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Comment: Condition: Very good condition., No dust jacket, as issued. Near very good slipcase with numbers written on end and side panels. / Binding: Hardback. / Publisher: Library of America / Pub. Date: 1999; c1999 Attributes: 967 p. 21 cm. / Stock#: E708918 (702-j) * * IMMEDIATE SHIPPING * *
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Red Harvest / The Dain Curse / The Maltese Falcon / The Glass Key / The Thin Man Hardcover – August 30, 1999

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

It was a big year for Hammett. He was the subject of a TV film as well as an American Masters TV biography. Knopf, his original publisher, gathered 20 early stories, and the Library of America added his complete novels to its prestigious ranks. Long overdue recognition. (Classic Returns, LJ 8/99)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Steven Marcus, a distinguished literary critic and cultural historian, is George Delacorte Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 967 pages
  • Publisher: Library of America (August 30, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1883011671
  • ISBN-13: 978-1883011673
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.2 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,538 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

78 of 81 people found the following review helpful By mirasreviews HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 23, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is a nice compact hardback edition of Dashiell Hammett's five novels, which he wrote between 1929 and 1934. A veteran of Pinkerton detective agency in several cities, Hammett turned his intimate familiarity with crooks, low-lives, and the seedier side of life into hard-boiled, hard-hitting detective stories. This was a time when urban corruption was the rule, and private detectives, journalists, and police officers shared information. Two of these novels, "The Maltese Falcon" and "The Glass Key" are American classics. Another, "The Thin Man", inspired one of Hollywood's best-loved movie franchises. Hammett's novels lift the veil of propriety from the subcultures in which they take place, laying bare violence, corruption, and pervasive cynicism. But they're not dreary. The sharp prose crackles, and the heroes stand apart from the corruption while swimming in it, steadfast in their own codes of conduct, their iconoclastic ideologies rooted securely in realism. These five novels all appeared as serials in magazines prior to being published as novels. "The Thin Man" appeared first in "Redbook", the others in "Black Mask".

"The Maltese Falcon" (1930) and "The Glass Key" (1931) are flawless. "The Maltese Falcon" features private detective Sam Spade, a irresistible femme fatale, and the ruthless pursuit of an ancient gold statuette. The last pages of the book are some of the most hard-hitting and cynical in all of noir fiction. And they're brilliant. "The Glass Key" explores political corruption that leads to personal tragedy in an unnamed American city. Oddly, the detective is the right-hand man of a crime boss.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 7, 2003
Format: Hardcover
He's known best for the creation of Sam Spade and the Maltese Falcon. But Dashiell Hammet was responsible for a lot more -- the hardboiled crime novel as we know it today, with femme fatales, charmingly sinister crooks and cynical antiheroes.
"Red Harvest" introduces the Continental Op, cool-as-a-cucumber private detective who arrives in Personvilles (often pronounced "Poisonville") for a client, Donald Wilson, who has been suddenly murdered. Soon the Continental Op finds himself being hired by Donald's father Elihu to clean up Personville. To do so, he'll have to fight fire with fire, and play dirty with the many dangerous crooks.
"The Dain Curse" starts off with an ordinary diamond heist where things don't seem quite right. It soon leads the Continental Op to Gabrielle Leggett, a young woman with a drug habit, an attachment to a cult, a bizarre family secret, and who is convinced in the "Dain Curse" that has supposedly slain her entire family. The Op sets out to discover the origins of the cult and cure Gabrielle of her drug use...
"The Maltese Falcon" starts with a simple case, in which a young woman asks the private investigators Sam Spade and Miles Archer to trail her sister's lover. Except not only does she not have a sister, but she's wrapped up in a bizarre hunt for the priceless, elusive Maltese Falcon. Sam Spade must unravel a tangle of lies and murder to find out who killed Miles, and what is going on with the Falcon.
"The Glass Key presents Ned Beaumont, a gambler-turned-murder-investigator who has to start investigating when a Senator's son is murdered. What he uncovers is more than murder, but deception, desperate political games, gangsters and money.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Neal Reynolds VINE VOICE on July 25, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I have reviewed each of these books separately. Having them all together in one volume is invaluable. And reading these consecutively is hardly boring, because there's a world of difference between them.
RED HARVEST featuring the Continental Op is a real romp through a completely corrupt town which gets what's coming to it because a corrupt police official makes the middle aged fat man protagonist mad. There's an underlying theme of corruption as a true poison.
THE DAIN CURSE is again the Continental Op, and here you see glimpses of a tender side to a character who is basically completely self controlled. And in this, you see the very weak female character turn into an admirably strong woman.
THE MALTESE FALCON is of course the true classic, a study of greed and deception. Sam Spade's story of a character named Flitcraft gives the reader the author's perspective on the randomness of life.
THE GLASS KEY gives a sleazy view of politics and makes a couple of points about friendship.
THE THIN MAN appears lightweight after the first four, but a second reading reveals a portrait of a very able person who allowed passion to leave his life, and is slowly going down the drain.
Crime fans will especially love this collection, but there is a whole lot of value concerning human nature and the framework of society here.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 15, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Dashiell Hammett's novels have fascinating mystery plots and the essential elements of film noir: dangerous dames, wise-cracking "ops" (= operative = P.I.), cagey crime orgasnisers, and trigger-happy "muggs".
Hammett's novels include The Maltese Falcon (#3) and The Thin Man(#5), which are great films but they are missing some of the intrigue of the real stories. For instance, there's another angle of Sam Spade involving Iva Archer that doesn't quite make it to the film version . . . .
The Red Harvest (#1) reveals shocking corruption in city politics as the Continental Op (literally) wades through bootleg liquor and tries to keep track of the soaring body count.
The Dain Curse (#2) is a confusing compound of drug use, a religious cult, and a family's vicious criminal record. It isn't a neat, fictionalised detective story, but rather the slough of deceit Hammett must have seen while working for Pinkerton.
The Glass Key (#4) also deals with city-level political corruption, but there's another message: think of trying to use a glass key . . . .
When fortifying myself for a six hour layover and a trans-Atlantic flight, I stumbled upon this book quite by accident, but I couldn't have made a better choice. Hammett's novels make excellent reading: interesting plots, clever wording and some of those "lines" film noir can't do without. I can't resist giving an example "line" (from The Glass Key):
"'A copper found you crawling on all fours up the middle of Colman Street at three in the morning leaving a trail of blood behind you.'
'I think of funny things to do,' Ned Beaumont said."
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