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
The main protagonist is the Continental Op, who doesn't remotely resemble the genteel Hercule Poirot or any of the other fictional detectives who were so popular in the 1920s. The Op i...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
- What's the rumpus?
- Don Willson's gone to sit on the right hand of God, if God don't mind looking at bullet holes.
- Who shot him?
- Somebody with a gun.
Donald Willson may have been the last 'straight man' in the city of Personville, better known as 'Poisonville' - a midwestern industrial town overrun by criminal gangs during the Prohibition. Editor of the local paper, Don has called on The Continental Op (the unnamed hero of the novel, a private eye employed by the Continental Detect...more
—¿Quién le ha matado? — pregunté.
El hombre gris se rascó la cabeza y dijo:
—Alguien con una pistola.'
'Cosecha Roja' es el esqueleto desnudo de una novela: escueto, limpio, nítido, sin abalorios ni florituras. Un ejercicio de sobriedad, efectismo, sarcasmo y mala leche, salpicado de diálogos y episodios memorables, con una trama cinematográfica endiabladamente enrevesada, esperpéntica, de...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
The unnamed main character is brought into Poisonville to clean up the town from all the gangsters and corruption. Pinning one a...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
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
This book is sooo badass. As I wrote elsewhere, the Continental Op is the most hardboiled dude in the universe. Coming to Red Harvest after the (more) realistic "Maltese Falcon" and "Glass Key", I was just delighted by the sheer hardboiled-osity of what I was li...more
While a lot of readers are familiar with Sam Spade and Nick Charles (if only because of...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.”