. Though he had separated from Jose five years before and begun a lasting affair with the playwright Lillian Hellman in , he remained a devoted absentee father to his girls in southern California.
More and more, Hammett concentrated his energies on politics. He gave considerable sums of money to help fight fascism in Spain, co-published a magazine called Equality , and gave many political speeches. In , he rejoined the U. Army during World War II as an unhealthy year-old private and served three years in Alaska, editing the base newspaper called The Adakian.
But his military service didn't save him during the anti-Communist hysteria of the s, when he spent six months in jail for contempt of court. Senator Joseph McCarthy even succeeded in yanking copies of Hammett's books from State Department libraries around the world, until they were restored by order of one highly placed fan: President Dwight D.
None of this persecution was good for Hammett's ever-precarious health and finances. He died on January 10, , in a New York hospital. Hellman, his sister, and three cousins buried him three days later in the military cemetery at Arlington, Virginia, roughly 40 miles from his birthplace at Hopewell and Aim. I don't mean that I necessarily take my own or anybody else's seriously—but the detective story as a form. Some day somebody's going to make 'literature' of it The invention of the detective story predates the invention of the private detective by at least 2, years.
If Oedipus Rex , the story of a Theban king on the trail of his father's killer, isn't a story of detection, what is? But credit for creating the first true detective probably belongs to Edgar Allan Poe , whose story "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," pioneered the idea of a lone mastermind sifting clues and out-thinking everyone around him. The most popular fictional detective surely remains Sherlock Holmes, the London-based amateur sleuth created by Arthur Conan Doyle Dashiell Hammett, first in his short stories for Black Mask and later in his novels, transplanted the genteel British detective story to America and gave it an urban realism that would have baffled Conan Doyle or Agatha Christie.
In the s and s, Hammett wrote more than 80 short stories and five novels. His crisp style and vivid slang created a gritty, street-level realism that registered strongly with the public.
Often set in large, corrupt cities, Hammett's stories tend to feature an independent-minded detective, a working man at odds with his violent society. His motivations—whether monetary reward, a search for truth, or the preservation of his integrity—remain for the reader to decide.
As Hammett's great successor Raymond Chandler wrote in his fine, funny essay "The Simple Art of Murder," Hammett "took murder out of the Venetian vase and dropped it into the alley In a phrase popularized by the great newspaperman Damon Runyon, a Hammett detective was "hardboiled": Hammett's genius lay in devising a style to match his masculine heroes. Even more than his heirs Chandler, James M.
Cain, and Ross Macdonald, Hammett never wasted an adjective, refining a tightly visual vocabulary until everything inessential was boiled away. Skip to main content. Introduction to the Book Dashiell Hammett's third novel, The Maltese Falcon , set the standard by which all subsequent detective fiction would be judged.
Major Characters in the Book Sam Spade Cool and strong, grinning his way through his middle thirties, this cagey private detective becomes caught in a chase for the falcon after someone guns down his partner, Miles Archer, in an alley.
Photo courtesy of Josephine Hammett. Dashiell Hammett It's possible that more people attended Dashiell Hammett's birth than his funeral. Hammett and Detective Fiction "I'm one of the few—if there are any more—people moderately literate who take the detective story seriously.
The Maltese Falcon centers on detective Sam Spade, a character almost as elusive as the falcon itself. What aspects of his personality remain mysterious? Which of his choices retain their ambiguity? Why does Sam Spade take the case, even though he suspects that "Miss Wonderly" is lying? What kind of vision does The Maltese Falcon present of urban America? How important is San Francisco as the novel's setting?
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