Thursday, May 11, 2017

The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett

I read The Maltese Falcon for category #9 in my 2017 Back to the Classics Reading Challenge:
9.  A classic about an animal or which includes the name of an animal in the title
The "name of an animal in the title" is Falcon. I saw the movie version, with Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade, many years ago, and have wanted to read the novel for a long time. I didn't remember much about the movie until I started reading, but a lot of it came back to me as I read. Now I want to see the movie again to see just how close the story is to the book; it felt pretty close, but as I said, it has been many years since I saw the movie.

I enjoyed the book, although the detective novel is not my favorite genre. And if I am going to read a detective novel, I prefer Dorothy L. Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey series, which is much lighter reading due to Wimsey's character. But The Maltese Falcon had a good story and was well written. This is the second book by Dashiell Hammett that I've read; last year I read The Thin Man for the Classic Detective Novel category in the same reading challenge. Between the two books, I liked this one more; even though The Thin Man was lighter reading, the two main characters (Nick and Nora Charles) annoyed me with the fact that they spent most of their time drinking.

According to the back of the book:
A treasure worth killing for. Sam Spade, a slightly shopworn private eye with his own solitary code of ethics. A perfumed grafter named Joel Cairo, a fat man named Gutman, and Brigid O'Shaughnessy, a beautiful and treacherous woman whose loyalties shift at the drop of a dime. These are the ingredients of Dashiell Hammett's coolly glittering gem of detective fiction, a novel that has haunted generations of readers.
I rate The Maltese Falcon 3 out of 5.

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