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The Thin Man

3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  21,724 Ratings  ·  1,523 Reviews
Nick and Nora Charles are Hammett's most enchanting creations, a rich, glamorous couple who solve homicides in between wisecracks and martinis. At once knowing and unabashedly romantic, The Thin Man is a murder mystery that doubles as a sophisticated comedy of manners.
Mass Market Paperback
Published 1961 by Pocket Books, Inc. (first published 1934)
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(showing 1-30)
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Jeffrey Keeten
We found a table. Nora said: "She's pretty."

"If you like them like that."

She grinned at me. "You got types?"

"Only you, darling - lanky brunettes with wicked jaws."

"And how about the red-head you wandered off with at Quinns' last night?"

"That's silly," I said. "She just wanted to show me some French etchings.”

 photo Nick20and20Nora20Charles_zpsfferepr0.jpg

It is almost impossible for me to separate the book from the movies. When I decided to reread this classic that spawned six great movies, Nick Charles was of course William Powell, and Nora
I invented a new drinking game based on The Thin Man and tried to give it a test run when I re-read it. The rules were simple, every time that main character Nick Charles took a drink, I’d take one, too. However, I had to be taken to the hospital for treatment of extreme alcohol poisoning by the second chapter. So don’t try that.

Nick used to be a private detective in New York, but he left that behind when he married Nora and moved to California to take over the management of the various business
Jason Koivu
Apr 11, 2013 Jason Koivu rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
"We didn't come to New York to stay sober."

The Thin Man is best read with a drink in hand. Do you have a drink? Do you need a refresher? Would you like another? Above all else, it is important that you be drinking!


My god, a lot of alcohol is consumed in this book! It reads as if Ernest Hemingway had taken up crime noir.


In The Thin Man, Nick Charles, private detective, has hung up his hat. Nora, his wife, kinda wishes he hadn't. She likes wrapping her head around a good myster
Dan Schwent
May 23, 2013 Dan Schwent rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An inventor goes missing and his mistress winds up dead. Former detective Nick Charles wants nothing to do with the case but keeps getting drawn in. With his plucky wife Nora, can Nick get things sorted out so he can get back to his drinking?

The Thin Man was not at all like I expected. After reading the exploits of Sam Spade and the Continental Op, I expected more of the same. The Thin Man is much more humorous than Hammett's earlier works and I found myself liking it quite a bit.

Nick Charles, f
Grace Tjan
What I learned from this book (in no particular order):

1. A speakeasy is the proper place for a man to wait for his wife to finish her shopping.

2. A Schnauzer is NOT a cross between a Scottie and an Irish terrier.

3. “I hit Nora with my left hand, knocking her down across the room.” If a bad guy points a gun at you and your wife, the standard operating procedure is to knock her out to prevent her from becoming hysterical over such a potentially distressing situation.

4. Women do not really mind b
Dec 13, 2013 Algernon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013

This Christmas you are invited to a party of hard liquor, witty repartee and murder in the company of Nick and Nora Charles.

Powell & Loy

A hardboiled crime comedy might seem like an oddball choice for a winter holiday read, but Dashiell Hammett manages to mix together not only killer martinis, but also a succesful marriage between the mean and dirty Prohibition Era gumshoe detective and the British slick and sophisticated whodunits of Agatha Christie or Dorothy Sayers. Spiced up with some of that enchanting
Honestly? I think the awesomeness of Nick and Nora Charles got built up a little too much for me before I read this, because I was expecting 200 pages of nonstop witty banter between the two, and was mildly disappointed. Sure, Nick is funny in a dry sarcastic way, and Nora is the sassy drunken aunt you never knew you always wanted, but their banter and witticisms only caused the occasional chuckle.

But lucky for me, the book has a lot more going for it than just the banter. It's a fun, classic 3
Nick and Nora Charles are staying at a swanky hotel in Manhattan when word arrives of a missing man. Content to leave his old life behind as a private detective, Nick wants no part of the investigation. However, it isn’t long before Nick is forced into the case and in order to deal with the cast of characters circling the search, he keeps the liquor flowing.

Ah, the 1930s, when alcoholism was considered a charming personality trait as well as the social norm rather than the life-destroying diseas
Nicholas Karpuk
Sep 28, 2008 Nicholas Karpuk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Hooligans!
Recommended to Nicholas by: Wikipedia
I wasn't aware of this previously, but apparently you just gotta slap a dame when they get hysterical. The things you learn when you read hard-boiled fiction.

"The Thin Man" was read as an attempt to get into the mindset of noir, since a friend of mine is asking me to write him a script in the style. It's one of my first encounters with crime fiction from that era, and I came away generally amused.

Nick Charles is on vacation with his wife Nora. He doesn't want to solve a mystery. He wants to drin
Nov 10, 2011 Kirk rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If I weren't the mean teacher I am I'd cut Hammett slack and round up to four stars because this---the last of his novels---is a solid 3-1/2. And that's only because it pales in comparison to every one of his other novels except THE DAIN CURSE, which is the true 3-star.

The main knock on THIN is that Hammett was pretty much bored with fiction by this point in his career, having lost his bearings to booze, broads, and just about any other indulgence that began with a B except Billy Barty (too sho
Sep 11, 2007 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: detectives, alcoholics
Somehow I never saw this movie or read this book during my six-month crime noir kick in ninth grade (though I did read Hammett's The Maltese Falcon and The Glass Key aroud that time). But, boy, I'm glad that I've read it now.

The Thin Man is the last novel Hammett completed (though he started or pretended to start a half-dozen others) and it has the feel of being a parady of his other novellas and the 1930s crime genre in general. It is fabulously funny - as in, I couldn't go two pages without t
Krok Zero
Man, what the hell? This book kind of sucks for some reason. Everyone knows that Hammett pretty much single-handedly invented modern crime fiction, and The Maltese Falcon is an enduring masterpiece that may still stand as the most geometrically perfect example of the detective novel form. The Thin Man is his second most famous work, owing to the popular Hollywood film series loosely based on characters therein, but it is an undistinguished, amateurish work that does not hold up on its own terms. ...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
I will freely admit that part of why I read this book was that I enjoyed what I have seen of the movie so much. I actually didn't get to watch all of it, as I caught it on Turner Classic Movies after it started and wasn't able to watch the whole movie. I made a note that I wanted to read the book and get the whole movie set on DVD at some point. Additionally, I am interested in the roots of the detective novel. You can't explore detective fiction without reading Dashiell Hammett. So here we go.. ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Okay...if you're into "hard-boiled" detective fiction or mystery fiction I'm sure you'd rate this book higher. Maybe for me it would even be a 3.5 if I could go there.

The dialogue held me here, the by play and banter between Nick, Nora, and then the entire cast of characters. It was well written and well characterized. I suppose it was also well plotted only, I just don't seem to be a mystery fan. I had to keep dragging my interest back to the book. Maybe the fact that I loved the movie and ther
Jul 15, 2011 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
This is the first Hammett novel I've read. I don't know why I haven't made the effort to read such an iconic writer before, particularly as I am a long-time crime fiction reader and a fan of "classic" mysteries. It may be my first Hammett, but I'm pretty sure it won't be my last.

I've just finished re-reading all of the novels of Dorothy L Sayers, who is without doubt my favourite writer of "Golden Age" mysteries. It was interesting to compare The Thin Man with Sayers' novels. It's certainly less
Dec 15, 2010 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hammett's last novel, THE THIN MAN doesn't refer to the ex-detective Nick Charles, but a different character. Nick and Nora Charles with their dog Asta were famous in the popular THIN MAN movies starring the witty and suave William Powell with Myrna Loy. The novel, however, shows a grittier side with its muggings, narcotics, and lots of booze consumed. By the end, THIN MAN reads like an elaborate whodunnit I had trouble at times following. The quality dialogue is probably the real strength. I'll ...more
May 07, 2014 Teresa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: n-usa, l-1001bymrbyd, e2
Mulheres bonitas, homens alcoólicos, um crime.
Narrativa sem descrições, sustentada apenas por diálogos.

Cansa-me, aborrece-me, faz-me sono…
Li metade e já não aguento mais.
Willis Markuske
Oct 09, 2007 Willis Markuske rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favorite Hammett book. Written with the same economical and sparse style of his other novels, the tone couldn't be more different. Nick & Nora Charles are fun characters who come off much more 3 dimensional - as opposed to archetypcal - than either Sam Spade or the Continental Op.

Plot is almost a secondary concern here which is rare for a mystery. Instead the almost constant drinking and flirting the two main characters engage in (with each other and whomever else is around) get top bill
You know those washing powder tests on TV? You do something impossibly disgusting to a little white affair, pop it in the machine with Brand X and - hey presto, it comes out better than new.

I felt really guilty about starting this book. I'd just finished Perlman's Seven Types of Ambiguity which so moved me in every way as a reader that I wanted to turn next to something that Perlman could spoil without my caring. Sure enough, I was disappointed by this to the extent it almost got the flick. But
Faeze Taheri
Apr 30, 2015 Faeze Taheri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
.قتل زندگی هیچکس را تغییری نمیدهد مگر زندگی خود مقتول و گاهوگداری زندگی قاتل را

اولین کتابیه که از دشیل همت میخونم. نکته خاصی که نداشت، قرارم نبود داشته باشه:)) اما یه جاهاییش طنز بود که جالب بود، و قسمت کارگاهی و جناییش عالی بود. شما هم تا آخر داستان حدس نخواهید زد مجرم کیه:) همینه که جذابش میکنه
Jason Pettus
(Since the beginning of 2008 I've been writing an ongoing series of essays here that I call the "CCLaP 100," whereby I read for the first time a hundred books considered by many to be classics, and then write reports here on whether or not I think they deserve this label. For the complete list of books, as well as an explanation behind how the list was compiled, you can click here.)

The CCLaP 100: In which I read for the first time a hundred so-called "classics," then write reports on whether or
Jimmakos Gavagias
May 01, 2017 Jimmakos Gavagias rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Τι να πει κανείς για τον Hammett...
Πυλώνας απλά!
Ο ορισμός της αστυνομικής λογοτεχνίας. Λιτός λόγος,ημερολογιακή γραφή κάποιες φόρες,σαν αναφορά των γεγονότων.Σκληρές εικόνες που τις μεταφέρει σαν να βλέπεις φωτογραφίες από τόπο εγκλήματος.Κανένας εξωραϊσμός,καμία λογοτεχνική τεχνική ώστε να μην είναι ωμή η βία και να είναι πιο εύπεπτο στα μάτια του αναγνώστη.
Το μαγικό με τον Hammett είναι ότι μπορεί με απλή γραφή να σε κρατά σε αγωνία μέχρι το τέλος και όταν νομίσεις ότι βρήκες τη "λύση" με μία
Ahmad Sharabiani
دشیل همت کسی است که ادبیات جنایی و پلیسی را که اصلا در امریکا به وجود آمده بود، رونق و اعتبار بخشید. او یکی دو دهه محبوب هالیوود و جامعه ی کتابخوان آمریکائی بود، این کتاب دست کم مبنای ساخت شش فیلم سینمایی و یک نمایش موزیکال بوده است، شاید شخصیت همفری بوگارت نماینده بیرونی کیشی باشد که دشیل همت آفرید
Jul 02, 2017 Tarissa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely adore The Thin Man movies from the 1930's. The films are classic detective comedies, starring William Powell and Myrna Loy. So, of course, I just had to read the novel that started it all...

The book is much darker than the films were. This was my first shock after picking up the novel. It seems to dwell on the darker issues, as opposed to the films where the setting was much more light-hearted and funny. It's a stark difference, but still, that part didn't throw me too much, as I wa
Kathy Davie
Sep 02, 2010 Kathy Davie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, history
The only Hammett-written story in the Thin Man series.

My Take
I've always loved the Thin Man movies so I thought I'd try out the book.

To be honest, I'm not sure if I'm giving this a "4" because the story is that well written or if I'm simply too attached to the Thin Man movies. I've seen the flicks so many times and am thoroughly enthralled with Nick and Nora Charles—I couldn't help but hear Myrna Loy speaking some of these lines and seeing William Powell as Nick.

Per usual, the story is much ric
May 11, 2012 Ensiform rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hard-drinking retired detective Nick Charles is pulled reluctantly into a case involving an old client, eccentric inventor Clyde Wynant who appears to have shot his assistant Julia. Despite wanting nothing to do with it, he uncovers a tangled web of deception and connections, including the fact that Wynant’s ex-wife’s new husband is actually Wynant’s bitter ex-partner in disguise, out to get Wynant’s money, and that Julia seems to have had a number of boyfriends in the underworld, as well as bei ...more
Jul 10, 2011 Almeta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Almeta by: MTgroup read
I inherited Dashiell Hammett: Five Complete Novels: Red Harvest, The Dain Curse, The Maltese Falcon, The Glass Key, The Thin Man. I have not read it, and it is packed away somewhere. I HAVE to dig it out!

When it came to reading The Thin Man, I borrowed from the library. I have a....well...not really a phobia...but let's say an acute awareness of the mulitudes of hands that may have touched a library book. It comes to the forefront when I turn a page and find an unidentifiable chunk stuck to the
Julie Davis
Slighter than The Maltese Falcon, yet still enjoyable. I listened to William Dufris' excellent narration which was almost as good as listening to a multi-person cast.

I will say that no one human being could possibly drink as much as Nick Charles and be able to solve mysteries that well!
May 27, 2012 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, detective, noir
How Nick and Nora Charles start their day

Nick: "How 'bout a drop of something to cut the phlegm?"
Nora: "Why don't you stay sober today?"
Nick: "We didn't come to New York to stay sober"

I like their style. Want to hear a story? Well fix me a drink and I'll tell you.

Nick and Nora are in town from San Francisco to celebrate Christmas and New Years in high society style. Between cocktails and during more sober moments Nick helps the New York police solve the mystery of the murder of Julia Wolf, secre
Ian Tregillis
Oct 16, 2010 Ian Tregillis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you've ever wondered what it might have been like if F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald solved murders in their spare time -- rather than having scorching, bitter, booze-fueled arguments -- it's worth taking a look at this novel.

I genuinely enjoyed this. Quite a bit more than I enjoyed The Maltese Falcon.

Although this is told in 1st rather than 3rd person, Hammett employs the same objective style here, so we never get inside Nick Charles's head. But where that approach served to keep me at an emot
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History in Vogue: The Thin Man : Week Four 9 6 Dec 07, 2016 04:20PM  
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History in Vogue: The Thin Man: Week Two 15 6 Nov 15, 2016 06:13PM  
History in Vogue: The Thin Man : Week One 9 9 Nov 12, 2016 05:29PM  
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ACPL Online Book ...: The Thin Man-August 2 6 Sep 01, 2016 08:55AM  
The Better Book C...: The Thin Man 3 7 Feb 23, 2015 01:47PM  
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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
More about Dashiell Hammett...

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“The problem with putting two and two together is that sometimes you get four, and sometimes you get twenty-two.” 220 likes
“Nora: "How do you feel?"
Nick: "Terrible. I must've gone to bed sober.”
More quotes…