This is the first Dashiell Hammett book I've read and I was hooked instantly. If you are into a good mystery and noir crime this is for you. He's a wonderful writer and the characters are great!
I'm from the San Francisco area so it's a lot of fun to read about all these places that are so close by. If you get a chance and you're a fan, you should take the Dashiell Hammett tour of S.F. Find more info here: http://www.donherron.com/tour
What a good book! If you've seen the movie it will be hard to get Bogart out of your mind, but if you focus you can do it. The writing is so original and witty, and it sent me to the dictionary more than once! I recommend it!
One of the classics. Sam Spade and his cohorts are almost taken in by a beautiful woman. Book said to be one of the best detective novels written.
Classic detective fiction featuring Sam Spade.
I struggled with how to rate this because 1. I don't want to cast shade on an undisputed classic detective novel that many consider to be one of the best books of the 20th century, especially since 2. The "hard boiled" detective novel isn't a genre that appeals to me. In fact, I only read this because Erik Larson, an author I admire, told the New York Times it's his favorite book.
With that said, however, I feel that any great book is simply a great book, regardless of the genre, and I didn't think this one was great. Here's why:
1. Stilted, awkward prose: I initially chalked it up to the fact that sentence structure and word usage were different in 1929 than they are today, but why can I read Tolstoy from 1877 and feel like he's a close personal friend whose train of thought is just like mine?
2. Insulting sexism: Today, Sam Spade would never have gotten mixed up in the whole Maltese falcon debacle because he would have lost his business years earlier as a result of a sexual harassment lawsuit. Apparently, any woman will sleep with him; he's completely irresistible; and they are very easy to manipulate, so they all do his bidding regardless of how he treats them.
3. Lack of character development: The characters all seemed one-dimensional, not fully formed. I would have liked little glimpses into how they ended up in the situations/lives they were in. They seem to have dropped onto the earth as full grown amoral adults with no families or home bases. They just travel around looking for the falcon and killing anyone who gets in the way with no remorse.
4. Disappointing ending: The ending fizzled for me. It was all for nothing. The falcon was fake. Lots of people died and no one even remotely seemed to care. No one, least of all Sam Spade, seemed to have learned or grown from the experience.