Red Harvest (The Continental Op #1)
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Answer: Have your amoral, no-nonsense, no-name main character bust out with slick, cool-dripping phrases like: "I poured out a couple of hookers of gin [while] She went into the kitchen for another siphon and more ice.
Friends, if there’s a unit of measurement more loaded with juicy, quintessential noirness than “a hooker of gin,” please let me know because I spent my entire happy wad when I read that. No offense to fans of Raymond Chandle...more
I feel as though I ought to have liked _Red Harvest_ more than I did. After all it was written by Dashiell Hammett, one of the fathers of noir fiction (perhaps more famous for The Maltese Falcon and The Thin Man) and, like many of his books, became the source for numerous (often excellent) film adaptations. It has an interestingly conflicted protagonist and is chock full of killing, double crosses, dec...more
The setting is dark and the characters' prospect for happiness is almost nil. According to Wiki, Hammett himself worked as an investigator for the Pinkerton's Detective Agency and he was therefore able to bring strong sense of realism to his milieu and to the characte...more
This novel is a true literary Masterwork that makes you understand why Hammett has the reputation he has in mainstream American Literature let alone in crime,noir fiction.
It is a great,fun,bleak hardboiled PI story. Also Hammett...more
My very first exposure to Hammett was the novella, Woman in the Dark, published separately as a slender volume which I read in college. I knew very little about Hammett save he was supposed to be the man who inspired Chandler and I loved Chandler as much back then as I do today. The edition I r...more
This is a masterpiece of crime fiction. If any book ever got the language right, this one did. This work is plot heavy (to put it lightly) and by the time you thought you'd figured out which thug (or copper) went...more
"There was a time when I wanted to be left alone. If I had been, maybe now I'd be riding back to San Francisco. But I wasn't. Especially I wasn't left alone by that fat Noonan. He's had two tries at my scalp in two days. That's plenty. Now it's my turn to run him ragged, and that's exactly what I'm going to do. Poisonville is ripe for the harvest. It's a job I like, and I'm go...more
As readers and cinema goers, we've seen countless iterations of the enigmatic loner taking d...more
The unnamed main character is brought into Poisonville to clean up the town from all the gangsters and corruption. Pinning one a...more
Or at least so I felt upon rereading this book in 2013. Oh, I'd been (barely) smart enough to recognize the plot (unnamed stranger comes to corrupt town, proceeds to turn the corrupt factions against one another) in Kurosawa's Yojimbo and Leone's Fistful of Dollars (and all the goofy derviations from there...more
This is a dark, dark book.
[about the continental op]
He's a very sketchy character, we don't learn much about him at all except through how he acts and what he does. Whilst the lack of fleshing out characters annoys me in some books I thought it worked well in this book. Nothing in the book was particularly detailed and the narrator fitted right in with the general mood of the book.
I didn't think he was especially heroic. He solves one problem...more
While a lot of readers are familiar with Sam Spade and Nick Charles (if only because of...more
She looked as if she were telling the truth, though with women, especially blue-eyed woman, that doesn't always mean anything
I've got hard skin all over what’s left of my soul.
Mientras la gente llamémosla normal hace sus cosas de gente normal y tiene sus horarios y cuelga sus cortinas, hay otros mundos de gente que pasa el día haciendo cosas más inesperadas como, mientras toma ginebra con hielo, zumo de limón...more
But while this novel invented the genre, Raymond Chandler brought it to its heights. I find myself missing the wild exaggeration/intentionally crazy phras...more
Hammett's first novel, it is heavily informed by his time making and breaking mining-town riots as a Pinkerton man to discredit and disarm leftists there. (He would later become a card-carrying Communist himself, probably in response to the Pinkertons' tendancy toward police-state tactics of framings and lynchings.)
A non-fiction account of Hammett's days in the labor-enforcement...more
This is competently written, in my humble opinion. Although, as more eloquent folks here on Goodreads have said before me, the difference between Hammett's prose and Chandler's is the difference between trying to describe everything and using one perfect telling detail. Hammett has a weird obsession with describing people's faces, and in p...more
* But it isn't gratuitous. It's the point. Violence, Hammett is saying, is the only way to clean up a corrupt, crime-ridden town--and even at that, it's only temporary. Bleak? sure, but it isn't hopeless. Not quite, because even though our hero, the Continental Op, finds himself seduced by the dark side, he is able to overcome it.
* This is a very...more
Far be it from me to argue with M. Gide, so I won't. But can I say that I agree with everything he...more
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
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The grey man scratched the back of his neck and said: Somebody with a gun.”