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Return of the Thin Man
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Return of the Thin Man

3.41 of 5 stars 3.41  ·  rating details  ·  243 ratings  ·  72 reviews
Dashiell Hammett was a crime writer who elevated the genre to true literature, and The Thin Man was Hammett's last--and most successful--novel. Following the enormous success of "The Thin Man" movie in 1934, Hammett was commissioned to write stories for additional films. He wrote two full-length novellas, for the films that became "After the Thin Man" and "Another Thin Man...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published November 1st 2012 by Mysterious Press (first published October 31st 2012)
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Michael
Dashiell Hammett is often referred to as one of the ‘Big Three’ when it comes to pulp fiction along with Raymond Chandler and James M. Cain. He is known for his hard-boiled novels turned film noir classics including The Maltese Falcon and The Thin Man. Return of the Thin man is a collection of two previously unreleased novellas featuring Nick & Nora Charles from The Thin Man.

While “After the Thin Man” and “Another Thin Man” have been promoted as two never before published novellas, these are...more
Jason Pettus
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com]. I am the original author of this review, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

It's "Thin Man" week here at CCLaP! And in fact, it was pure but lucky coincidence that the original 1934 novel came up in my "CCLaP 100" reading queue this month, which I then followed up with a screening of the equally famous 1934 movie; because it just so happens that a brand-new contemporary book on t...more
Michael
Reutrn of the Thin Man contains two previously unpublished film treatments of the first two Thin Man sequels (plus on brief synopsis of an unfilmed sequel) with additional notes about both films. The stories are enjoyable enough, although all of the Thin Man stories use the same basic setup, which can get boring after a while (Dashiell Hammett stopped writing Thin Man stories after the second sequel since he too was sick of the series). If you've never read or watched a Thin Man book or movie be...more
Pete


It's usually no fun to read something when the author didn't want to write it, as that tends to come across (see: Mostly Harmless). Return of the Thin Man begins with the backstory of these two script treatments, and how Dashiell Hammett came to write them, then leave the franchise behind after Another Thin Man, apparently sick of Nick and Nora.

The consequence is that the first half, After the Thin Man, is enjoyable, and displays the wit the films are known for, and the second half, Another Thi...more
Softail
This is more great "Thin Man" stuff. If you liked the originals, you won't be dissappointed in these two. Same great sense of humor and ironic sarcasm that put Hammett at the top of his trade. There are two "Nick and Nora Charles" (and Asta) novellas in this book.

Both stories are actually screenplays now reprinted pretty much with out change resulting in a slightly quirky style that's kind of fun to read. Occasional stage directions are simply written as prose. As in this description of an ac...more
Margaret Sankey
Under contract to the studio after the unexpected success of The Thin Man, and momentarily behaving in between bouts of alcoholic and gonorrhea, Hammett cranked out two novella-length story treatments on which the studio's screenwriters based the first two sequels. Hammett, although delivering to the letter of his contract, was clearly having a good time skating as close to the censor's line as possible with innuendo, dark motives and sight gags. For anyone familiar with the movies, these never-...more
Randy
It was with great delight that I sat down to read this book. A long time Hammett fan, the idea of two new, never before published, Thin Man novellas was just to good a deal to pass up.

What we have here is Hammett's stories developed for the second and third films in the series, AFTER THE THIN MAN and ANOTHER THIN MAN. Not exactly as one would read them in a magazine, but the crisp dialogue, the by-play between Nick and Nora Charles is all there.

Before and after each story are essays that discuss...more
B.R. Stateham
The book is Hammett's movie treatments for two movies MGM wanted to make after the success of Hammett's The Thin Man. So the two novellas are not exactly novellas; you will find parenthetic comments within the story about what's trying to be portrayed aimed at the director. Still, each story is a damn good read.

Dashiell Hammett had a wonderful sense of reality for his era. It comes out vividly in his words.
Claudia
Funny, clever, snarky. And complicated mysteries at the heart of both these screenplays. RETURN OF THE THIN MAN and ANOTHER THIN MAN. I was hoping to count them as two books, but they are not.

In RETURN, Nick and Nora return to San Francisco and get embroiled in a family mystery. It's so funny how much Nora's proper family hate Nick, but they turn to him when they get into trouble. The screenplay has actors performing the lines, and a narrator reading all the stage directions. They are as clever...more
Louis Arata
I thoroughly enjoyed Hammett's quick-witted dialogue and sly humor, and it was fun seeing the genesis of two of the movies, After The Thin Man and Another Thin Man. As with the novel The Thin Man, there's more "adult" humor and themes than how the stories were sanitized by the production code. I would have liked to learn more about the adaptation process from novella to screenplay.
John P
This collection is not as good as I was hoping, but perhaps I expect too much. There are some humorous moments in the dialogue for sure but the mystery plots themselves seem too contrived to be even remotely believable, and that is something that I cannot abide without disappointment.

Note that there are two books contained herein plus an 8-page outline for a third. I say 'books' but the main two works are screenplays. They include a few asides indicating important points for the production of th...more
Julia
I started reading this in print format, but finished the audiobook. The "screen story" format intrigued me more than the content -- lacking traditional dialogue tags, it read more like a script than a novel. Hence it worked surprisingly well in audio, although some voices grated badly.

I adore the Thin Man series, so on the one hand, it was interesting seeing behind the scenes on the writing of movies. (And realizing how much Hammett had in it to begin with, rather than just add-ons by the Hacke...more
Jonny99
A dashing sequel that exceeds the original in comprehensibility, wit and drinking. Hammett, who knew from adult beverages, returns with his hard-drinking, one-liner laying, too-cool-for-school married detectives Nick and Nora Charles in a comedic, case-solving romp. Like the original they are joined by a strong supporting cast of characters - some who bring the funny and others who bring the menace needed to give this short novel (based on Hammett's movie script) the dramatic tension needed to p...more
Franky
Unfortunately, Hammett’s lost treasures didn’t turn out as good as expected. The two “never published” installments of The Thin Man series—After the Thin Man and Another Thin Man—are billed as “novellas” in the blurb on the cover, yet in truth are screen play adaptations.

The unfortunate aspect is that much of the power of The Thin Man—the mystery, the humor, the suspense—is really stripped away in this format. Gone is the feel of a true noir one might get while reading. The wit and charm betwee...more
Frances
I WISH THERE WERE MORE.

Nick and Nora Charles are probably my two favorite fictional characters of all time. I love them together, and I love them separately. You know who they totally remind me of? The parents from Easy A. Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson. They just...aren't taking life too seriously.

And SO SMART. Like, whip smart. We need more characters like this. Their marriage is part of what makes this work - how casual they are instantly makes the reader/viewer feel comfortable.

Dashie...more
Robert Smith
Return of the Thin Man was a nice read. The further adventures of Nick, Nora and their dog Asta, the book consists of two novellas that Hammett wrote specifically to be adapted into the screenplays for the first two Thin Man sequels, "After the Thin Man" and "Another Thin Man". These novellas seem more like first drafts of the screenplays as they're written in present tense and there's not a ton of description. However the dialogue is razor sharp and the balance of mystery and comedy that Hammet...more
Daniel
I received a copy of this from the publisher via Goodread's First-reads give away program.

The "Thin Man" movies are among my favorite, and I can always go for a good film noir, but I haven't yet read Dashiell Hammett, the writer responsible for so many of the classic characters and styles of these movies. It was a pleasure to finally read some of his work, though when it says "novella" it really does mean the " ".

The two stories here are really informal scripts, written in a distinctive simple s...more
Chris
This newly released book includes some never before published Thin Man stories by Dashiel Hammet. The book also includes introductions to the book and the stories that provides some rather intriguing insight into the production of the Thin Man series of movies. It should be noted that the stories in Return of the Thin Man are actually the "Screen Stories" that were used to write the screenplays for the second and third Thin Man movies produced by MGM. As Screen Stories, the writing contains the...more
Ralph
The Thin Man film was based on Dashiell Hammett's novel of the same title, but the five sequels were not based on any of Hammett's fiction. In fact, the last three were not based on any input at all from Hammett; only the first two sequels were based on Hammett's plotting and dialogue, which came from screen treatments written by Hammett when he was under contract (and closely supervised by MGM), and those scenarios are what appear in this book. I say this because a common complaint, which usual...more
Yvette
The two “original screen stories” in the newly published Return of the Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett are a delight to read. Also included is Hammett's very brief treatment for "Sequel to the Thin Man." I’ve enjoyed every Thin Man movie I’ve seen and it was interesting to read the actual early screen treatments, though it left me wondering how I had never read Hammett before. The original novel of The Thin Man as well as The Continental Op are now high on my TBR list.

Each of the stories is bookend...more
Melissa
The Thin Man was a revolutionary novel which paired the detective noir style with comedic dialogue between a husband and wife duo. The books, all of which were turned into movies, were a huge hit. Nick and Nora Charles gained a big fan following and now these two previously unpublished Thin Man stories are available. Both stories were turned into films, but have never been available as a book.

I loved the first section of the book the most. It gives the nonfiction evolution of the books and Hamm...more
A.M.
It must be the worst things as a writer to make a character that you hate and would prefer not to write, and then in some act of perversity, they become your most famous and popular character. So it was for Agatha Christie and Poirot. And so it is for Dashiell Hammett and Nick and Nora Charles.
The cover is a tiny bit of a lie; they read more as screenplays than novellas. They include stage directions and makeup hints. It is an easy read and some of the extra information is intriguing. The studio...more
Trish
First off. I am a huge fan of the Thin Man movies. The first three movies are easily the best of the 6, at least in my opinion. This makes the listening experience difficult at first because all I can think of is how the William Powell and Myrna Loy performances in the movies are far superior to the actors in this audio version. I'm sure that is mostly due to my love of the movies and possibly should not be held against this new audio version. That said I have come to enjoy listening to these bo...more
Russell Olson
Hammett is my favorite crime writer, and so, I felt it necessary to pick this up. Not that I wish I hadn't, far from it, but this isn't very good. The reason for three stars is that paints a very lucid picture of a master, phoning it in in order to make good with Hollywood contracts. A lot of the happenings and plots from these "treatment-novellas" are lifted from other short stories...and hey...why not? He was lifting from himself, and if it worked once, it'd probably work again. And most of th...more
Judi Moore
This is suitably thin.

It's not really a book, more a draft of a screen play. And, moreover, a draft of a screen play he swore he wouldn't write. He was fed up with the Thin Man. Certainly it was never finished. I believe it was disinterred from Hammett's papers posthumously and released.

Best avoided, unless you are a Hammett completist. This lets down his best work (in my view).
Dale
These are the movie stories (not quite scripts, but close) written by Hammett for the 2nd and 3rd Nick and Nora Charles Thin Man movies. They were reworked by studio script writers, but if you've seen the movies you'll recognize almost everything in these 2 stories (with just one or two exceptions).

The stories themselves are pretty entertaining, but the main interest comes from the quality of Hammett's writing and the way he portrays the characters via their dialogue. He was really, really good....more
Orrin Grey
The subtitle "two never-before-published novellas" is a little misleading, as these aren't really "novellas" that were ever intended to be published. They are instead a pair of film treatments for the first two sequels to the extremely popular Thin Man movie, written by Dashiell Hammett (along with a rather sloppy 8-page sort of pitch for a possible third sequel that isn't actually what the third sequel ended up being at all). As someone who's seen the movies (and not that long ago), the stories...more
Robert J.
If you actually liked the movie "Another Thin Man", you might like this book. If you really like Asta, this is for you. If you are a Hammett scholar, you might be interested in the publication of these minor works as a kind of counterpoint to serious academic research. Some of the introductory text has insight into Hammett as a man, some of the insights I would rather not have known. But as a work of fiction, this book is pretty laughable. It is Dashiell Hammett degrading himself for money by wr...more
Ronald Roseborough
At one point the book blurb says this consists of two full length novellas. I think that is being a bit generous. The two main presentations are better characterized as fleshed out stories, not much more than glorified scripts for the second and third Thin Man movies. They are mere shadows of the original novel, The Thin Man. These were the last motion pictures Dashiell Hammett was associated with. While it is nice to revisit with Nick and Nora Charles in their slightly wacky world and solve a m...more
Jason M Waltz
Fun reminisce of the movies. Perhaps not so entertaining for someone who has not seen at least the first Thin Man movie. Clever writing by Hammett and interesting history of the movies, Hammett, Hollywood in the 1930s.
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Pulp Fiction: Return of the Thin Man 5 23 Jul 12, 2012 11:17AM  
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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
More about Dashiell Hammett...
The Maltese Falcon The Thin Man Red Harvest The Glass Key The Dain Curse

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