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The Thin Man Audible – Unabridged

3.7 out of 5 stars 304 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 5 hours and 55 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Audible.com Release Date: November 11, 2008
  • Whispersync for Voice: Ready
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001O1ZXD8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank:

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By N. Andreassen on August 2, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Please note that this review is of an edition of The Thin Man that sold for about a buck. It is not about any edition of The Glass Key, nor is it about the ten-dollar edition of The Thin Man. This review now evidently appears under everything Hammett ever wrote, but I did not post it under everything Hammett ever wrote. Why can't Amazon stop reviews from "bleeding" like this? Again, the following pertains only to an edition of TTM that sold for about one dollar.

DO NOT buy the Kindle edition of The Thin Man. Reading this cheap Kindle version is like walking a path that ought to have been cleared through the jungle for us but turns out instead to be overgrown with vines. Several other one-star reviewers are exactly right about this but maybe they're not adamant enough. Not only does Nora's name appear here as "Nona," it also appears as "Noma." More than half of the paragraph returns are missing, so, for instance, chapter numbers appear on the same line as text; and dialogue is often very difficult to follow, as each single paragraph might contain words being spoken by more than one character, so the reader must be constantly on guard to catch every last quotation mark. This is especially trying when so many of the conversations consist of rather rapid-fire interrogations. Only a few of the first lines of paragraphs are indented; most are left-justified instead. Here are more word-glitches from just the first 1/4 of this book (and by no means is this list complete): the word "people" does indeed appear here as "pea-pie." The word "hello" is printed as "FIello." We get "in ease" instead of "in case." The word "He" appears as "Fle" and "his" is written as "Ins.
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Format: Paperback
Of all five of Hammett's novels, "The Glass Key" most resembles a "traditional" whodunit with its linear plot, subtle hints, red herrings, false leads, and disclosure of the murderer in the final chapter. It's his only novel with enough clues to allow readers to figure out who did it--although the identity of the killer will still surprise most readers (including this one, to be honest). What distinguishes it from a typical murder mystery, however, is Hammett's fastidious prose, scurrilous characters, noir ambience, and borderline misanthropy.

Ned Beaumont, a self-described "amateur detective" with an independent streak and a gambling habit, is the loyal underling to shadowy political boss Paul Madvig, whose major concern is to see his candidate, Taylor Henry, reelected to the Senate. When the Senator's son is murdered alongside a dimly lit street, Madvig is the chief suspect, the papers (controlled by the opposition) go on the attack, and Beaumont intervenes with an attempt to clear his boss's name. While not above resorting to ethically dubious behavior, Beaumont retains a vein of rectitude under his tough-guy exterior, and he's even willing to undergo the most brutal thrashings at the hands of the criminal opposition out of loyalty to his own superiors--as long as they themselves don't cross the line.

His fourth novel in three years (1929-1931), "The Glass Key" is bleaker and more cynical than its predecessors, and the mood spirals further downward as the story unfolds. (One can almost imagine Hammett's brooding temper darkening with each stiff drink.) While most of his fiction deals with the underworld and its corruption and squalidness, this work shows most effectively the seedy alliances among businessmen, political bosses, elected officials, law enforcement, media figures, and organized crime in Prohibition-era America.
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Format: Paperback
Forget those movies. They took a grimly funny novel about a group of predatory monsters and turned it into a series of light comedies. As splendid as William Powell and Myrna Loy are, they cannot hold a candle to the Nick and Nora portrayed in this novel.
Hammett did not write a novel about a sophisticated couple who genteelly solve a murder while pouring cocktails and trading quips. He wrote a dark novel about an ex-detective who has married a wildly wealthy woman, and wants to spend the rest of his life managing her money. He is only faintly connected to the murders, having known the victim and his family briefly several years before, and wants nothing to do with the whole business. He is continually dragged in, however, and very nearly becomes a victim himself. Even a cursory reading of the novel should demonstrate that Hammett was up to much more than a series of one-liners with detective interruptions. Why else would Hammett, one of the most economical of authors, bring the novel to a halt to include a case history of Alfred Packer, the only American convicted of the crime of cannibalism?
There is much more here than Hollywood, or anyone else that I know of, has yet realized.
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Format: Paperback
Boy, these reviews are all over the place, aren't they! Well, they at least give you the plot so I don't have to. Here are some quick comments:

There is so much going on in this book that most people miss much of it the first time (as these reviews show), especially if they don't know Hammett's life. As noted, Hammett modeled Nick and Nora on himself and his paramour, budding playwright Lillian Hellman, so it's interesting to see how he dealt in fiction with their relationship and his ultimate failure to cope with success.

Yet, "The Thin Man" works - and works well - as a straight, hard-boiled detective novel, too (which is why none of the characters are particularly likeable). Also, Nora, one of the few, strong female detectives of the pulp magazine era, has inspired countless woman (including Myrna Loy) through the decades.

Hammett's sparse style of writing, which many critics (including myself) think Hemingway merely popularized, revolutionized American literature. Each of Hammett's words had to do its part. Similarly, unlike those of earlier detective novels, Hammett's characters committed murder and other mayhem for actual reasons! The notion greatly affected Chandler, Macdonald, and all the others who toiled in the garden Hammett created. His books are all classics of American literature.

Some of these reviewers have made too much of the "alcoholism" in the book. Fact is, a certain, large segment of society in the `30s - products of Prohibition - did (or wanted to) drink the way the book's characters do and thought nothing of it. Basically, everybody drank in those days. Even the President of the United States had a bootlegger.
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