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Die Frau im Dunkel
Dashiell Hammett
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Die Frau im Dunkel

3.42  ·  Rating Details  ·  855 Ratings  ·  76 Reviews
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 n
Hardcover, 96 pages
Published 1990 by Wilhelm Heyne (first published 1933)
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Nov 11, 2014 Mark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of crime noir
Another Dashiell Hammett I had not read before and so it was happy times in reading this novelette, as the story does not cover many pages.

The story is about a lady who fell in with the wrong crowd and when she tries to leave her predicament she runs into whole new place of trouble. She is responsible for "Brazil" recent released from prison to get into trouble again. Sparkling dialogue, policemen that will not get any sympathy votes and the baddie of this story is as awefull as one can get with
Ed [Redacted]
I actually had never heard of this "novel" until I saw it at the library while contemplating whether or not to grab "The Big Knockover". A tiny little book with the words "A Novel" on the cover. I am pretty sure there is no way this qualifies as a novel. It is about 76 pages which makes it something in the neighborhood of 25,000 words.

This...story was first published in installments in a pulp magazine in 1933. The next novel Hammett published was "The Thin Man" and he never published another nov
Apr 24, 2015 Michael rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Claustrophobic ex-convict Brazil is on parole for a man slaughter sentence and is hoping never to go back behind bars again. All he has to do is stay out of trouble in his quiet cabin in the woods. Then a beautiful woman with a broken shoe stumbles through his door.
This was one of the last shorter stories that Hammett published before he walked away from crime writing. It's not his greatest bit of writing but still well worth a look. To be honest I much prefer the 1934 film version with Ralph Be
Mar 08, 2015 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable but extremely slight (76 pp.) late novel by Dashiell Hammett has his trademark style and hardboiled attitude, but this is really a novella, if that. More like a long short story. It revolves around a kept woman escaping from her tormentor and the tough ex-con who tries to rescue her. It's always good to read Hammett, but this is decidedly a lesser work on many scores.
Barely a novella, let alone a novel of dangerous romance as it purports to be. This is a decent enough example of Hammett's storytelling style but immediately forgettable too such is the slightness of the concept and the obvious rush to completion.
Nov 08, 2010 Alex rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In his introduction, Robert Parker says that he thinks the happy ending of this book is forced. I disagree, and think that the ending is intentionally ambiguous, leaving room for a darker interpretation. In any case, why would you write an introduction to a book that gives the reader a low opinion of the ending before he's even begun reading the thing? Parker also goes on to suggest that "The Thin Man" was a bad book because Hammet had trouble writing about love. In short, what I took away from ...more
WOMAN IN THE DARK. (1933). Dashiell Hammett. **.
Although written and published in three consecutive issues of a pulp magazine, this novella was later published in hard cover by Knopf. This edition also contains an appreciation by Robert Parker – an appreciation I think he had a hard time coming up with. The story indeed should have been published in a pulp format. The plot was simplistic, and the motivations of the characters were at a primal level. It is essentially the story of a woman who was
Jun 24, 2014 Ralph rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
After too long an interval, Dashiell Hammett is back to being one of the flavors of the month, with not just his novels and pulp stories back in print, but also his early work (even vignettes written for humor and satire magazines) and his slim corpus of work for magazines less rough than the pulps. A case in point is "Woman in the Dark," a short novel or novelette serialized in three issues of the weekly Liberty Magazine in 1933. The high-circulation magazine was a better venue than the garish ...more
Jenni Lou
Yes, I read a lot. Quite voraciously, in fact. I often can’t wait to finish a book so I can start on another. This is the fourth or fifth book I have read this week. I read a few series so I haven’t composed any entries for those, as I will probably wait until I finish all the books that have been published in them so far.

Dashiell Hammett is one the prime writers of noir pulp fiction. Slightly minimalist but with a remarkable sight for detail, he crafts dark tales about shadowy characters and un
Nov 23, 2012 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
This short novel was serialized in three installments for Liberty magazine in April 1933. It is a strange sort of love story between an ex-con and a Swiss girl who had taken up with a local landowner with psychotic tendencies. While not quite at the level of his best longer fiction such as The Maltese Falcon, The Dain Curse, and Red Harvest, it makes for a good, if quick read.

Brazil, the ex-con, has claustrophobia and will do anything rather than find himself behind bars again. So he escapes wi
Oct 30, 2010 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
I am a big fan of Hammett's writing not simply because his world view appeals to me, but because his story-telling was superior, if not outright superb.

The man could whip up a mean tale that keeps you spellbound.

I read this book ages ago (along with many others that I have written about) and haven't done so recently, so it's probably time for me to treat myself to it once again.

It doesn't involve Sam Spade or Nick Charles, so the Hollywood fans of Hammett may not care for it, but those seeking w
Printable Tire
I find it baffling when a book has an introduction that makes said book sound mediocre. "Here's a book by Hammett," Parker seems to say in the introduction here. "It's not his best, but it's not his worst. It's okay. Meh." Such true-minded introductions are certainly all fine and good, but I wish they came after the book so the reader doesn't go into it thinking, What's the point?

And you know what? Parker is right about this book. It's short and breezy and fast paced but ultimately hits a brick
Ayleen Julio
Cuando uno ya ha leído las dos obras más importantes de Dashiell Hammett, es posible que este texto le parezca cualquier cosa por la falta de definición de los personajes y de lo que está pasando en la historia. Aunque por otro lado, hay que reconocer en ella la capacidad del autor para decir mucho con poco, artificio -por decirlo de algún modo- central en su narrativa, en la que no se le deja todo en bandeja al lector; sino que es éste quien tiene la tarea de atar los cabos sueltos.
Quizá este
I was very pleased to find a Dashiell Hammett story I'd not read before as I just love his writing. This was really a long short story not a novel but it was still really great. It was written in three parts and was so visual I could see everything the characters did so clearly that it was like watching a play or seeing a film. It wasn't the most original of plots, a young woman tries to escape from the criminal who has her as his mistress but the characters seemed more real than most, especiall ...more
Lacie Carmody
Aug 29, 2015 Lacie Carmody rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a really quick read, and though it's called a novel, it's only 75 pages. However, considering it's written by Hammett I had to read it. This man was the master when it came to Noir fiction in my opinion, and though I do enjoy Chandler, his characters are more sympathetic than I care for when it comes to the noir mystery. The pacing in this piece is perfect, and Brazil sings true to the antihero that Hammett so brilliantly composes. If you can find this one check it out, it's definitely ...more
Feb 13, 2014 A.K. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I love the man, I do, but this novella is gutless and inchoate. It feels like it was written to pay off a debt: not the same species of abysmal, insatiable, halitoidal maw I like my Hammett written to appease. His beloved authorial amorality thuds more than it vertiginiously resounds in, say, the nihilistic and batshit Dain Curse. The hallmark snappy dialogue is inelasticized and somewhere Nick and Nora (Charles, not the annoying Apple-commercial-indie couple) shed private, single tears into the ...more
Woman in the Dark is the last novella Hammett wrote before he died in 1961. The sparse, witty dialogue, plot twists and and hardboiled characters he became so known for after basically inventing the hardboiled genre with the publication of his seminal work, The Maltese Falcon, are all here, but there is a tiredness in his writing that probably reflects the state of his life at the time. Diagnosed with TB after serving in the Army, he began drinking himself to death. Though he was a successful, f ...more
Mar 20, 2015 Suni rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: usa, 1930s, ed-mondadori
La pupa del boss scappa, si sloga una caviglia e bussa in cerca d'aiuto alla porta di Brazil, ex galeotto che fino a quel momento si stava impegnando a tenersi lontano dai guai (e dalla galera).
Inizia così questo breve noir dal ritmo serrato e dallo sviluppo "insolito", che mi è piaciuto molto (del resto Hammett è considerato un maestro), ma a cui metto solo 4 stelline perché poteva durare un po' di più.

James Eckman
May 23, 2015 James Eckman rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This is an attempt by Hammett to break out of his pulp detective stories, it fails miserably. The plot is paper thin, the characters sketchy and the love interest silly. Also, while called a novel, it's at best a novella, more likely a short story.

If you want to see what a great pulp writer does when he falls apart, read this. Otherwise I would give it the air.
Jun 25, 2014 Chris rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
"Three dirty children stopped playing with the skeleton of an umbrella to stare at her as she went with him up the broken steps."

There. That's the sentence I liked from this once trite, serialized short story which--for good reasons--lay unpublished in book form for years.
Panu Mäkinen
Jun 16, 2015 Panu Mäkinen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
1930-luvulla jatkokertomuksen ilmestynyt Nainen pimeässä ei tarjoa lukijalle kovin kummoista viihdettä. Sopii Dashiell Hammett -faneille, mutta muut voivat hyvin jättää lukematta mitään menettämättä. Toimisi ehkä paremmin elokuvana kuin kirjana.
Pretty good, only about 75 pages, kind of wierd for Hammett since it's from a woman's perspective (one who shows flashes of coolness but is mostly pretty flat) and has an odd romantic subplot. Still classic language and very readable anyways.

Description: On a dark night a young woman seeks refuge at an isolated house. She is hurt and frightened. The man and woman who live there take her in. But their decency is utterly unequipped to deal with the Woman in the Dark, or with the designs of the men who want her.

First published in installments in Liberty magazine and now rediscovered after many years, Woman in the Dark shows Dashiell Hammett at the peak of his narrative powers. With an introduction by Robert B. Parker, the author of the
This is hardly even a novella. Nevertheless it is highly evocative of a certain noir atmosphere. The plot has some interesting twists and turns. Due to its length there is virtually no filler. Recommended for Hammet fans.
Apr 26, 2012 Michael rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
This novella, serialized in the early thirties, was found in the late eighties and published as a stand-alone. Mildly diverting but not very plotted (it's all rather this-and-then-that-and-then-this until the end), it's easy to see why Hammett didn't bother to expand it into a full novel, and easy to see why Lillian Hellman didn't lump it into the various collections of Hammett's shorter work that were published. The most interesting thing here is the introduction by Robert B. Parker, in which h ...more
May 09, 2016 Kia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic
Perhaps it's the passage of time, some of the colloquialisms were so outdated that I couldn't readily understand them. Or perhaps this one isn't the finest example of Hammett's work, but this book failed to connect on many levels for me.

In these 75 pages, Hammett manages to convey the most basic character development. Motivations are clear and easy to grasp, but I can see why this was the only "Dangerous Romance" he ever tried writing.

Hammett fans probably loved it. As a fan of his screenplays
Feb 21, 2014 Georgene rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This is the only story by Dashiell Hammett I have ever read. Apparently, he only wrote one more novel after this one (The Thin Man). Not bad, not great.
Cyn Mcdonald
A very odd little story. Definitely reads like the 3-part serial of its original publication in 1933. Turns out I'm not a big fan of hard-boiled.
Feb 20, 2016 Jess rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What makes this novella a stand-out is that Hammett wrote a convincing romance without breaking from his usual hard-boiled stuff. It's a quick and fun read.
Oct 18, 2015 Happybunkygirl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hammett has a knack for dropping the reader into a complicated scene and letting us sort it out on our own. loved this one.
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Also wrote as Peter Collinson, Daghull Hammett, Samuel Dashiell, Mary Jane Hammett

Samuel Dashiell Hammett was an American author of hardboiled detective novels and short stories. Among the enduring characters he created are Sam Spade (The Maltese Falcon), Nick and Nora Charles (The Thin Man), and the Continental Op (Red Harvest and The Dain Curse). In addition to the significant influence his nove
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