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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
I barely remember the movie, but the book was dramatic and of its genre. The characters seem almost cartoonish to me, but perhaps that was the style, the era. Read morePublished 10 days ago by liane
My first read from the "hard-boiled detective story" genre. Was shocked at how women and other cultures were talked about in 1941. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Dave G.
I know, it is Dashiell Hammett's masterpiece. And I DO enjoy reading it again and again.
But! Sam Spade is Deeply Flawed! He has Anger Issues. Read more
During the majority of the Maltese Falcon, I was horribly bored and annoyed. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't connect to any of the characters. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kim Barletter
Fantastic prose, but overall underwhelming. Not a fan of stories with endings a la Sierra Madre and (Stanley Kubrick's) The Killing.Published 1 month ago by Alexandra Miller
It was a delight to read this book after seeing the movie years ago. I had forgotten the entire plot which made it more enjoyable. Read morePublished 1 month ago by J. Cox
Long familiar with author and works, lasts through time in good stead.Published 1 month ago by Alan Laurent