HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett
Loading...

The Thin Man

by Dashiell Hammett

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,597622,301 (3.87)172
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 172 mentions

English (61)  Spanish (1)  All languages (62)
Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
If an accomplished writer of hard boiled mysteries, one who set the standard, wants to write a satire on the exact same subject, then who are we to say “No.” And so the author of the Maltese Falcon, the creator of Sam Spade, has also created his alter ego, the rich, classy Nick Charles, his wife Nora and little dog, Asta.

The Charleses are in New York for the Christmas holiday season. A retired detective who is now managing his wife’s money, he’s approached by the attorney of an eccentric inventor and former client, Clyde Wynant, to find the murderer of his former secretary, Julia Wolf. All fingers seem to point to Wynant, who left town shortly before the murder.

The Thin Man is populated by Wynant’s comically dysfunctional family. Mimi, the ex-wife and a schemer, and Dorothy, the daughter, both have crushes on Nick. There is constant bickering in the family. The son is just plain weird.

The police detective is somewhat bumbling, but again, not in a hard boiled way, like those in The Maltese Falcon. Think more in line with Lt. Tragg in the Perry Mason series.

The Charleses are constantly going to dinner parties, speakeasies and the theater. They are having “cocktails”, not shots of bourbon, at all hours of the day and night (even upon awaking at 2 PM from the previous nights’ revelries).

There is no darkness to the movie. If you remember the opening scenes of The Maltese Falcon, the foggy San Francisco night, well forget that in The Thin Man. The most you’ll get here is a bit of rain.

Having watched the movie several times (although I don’t remember it being one of my favorites), TheThinManMovieI constantly pictured William Powell and Myrna Loy as the Charleses. But, I’m going to watch it tonight, again, since I just finished the book and we’ll see what I think. Stay tuned!!!!

Well, it was better than I expected, but not great. It was almost slapstick. The movie stuck reasonably close to the book, but there were some differences, as you would expect. The addition of a fiancé for Dorothy negated the need for a Mr. Quinn, who throughout the book falls for her. However, he is brought in at the end of the movie and one wonders who the heck he is.

Another part of the book that was neglected was Mimi’s second husband, Chris Jorgenson. In the movie, he didn’t play a major role, whereas in the book, he was a critical character. I realize that you must leave things out of a movie unless you want to make it hours long, but leaving characters sort of hanging does little to improve the story.MyrnaLoy

I think the two things that stole the show were the costumes, especially Myrna Loy’s and Asta. Ms. Loy wore some outrageous, some sexy, some plain costumes, but they were all noticeable. There was a style and sexiness back in the day that we just haven’t captured now.

So, in conclusion, The Thin Man book is a great satire on the hard boiled detective and the movie is enjoyable but nothing to write home about. ( )
  EdGoldberg | Jul 13, 2014 |
Hammett is well-known as the creator of hard-boiled detective Sam Spade, famously portrayed by Humphrey Bogart in such films as The Maltese Falcon. This book features the husband and wife detective "team" of Nick and Nora. I use quotes around team because Nora's role is considerably less prominent than Nick's in the actual crime-solving. With Hammett dialogue is paramount, so there is plenty of witty banter and the story moves along at a rapid pace, each new chapter picking up right where the last one left off. Setting is secondary to characterization and how the characters interact with each other. There is a lot of drinking and smoking; Nick frequently starts the day with a drink to "cut the phlegm" before eating his breakfast around noon or later. It was definitely an easy and entertaining read, but I have to say I was a bit disappointed at the end after all the build-up. ( )
  S.D. | Apr 4, 2014 |
So-so....not my cup of tea. I liked the movie better! ( )
  hemlokgang | Dec 28, 2013 |


Some good noir, for sure. I loved Nick & Nora. Now I've got to watch the film :)) ( )
  allisonneke | Dec 17, 2013 |
Definitely Hammett's most "meta" novel. Mimi is his best female character and Charles is easily the most silently layered and tortured detective I've ever read - easily Hammett's best lead. The novel's biggest problem is probably its lack of gunplay and action. But it's still one of the author's best. ( )
  Algybama | Nov 23, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (36 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dashiell Hammettprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Huhtala, EeroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Walker, JamesCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Information from the Finnish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
To Lillian
First words
I was leaning against the bar in a speakeasy on Fifty-second Street, waiting for Nora to finish her Christmas shopping, when a girl got up from the table where she had been sitting with three other people and came over to me.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679722637, Paperback)

The Thin Man, Dashiell Hammett's classic tale of murder in Manhattan, became the popular movie series with William Powell and Myrna Loy, and both the movies and the novel continue to captivate new generations of fans.

Nick and Nora Charles, accompanied by their schnauzer, Asta, are lounging in their suite at the Normandie in New York City for the Christmas holiday, enjoying the prerogatives of wealth: meals delivered at any hour, theater openings, taxi rides at dawn, rubbing elbows with the gangster element in speakeasies. They should be annoyingly affected, but they charm. Mad about each other, sardonic, observant, kind to those in need, and cool in a fight, Nick and Nora are graceful together, and their home life provides a sanctuary from the rough world of gangsters, hoodlums, and police investigations into which Nick is immediately plunged.

A lawyer-friend asks Nick to help find a killer and reintroduces him to the family of Richard Wynant, a more-than-eccentric inventor who disappeared from society 10 years before. His former wife, the lush and manipulative Mimi, has remarried a European fortune hunter who turns out to be a vindictive former associate of her first husband and is bent on the ruin of Wynant's family fortune. Wynant's children, Dorothy and Gilbert, seem to have inherited the family aversion to straight talk. Dorothy, who has matured into a beautiful young woman, has a crush on Nick, and so, in a hero-worshipping way, does mama's boy Gilbert. Nick and Nora respond kindly to their neediness as Nick tries to make sense of misinformation, false identities, far-fetched alibis, and, at the center of the confusion, the mystery of The Thin Man, Richard Wynant. Is he mad? Is he a killer? Or is he really an eccentric inventor protecting his discovery from intellectual theft?

The dialogue is spare, the locales lively, and Nick, the narrator, shows us the players as they are, while giving away little of his own thoughts. No one is telling the whole truth, but Nick remains mostly patient as he doggedly tries to backtrack the lies. Hammett's New York is a cross between Damon Runyon and Scott Fitzgerald--more glamorous than real, but compelling when visited in the company of these two charmers. The lives of the rich and famous don't get any better than this! --Barbara Schlieper

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:30:11 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Nick Charles searches for a wealthy inventor who is the prime suspect in a New York City murder case.

» see all 7 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
8 avail.
59 wanted
3 pay3 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.87)
0.5 1
1 4
1.5 1
2 29
2.5 10
3 137
3.5 47
4 236
4.5 24
5 158

Audible.com

An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

See editions

Penguin Australia

Two editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 014119460X, 0241962528

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 91,662,507 books! | Top bar: Always visible