- Paperback: 96 pages
- Publisher: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard; Reprint edition (July 17, 1989)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0679722653
- ISBN-13: 978-0679722656
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.2 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 27 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,073,635 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Woman in the Dark Paperback – July 17, 1989
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From Publishers Weekly
Other than Nick Charles in The Thin Man , Hammett's protagonists have never been particularly successful romantically. "Brazil," in this story, iswith mixed results. Luise Fischer stumbles into Brazil's remote country house in the middle of the night, running away from her boyfriend, Kane Robson, and his bodyguard, Conroy, who arrive on her heels. In the fracas that ensues when she refuses to leave with them, they kill her great Dane. Brazil beats them up, leaving Conroy seriously injured. Brazil and Luise flee to Brazil's friends in the city, where the police find them, shoot Brazil as he escapes and arrest Luise on trumped-up charges. Out on bail, she discovers that Brazil is at a sanatoriumrun by a friend of Robson's. She goes back to Robson; the man she loves is under his power. First published in Liberty magazine in 1933 and issued as a pulp paperback in the 1950s, the novella is short enough to read in an hour. There are a few vintage Hammett lines, but they are overwhelmed by stilted dialogue; this slight effort has none of the power of The Maltese Falcon or The Glass Key . Robert B. Parker has written an introduction, billed as an "appreciation." 25,000 first printing; BOMC dual main selection; QPBC selection.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Inside Flap
A young, frightened, foreign woman appears at the door of an isolated house. The man and woman inside take her in. Other strangers appear in pursuit of the girl. Menace is in the air.
Originally published in 1933, Hammett's Woman in the Dark shows the author at the peak of his narrative powers. With an introduction by Robert B. Parker, the author of the celebrated Spenser novels.
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Top customer reviews
Character development and intricacy of plot both must necessarily play diminished roles under the restrictive novella format.
The principle characters, Brazil and Luise, are two very interesting literary creations. Hammett gives the reader several hints as to their respective backstories, but much is left unsaid. It therefore falls to the reader and his or her imagination to flesh out the details as to how these characters have come to find themselves in the circumstances described in this novella.
Think of Woman in the Dark as you would a radio play. Not everything is presented clearly so you are forced to use your imagination. Such participation on the reader's part carries with it its own type of satisfaction.
Read Woman in the Dark and appreciate it for what it is. A timeless tale of love and jealousy told in crisp, unadorned language. Highly recommended.