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The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett

The Maltese Falcon (original 1930; edition 2011)

by Dashiell Hammett

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6,295195633 (3.91)521
Title:The Maltese Falcon
Authors:Dashiell Hammett
Info:Thinking Ink Media (2011), Paperback, 200 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:books I own, read for school, crime, detective, mystery

Work details

The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett (1930)

  1. 81
    The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler (Cecilturtle)
  2. 81
    The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler (InvisiblerMan)
  3. 50
    Farewell, My Lovely by Raymond Chandler (caflores)
  4. 10
    Bad Things Happen by Harry Dolan (BookGirlVL)
    BookGirlVL: A recent addition to the hardboiled US scene. The protagonist befriends the publisher of a mystery magazine called Grey Streets, which prints hardboiled short stories.
  5. 21
    Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem (InvisiblerMan)
  6. 00
    Spade & Archer by Joe Gores (Cecrow)
    Cecrow: Later prequel by another author
  7. 00
    Maltese Falcon (Picador Books) by Richard J. Anobile (bks1953)
  8. 11
    The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (PghDragonMan)
    PghDragonMan: The two detectives have a key trait in common: dogged pursuit of the truth and the truth has many twists along the way.
  9. 12
    The Valley of Fear by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (benmartin79)
  10. 12
    Britten and Brülightly by Hannah Berry (lucien)
    lucien: A great modern take on the noir genre in comic form. Berry is successful at both weaving a solid noir tale and having some good fun with genre conventions.
  11. 02
    Private Midnight by Kris Saknussemm (PghDragonMan)
    PghDragonMan: Dark detective fiction, both radical for their times.

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» See also 521 mentions

English (182)  Spanish (5)  Dutch (1)  Finnish (1)  French (1)  Italian (1)  Hebrew (1)  All (192)
Showing 1-5 of 182 (next | show all)
This is my introduction to classic hard-boiled detective fiction. Sam and Miles are rough characters from go, to demonstrate that heroes can be as lethal as the villains and an even match for them. Chapter Two has an incredible hook, and then it's off to the races. Sam understands very little about who is hiring him or why they think he's the best man for the job, introducing a layered mystery plot. He demonstrates his skill at taking things as they come, and so must the reader. Either Sam knows more than we do, he is figuring it out faster, or he is just really quick on his feet. Any of these interpretations works, but the last is well supported by the wrap-up. The fantastic battle-of-wits dialogue reminds me of Asimov but with a thick layer of emotion spread over it; there's nothing robotic about these characters. ( )
  Cecrow | Jan 3, 2017 |
I haven't had the opportunity to read many crime detective noir novels and this one was an interesting one to start out with. I've never seen the movie version so I honestly didn't know what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised. It's all macho men, witty dialogue, damsels in distress, stolen goods, and lots and lots of drinking. So honestly, why am I just now getting into noir novels?!? They seem right up my alley!! This was a fun, albeit semi slow paced introduction for me into the world of the hard nosed detective. I'll definitely be coming back for more. ( )
  ecataldi | Jan 1, 2017 |
A wonderful crime novel from the 30's. I've wanted to read this novel for many years now and finally got around to it and I am so glad that I did. I am a huge fan of noir films and this novel really made me think of that. Vivid story line with clear and interesting prose. Full of poignant imagery and great plot twists. ( )
  JessBass87 | Dec 2, 2016 |
A fast-paced melodrama with gritty men and deceptive dames, polished wisecracks and affected pokerfaces, Bacardi and cigarettes, pouring and drinking, rolling and smoking, long monologues and quick banter, psychological warfares and physical roughhousing, this grandfather of hardboiled noir has it all, even the less savoury period casual sexism and heavy homophobic stereotypes. Best read as the starter to the hardboiled noir genre. ( )
  kitzyl | Nov 26, 2016 |
I enjoyed the movie (where Humphrey Bogart played an excellent Sam spade) more than the book. I guess I just don't like super "hard-boiled dicks" with an excessively cold demeanor and zero conscience (i.e., the nowadays considered unfashionable power to differentiate right from wrong). I read several critics' reviews in other websites stating that Hammett had a "Hemingwayesque" style; while I am not a literary critic, I found nothing in his prose to compare to Hemingway's. Hammett uses a lot of minutely detailed descriptions of what each character in each scene is doing, every little blink is recorded. It can get a bit tiresome after a while. But it is a good book, nevertheless. ( )
  MrsRK | Nov 21, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 182 (next | show all)
La audaz mezcla de realismo descarnado y sentimientos románticos, habitual en la narativa de DASHIELL HAMMETT (1894-1961), alcanza en EL HALCÓN MALTÉS (1930) su mejor plasmación. Una estatuilla con figura de halcón que los caballeros de la Orden de Malta regalaron al emperador Carlos V en 1530 ha sido objeto, durante más de cuatro siglos, de robos y extravíos. Cuando, tras mil peripecias, llega a la ciudad de San Francisco, un grupo de delincuentes trata de apoderarse de ella, lo que da lugar a conflictos, asesinatos y pasiones esacerbadas. A ello contribuye el detective Sam Spade mediante el empleo de la violencia más cruda y la creación de situaciones arriesgadas e imprevisibles, aunque siempre esclarecedoras. Basada en esta obra John Huston realizó en 1941 una magistral película protagonizada por Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor y Peter Lorre.
added by Pakoniet | editLecturalia

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hammett, Dashiellprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Angell, OlavTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Meier, RaymondCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
Samuel Spade's jaw was long and bony, his chin a jutting v under the more flexible v of his mouth.
The boy spoke two words, the first a short guttural verb, the second 'you'.
"People lose teeth talking like that." Spade's voice was still amiable though his face had become wooden. "If you want to hang around you'll be polite."
The boy repeated his two words.
Spade by means of his grip on the Levantine's lapels turned him slowly and pushed him back until he was standing close in front of the chair he had lately occupied. A puzzled look replaced the look of pain in the lead-colored face. Then Spade smiled. The smile was gentle, even dreamy. His right shoulder raised a few inches. His bent right arm was driven up by the shoulder's lift. Fist, wrist, forearm, crooked elbow, and upper arm seemed all one rigid piece, with only the limber shoulder giving them motion. The fist struck Cairo's face...
"I don't know where that damned bird is. You don't. She does. How in hell are we going to get it if I don't play along with her?"
Cairo hesitated, said dubiously: "You have always, I must say, a smooth explanation ready."
Spade scowled. "What do you want me to do? Learn to stutter?"
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Haiku summary
Yes, I'm guilty, but
I'll get free with female wiles.
Whoops, need a Plan B.


Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679722645, Paperback)

Sam Spade, Dashiell Hammett's archetypally tough San Francisco detective, is more noir than L.A. Confidential and more vulnerable than Raymond Chandler's Marlowe. In The Maltese Falcon, the best known of Hammett's Sam Spade novels (including The Dain Curse and The Glass Key), Spade is tough enough to bluff the toughest thugs and hold off the police, risking his reputation when a beautiful woman begs for his help, while knowing that betrayal may deal him a new hand in the next moment.

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.

Spade is bigger (and blonder) in the book than in the movie, and his Mephistophelean countenance is by turns seductive and volcanic. 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. If you're riveted by Chinatown or wonder where Robert B. Parker's Spenser gets his comebacks, read the master. --Barbara Schlieper

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:38 -0400)

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A murder involves Sam Spade in a dangerous search for a valuable statue.

(summary from another edition)

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