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The Maltese Falcon (Vintage Crime)


The Maltese Falcon (Vintage Crime) Cover

ISBN13: 9780679722649
ISBN10: 0679722645
Condition: Standard
All Product Details




Dashiell Samuel Hammett was born in St. Marys County. He grew up in Philadelphia and Baltimore. Hammett left school at the age of fourteen and held several kinds of jobs thereafter—messenger boy, newsboy, clerk, operator, and stevedore, finally becoming an operative for Pinkertons Detective Agency. Sleuthing suited young Hammett, but World War I intervened, interrupting his work and injuring his health. When Sergeant Hammett was discharged from the last of several hospitals, he resumed detective work. He soon turned to writing, and in the late 1920s Hammett became the unquestioned master of detective-story fiction in America. In The Maltese Falcon (1930) he first introduced his famous private eye, Sam Spade. The Thin Man (1932) offered another immortal sleuth, Nick Charles. Red Harvest (1929), The Dain Curse (1929), and The Glass Key (1931) are among his most successful novels. During World War II, Hammett again served as sergeant in the Army, this time for more than two years, most of which he spent in the Aleutians. Hammetts later life was marked in part by ill health, alcoholism, a period of imprisonment related to his alleged membership in the Communist Party, and by his long-time companion, the author Lillian Hellman, with whom he had a very volatile relationship. His attempt at autobiographical fiction survives in the story “Tulip,” which is contained in the posthumous collection The Big Knockover (1966, edited by Lillian Hellman). Another volume of his stories, The Continental Op (1974, edited by Stephen Marcus), introduced the final Hammett character: the “Op,” a nameless detective (or “operative”) who displays little of his personality, making him a classic tough guy in the hard-boiled mold—a bit like Hammett himself.

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

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.
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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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Product Details

Hammett, Dashiell
Vintage Books USA
New York :
San Francisco (Calif.)
Mystery & Detective - General
Detective and mystery stories
Mystery fiction
San francisco
Mystery & Detective - Hard-Boiled
Spade, Sam (Fictitious character)
Private investigators
Mystery-A to Z
Edition Number:
Vintage Books ed.
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Vintage Crime/Black Lizard
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8.04x5.24x.57 in. .51 lbs.

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Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z

The Maltese Falcon (Vintage Crime) Used Trade Paper
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Product details 224 pages Vintage Books USA - English 9780679722649 Reviews:
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