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The Thin Man (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) by…

The Thin Man (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) (edition 2005)

by Dashiell Hammett

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2,713712,176 (3.87)191
Title:The Thin Man (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)
Authors:Dashiell Hammett
Info:Vintage Books USA (2005), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 208 pages
Collections:Your library, To read
Tags:in 2009, fiction, crime, C20, anglophone

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The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett


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The 1933 classic introduces the characters Nick and Nora Charles (of movie/TV fame) to the world, and epitomizes the hard-boiled style of detective stories while also poking fun at 1930s New York Society. Nick and Nora are staying at the Normandie Hotel while attending to their New York vacation business: leisure and drinking. Nick gave up the private detective gig to marry Nora, a wealthy socialite, but they are plunged back into the world of gangsters, murder, and detecting when an old associate of Nick's ropes him into a murder investigation and the murder suspect's estranged family insinuate themselves into Nick and Nora's leisure like boozing, whiny locusts. Nick is bitingly cynical about the whole affair, while Nora is thoroughly pleased. I quickly lost track of the drinks requested and consumed -- they started before breakfast, and continued until bedtime -- about 6:00am. A very fun and darkly funny read.
  AMQS | Mar 5, 2015 |
My favorite of his works, breathless, witty, and every other page: "We had a drink." Just love it--never seen the movies. Beware the book out there now claiming to be rediscovered, unpublished sequel--it's a screenplay, and lacks a certain--everything. ( )
  unclebob53703 | Jan 24, 2015 |
Former private eye Nick Charles and his wife Nora are spending the holidays in New York, when the daughter of a former client re-acquaints herself and then sticks to the Charles' like glue. She pulls them into her family drama, which includes a missing, crazy father, a mother who beats her and a brother who is a snoop. Then her father's devoted secretary is found murdered and Nick becomes an unofficial and unwilling detective again.

First published in 1933, this still has witty banter, speakeasys, an annoying mother and daughter team you wish would get shot, surprisingly modern aspects of the case and a really good mystery. It's been too long since my last Hammett. And that's him on the book cover ( )
  mstrust | Jan 6, 2015 |
Retired private eye Nick Charles must take a break from boozing to solve the mystery of a murdered mistress.

Curiously flat. Charles is a functional alcoholic. His wife, Nora, depicted as the smartest woman in the book, is nothing more than a set piece who fetches Charles drinks and asks him questions so he can 'splain the unfolding mystery. The other women are all types, and not very flatteringly depicted. It didn't help that the ebook version is riddled with errors. Still, Raymond Chandler is light years ahead of Hammett when it comes to writing talent and thus more fun to read. The movie version of The Thin Man is certainly a lot more entertaining than the book. I credit a good screenplay and the chemistry between William Powell and Myrna Loy.

Read in 2014. ( )
  sturlington | Dec 16, 2014 |
Picked this up as a cheapy got-through-my-first-year-of-uni-in-20-years/pre-Christmas present for myself based on having greatly enjoyed a short story by Hammett that I read some years ago. I must confess that at first this seemed wooden and unappealing. I'm not sure what happened, whether it was me getting into the flow of things or the writing getting better (I suspect the former), but by the end I was amused, entertained and immensely more satisfied than I had expected to be. I particularly LOVED Nick Charles, ex-gum shoe and wanting to stay ex- (but those around him have other ideas) disparaging the making of lists of opportunity/motive etc. HURRAH! I do love Dorothy L Sayers and Ngaio Marsh, but the diagrams and lists bore me witless. Also highly enjoyed the banter between Nick & his most excellent wife, and the way everything isn't (sort of) tied up in a neat little bow at the end. Great stuff. ( )
  Vivl | Dec 10, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (20 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dashiell Hammettprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Huhtala, EeroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Walker, JamesCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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.
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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.

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 014119460X, 0241962528

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