A treasure worth killing for. Sam Spade, a slightly shopworn private eye with his own solitary code of ethics. A perfumed grafter named Joel Cairo, a fat man name Gutman, and Brigid OShaughnessy, a beautiful and treacherous woman whose loyalties shift at the drop of a dime. These are the ingredients of Dashiell Hammetts coolly glittering gem of detective fiction, a novel that has haunted three generations of readers.
Thad, January 2, 2013 (view all comments by Thad)
At first it was tough to read without hearing it in the satirized cadence associated with hard-boiled detective novels and therefore take seriously, but a couple of pages in you realize it’s dark poetry. Plotted around the kind of cynical, morally and motivationally ambiguous, damaged protagonist I could relate to. It’s Mid-Century modern Shakespeare.
Kristen M, March 2, 2010 (view all comments by Kristen M)
This book is well-written but as in all period detective fiction, a little bit of it is lost to a modern reader due to the use of jargon and current affairs references. Still, this is worth reading if you have any interest in 90 year old detective fiction or in The Maltese Falcon film.
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