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The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett

The Thin Man (edition 1989)

by Dashiell Hammett

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2,797762,089 (3.89)199
Title:The Thin Man
Authors:Dashiell Hammett
Info:Vintage (1989), Paperback, 208 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:American Literature, Hardboiled Literature

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The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett


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Showing 1-5 of 74 (next | show all)
This is so unlike Chandler and the image of the lonely, haunted PI that I’m still reeling whenever I think of it. Our hero is wealthy, happily married to a woman easily his equal in terms of drinks and wisecracks and lives life in a wild social whirl of parties and lunches, to which the murder mystery is an unwelcome intrusion. But people keep coming up and telling him all about it so he has to solve it between one drink and the next just to make them go away and let him get on with living the high life. I think the Continental Op stories might be of a different tone, but this was fantastic and a bit of a revelation. ( )
  Nigel_Quinlan | Oct 21, 2015 |

Big Ship
7 September 2015 ( )
  bigship | Sep 10, 2015 |
I read the novel about 15 years ago, so it was fun coming back to it again. While I'm familiar with the movie series, having seen them a number of times, I felt like I got a richer story reading Hammett's novel. The characters are curiously quirky, in particular the Wynants, who prove a perfect contrast to Nick and Nora's urbane sensibilities. There is a fair amount of psychological study going on throughout the story, especially in terms of Mimi Wynant's former relationship with Nick, which was omitted from the movie. While there's a certain amount of repetitiveness to the scenes, Hammett nudges the characters forward so you can see them from slightly different angles, the way Nick does, so by the time he solves the mystery, you get a good sense of why they behaved the way they did. A very fun read.
( )
  louis.arata | Jul 31, 2015 |
I was delighted to find that on the page, Nick and Nora Charles were as charming as they were on the screen. (Asta's role--who in the book is a Scottish terrier, not a wire-haired--is much more diminished.)

Nick Charles set the mold for a lot of literary gumshoes who were to follow. He straddles the line between the two cultures of low-life petty criminals and high society. He was exposed to the one from his years as a working detective. Now having married Nora, an heiress, he is supposedly retired from that life. But as it turns out, the rich and privileged behave as badly as their criminal counterparts (with perhaps even less of a moral compass), and that drags Nick into detecting once again. For her part, Nora is fascinated with this aspect of Nick's life and is excited to go along for the ride.

Dashiell Hammett knows how to do dialogue, and that's what makes The Thin Man as much fun as anything. The mystery is also satisfying as it keeps you guessing until the end, but when the murderer is revealed, you see that his identity was perfectly logical.

But, boy, do Nick, Nora, and their friends drink! They'd all be candidates for 12-Step programs. As great a detective as Nick is with a drink in his hand, I can only guess how much greater he'd be if he were sober! ( )
  kvrfan | Apr 25, 2015 |
Hammett's one actual Thin Man novel which spawned the film series. In the novel, the Thin Man is not Nick Charles, but the eccentric Clyde Wynant whom he is seeking on behalf of his daughter Dorothy.. ( )
  antiquary | Apr 22, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hammett, Dashiellprimary 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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:51 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

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

(summary from another edition)

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

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 014119460X, 0241962528

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