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Maltese Falcon Hardcover – December 12, 2000
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Spade's partner is murdered on a stakeout; the cops blame him for the killing; a beautiful redhead with a heartbreaking story appears and disappears; grotesque villains demand a payoff he can't provide; and everyone wants a fabulously valuable gold statuette of a falcon, created as tribute for the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV. Who has it? And what will it take to get it back? Spade's solution is as complicated as the motives of the seekers assembled in his hotel room, but the truth can be a cold comfort indeed.
Spade is bigger (and blonder) in the book than in the movie, and his Mephistophelean countenance is by turns seductive and volcanic. Sam knows how to fight, whom to call, how to rifle drawers and secrets without leaving a trace, and just the right way to call a woman "Angel" and convince her that she is. He is the quintessence of intelligent cool, with a wise guy's perfect pitch. If you only know the movie, read the book. If you're riveted by Chinatown or wonder where Robert B. Parker's Spenser gets his comebacks, read the master. --Barbara Schlieper --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Hammett's prose is straightforward. He doesn't waste time with digressions and many descriptions -- only the essential. As a consequence, his novel is packed with action and mystery. It is not a surprise that this author writes with so much authority -- he used to be a private detective. Most of the book --if not the whole narrative --feels like getting inside information.
Hammett's style became a paramount in this genre and he has a major influence on many contemporary writers -- e.g. James Ellroy, Jeffery Deaver, and the French Jean-Christophe Grange among others. Hammett's prose is filled with witty observations on the American way of life -- mostly on the violence and corruption that were permeating the American Society.
Contrary to what many contemporary readers may wrongly assume, the older mystery novel is not as prudish and conservative as it may sound. Hammett's prose is more related to the 20s than the 50s. And in that early period society was looser than after the McCarthyism. Therefore, "The Maltese Falcon" can be a grateful surprise to many readers -- who will find drink, drugs, sex and sexual orientation (the Cairo character's sexual orientation has been largely discussed since the book was published).Read more ›
The classic Bogart flick is a near-perfect redition of Dashiell Hammett's tough-guy dialogue. Director John Huston cast the film so well, that it's impossible to imagine the characters any other way. And in all its twists and turns, the movie captures every nuance of Hammett's plot, and even adds to the mix.
So, again: Why should anyone read THE MALTESE FALCON? The same reason why the movie is so watchable time after time; If you haven't read it, you don't know how good it is, and if you have read it, it's so good, you can't wait to read it again.
In THE MALTESE FALCON, Hammett nails every element of the detective genre so precisely, so superbly, that it's a wonder anyone ever tried to write another detective novel after him. There are simply none better, a detective novel that goes beyond its pulp roots, and enters the realm of 'capital L' Literature.
The plot, for those three people who are unaware, is as follows; Detective Sam Spade has unwittingly become a pawn in a bizarre game of chess. After his partner Miles is killed, he finds himself immersed in a convoluted plot involving a double-dealing moll, a sly fat man, a creepy small man, and a treasured statue of a bird that, if it exists, is worth unimaginable riches. But Spade is unwilling to be used in such a fashion, and starts to set himself up as a player in the scheme, all the while trying madly to figure out exactly what he should do.
I have always believed, in the best of the genre, that the actual plot comes second to the characters, and FALCON is no exception. Hammett's Spade is a remarkable resourceful character, living by a code that even he may not truly believe in.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good book for it's period. The movie is even better (which is saying something).Published 3 days ago by Toby Teorey
The Maltese Falcon is the best detective novel that I have ever read. The detail that is put into it makes it very enjoyable to read. This is one of Hammett’s best pieces. Read morePublished 25 days ago by Amazon Customer
The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammet is an intriguing book that will grasp the reader’s attention throughout the entire novel. Read morePublished 25 days ago by Amazon Customer
When one corrupt private detective, Sam Spade, is approached by the cunning Brigid O’Shaughnessey, he suspects she is up to no good and lying. Read morePublished 26 days ago by Amazon Customer
This book is surely a good one. Dashiell Hammett’s Maltese Falcon is a great read for people of various ages, whether an adult or a teen. Read morePublished 26 days ago by Sierant
The Maltese Falcon, set in 1950s San Francisco, recounts the adventures of private investigator Sam Spade in the aftermath of Miles Archer’s, his partner, murder. Read morePublished 26 days ago by Amazon Customer
Dashiell Hammett's "The Maltese Falcon" is the definitive example of what a detective novel should achieve. Read morePublished 26 days ago by Amazon Customer
Why should you read the Maltese Falcon? If you are looking for a book with suspense, drama, mystery and a classic detective story, this is the book to read. Read morePublished 26 days ago by Lorenzo Liu