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Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Maltese Falconm by Dashiell Hammett

Read by Michael Madsen, Sandra Oh, Edward Herrman
I'm just starting this audio book and I probably won't be able to finish until next month.  I have three major 1L exams coming up.  However, I am enjoying the first parts of this story as narrated by Sandra Oh and Co.  I found a great review from Barbara Schlieper from Goodreads and I'm including it below.  Even without the description, I wanted to listen to this book before I see the Bogart version of this book.  Besides, Lydia Dare wrote that book with Dashiell character.  Inexplicably, I wanted to read Dashiell Hammett's book. Go figure!  Now back to criminal law book. I've been goofing off since Friday.

According to Goodreads:
Sam Spade, Dashiell Hammett's archetypally tough San Francisco detective, is more noir than L.A. Confidential and more vulnerable than Raymond Chandler's Marlowe. In The Maltese Falcon, the best known of Hammett's Sam Spade novels (including The Dain Curse and The Glass Key), Spade is tough enough to bluff the toughest thugs and hold off the police, risking his reputation when a beautiful woman begs for his help, while knowing that betrayal may deal him a new hand in the next moment.

Spade's partner is murdered on a stakeout; the cops blame him for the killing; a beautiful redhead with a heartbreaking story appears and disappears; grotesque villains demand a payoff he can't provide; and everyone wants a fabulously valuable gold statuette of a falcon, created as tribute for the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV. Who has it? And what will it take to get it back? Spade's solution is as complicated as the motives of the seekers assembled in his hotel room, but the truth can be a cold comfort indeed.

Spade is bigger (and blonder) in the book than in the movie, and his Mephistophelean countenance is by turns seductive and volcanic. Sam knows how to fight, whom to call, how to rifle drawers and secrets without leaving a trace, and just the right way to call a woman "Angel" and convince her that she is. He is the quintessence of intelligent cool, with a wise guy's perfect pitch. If you only know the movie, read the book. If you're riveted by Chinatown or wonder where Robert B. Parker's Spenser gets his comebacks, read the master. --Barbara Schlieper

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