15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Clearly Hammett's Best,
By A Customer
This review is from: Red Harvest (Paperback)
Of all the books written by the chronological trio of Hammett, Chandler, and MacDonald, only Red Harvest seems as honest and truthful now as I am sure it did in 1939. Although Hammett lacks Chandler's writing flare and sarcasm, his style makes for fast-paced, edge of the seat reading. As his Continental Op escapes harrowing situation after another, I was left with a disbelief, but this novel is not about whether the Op could ruin an entire town with merely a scratch. It is instead a commentary on society, and on the cutthroat nature still evident in us all. In so many ways, this novel reminds me of Shirley Jackson's haunting story "The Lottery" because the evil in our world is within the system, and in each person. Just as the Op confesses to wanting to join the killing spree, Hammett has made us want to read about more killing. He dupes us into playing the Op's game. This novel is so much deeper than what can be read in the text. In his own way, he tells us to look out for a system corrupted by greed and a quest for power. Much like Chandler, Hammett always has a message. Heed this one readers, but enjoy the enchantment of this amazing novel.