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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
The Thin Man marks the first time I have thoroughly enjoyed a Dashiell Hammett novel.
Written in the classic Hammett style, the story is full of twists and turns of the interaction of well defined, recognizable characters.
It's not hard to see why this happened: the book is a mere mystery, with a rather pedestrian plot and not very memorable characters.
When I see a film based on a novel, I like to read the novel to compare plots and execution. Most of the time the novel or story is fuller than the movie due to the short media... Read morePublished 6 days ago by bernie
I have to qualify this - love the story, hate the ebook - it's a digital mess. The mystery is challenging, the dialogue fun and snappy and the characters classics. Read morePublished 6 days ago by AMFoster
I have seen all the "Thin Man" movies and have enjoyed them for years. This is the first time I have seen the books in print. Read morePublished 7 days ago by William D Deniston
Rounder and more honest characters than you often find in the genre. Breezy writing. Classic mystery with a satisfying ending (though I guessed it and never saw the old movie). Read morePublished 9 days ago by Amazon Customer
I give this three stars instead of five because although I loved the story, I have to agree that there are way too many typo's. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Mandy Cat
The novel rates a hard five, but the formatting was atrocious., like it came from the scanner, without so much as a spell-check. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Terry
The story is great and very different from the movie. The formatting is bad. Conversations are run together and words are mixed up, possibly due to a bad scan. Read morePublished 16 days ago by Fancy
Thid as ufradable ! I have never seen a kindle book as bad as this one. It may be cheap but it's still not worth it !!! Read morePublished 20 days ago by R. WATSON