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The Dain Curse, The Glass Key, and Selected Stories
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The Dain Curse, The Glass Key, and Selected Stories

4.27  ·  Rating Details ·  113 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)

One of the most popular American writers of the twentieth century, Dashiell Hammett gave us crime fiction stripped down to its most subtle and searing essentials and, at the same time, elevated to literature. The diamond-sharp prose and artfully manipulated intrigue for which he is known are on full display in the four classic short stories an
Hardcover, 664 pages
Published September 4th 2007 by Everyman's Library
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So I read all the stories, which I didn't enjoy nearly as much as I did the last time, years ago. I kept meaning to get around to the novels, but then something happened. What happened was that I stopped spending evenings on the fire escape, and began eating other things besides beer and salad for dinner. I started wearing clothes to bed, and even dug up a light blanket, to supplement the sheet. My fan's gone still and silent, and when I wake up in the morning now I brew coffee and drink it hot, ...more
Dec 19, 2013 Rebecca rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
The problem with collections is always figuring how to weigh uneven ones. Here we have a handful of fairly good mystery short stories, one mess of a mystery novel, and one elegantly dark mystery/drama.

The stories and The Dain Curse all feature a nameless private detective as a narrator. The stories themselves are linked--the plots stand alone, but to really get the full effect, one must read all of them. And they're worth reading--stylish and stylized, this is where so many of the noir tropes co
Jun 19, 2015 Kevin rated it really liked it
If "The Dain Curse" had been as strong as the other selections in this anthology, I would have bumped it up another star. As it stands, the first four short stories -- which could be turned into two novellas, given that the second is a sequel the first, and the fourth to the third -- and the two novels ("Dain" and the excellent "The Glass Key") make for a fun, engrossing collection. Only "The Glass Key" does not star the Continental Op nor tells its tale through first person narration. I mention ...more
This hardcover omnibus collects the other Hammett novels (see The Maltese Falcon, The Thin Man, Red Harvest) and the overall (read: average) score is four stars, but here are the individual stories' & novels' scores & reviews:

Selected Stories - - 5 stars - -

By far the highlight of this collection, the four Continental Op short stories offer exciting action and intriguing mysteries. I liked them so much that I ordered Crime Stories and Other Writings, which contains the full set of storie
Rog Harrison
Nov 02, 2013 Rog Harrison rated it really liked it
The selected stories are "The house in Turk Street", "The girl with the silver eyes", "The big knockover" and "$106,000 blood money" which all feature the Continental Op. "The Dain curse" is also a Continental Op novel. I am not sure why I like the Op so much but I love the no nonsense brutal way he deals with all situations. Granted some of the situations are preposterous but if you go with the flow they are great. I have read all these before and no doubt will read them again. I had also read ...more
May 27, 2015 Stuart rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It comes as a surprise when reading these two novels and short stories and you come across a cliche of detective fiction and suddenly realise that this is the original, where the cliche came from. You can see the genesis of so many other books, films and television programmes here. For instance, The Glass Key must have inspired practically all of Miller's Crossing. Hard men doing a job and wanting to do it right - morality is a peripheral consideration, and so quite often seems personal safety. ...more
May 02, 2012 Nathan rated it really liked it
Dash Hammett was the first of the great hardboiled detective authors, and this volume provides a spread of his work from a tight little short story through to the Dain Curse's convolutions that would do Chandler proud, through to a look from the other side, with a criminal's meandering through consipiracy and politics in the Glass Key. Hammett writes in a very simple, almost childlike way but the language he uses and the stories he tells are wonderful, by turns gloomy and gleeful. I like him a l ...more
Feb 17, 2013 Lise rated it it was amazing
A great selection of Hammet's works. The four stories, "The House in Turk Street”, “The Girl with the Silver Eyes”, “The Big Knockover” and “$106,000 Blood Money” actually go in pair, with one of the key characters appearing in both the first and second one, while “$106,000 Blood Money” is very much the sequel of “The Big Knockover”, all involve Hammet anonymous operative from the San Francisco branch of the Continental, as does The Dain Curse. As written in my previous reviews, both novels are ...more
Nov 26, 2013 Donald rated it really liked it
The Continental Op is the man! With this collection, he may very well have taken over Philip Marlowe as my favorite private dick! He is, and I quote from the story "The Girl with the Silver Eyes", a "little fat detective whose name I don't know"! "The Big Knockover" was may favorite in the collection, with a harrowing caper and a cast of the best crook names I've ever seen/hear/or read!
The only thing keeping this collection from getting 5 stars was that I did not love "The Glass Key". Otherwise
Aug 11, 2016 Barbara rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime
the Dain Curse is way off balance. rambling for pages and pages, tying everything up at the end in an unlikely convoluted way. only one character is more than one dimensional, and she is two dimensional. I loved The Glass Key -- read it many years ago. it's said that Hammett felt The Glass Key to be his best novel, and thought The Dain Curse "silly." I agree. Am looking forward to reading the Continental Op stories one of these days.
Mar 04, 2013 Ian rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 1001-books
The description "hard-boiled" hardly does it justice. The Glass Key is a treasure of a tale, as Ned Beaumont, a corrupt politician's sidekick, unravels the double-crosses, ambitions,fears and jealousies of the power-makers at election time. Friendship, justice, honour ? How can any survive the expediency of murder and politics. Classic.
John Carollo
Oct 31, 2015 John Carollo rated it it was amazing
What an incredible writer Mr. Hammett truly was! Every story was written in the style of an incident report (which I do as part of jy job duties) ... and the twists and surprise endings made these who=dunnits throughly entertaining to read.
Nov 12, 2010 DoctorM rated it really liked it
The man who defined the American detective novel. Eighty-odd years on, we're still living off his creations.
Jul 17, 2012 Naomi rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
I enjoyed the shorter stories more than the two longer ones. The Glass Key didn't fit with the other stories but it did keep you on your toes.
Jul 23, 2011 Kurt rated it it was amazing
I think the stories are a little more effective than the novels, but Dashiell Hammett is an astounding and entertaining author.
Don rated it really liked it
Dec 17, 2007
Nov 01, 2008 Wm rated it it was amazing
devastatingly, cynically, plot-twistingly, dry-wittedly, body-countily amazing.
Deidre rated it really liked it
Dec 13, 2009
Rui Miguel Mesquita
Rui Miguel Mesquita rated it really liked it
May 01, 2012
Emilie rated it liked it
Nov 02, 2010
Mar 24, 2013 Patti rated it it was amazing
I love the Noir, tough guy stories.
Co rated it it was amazing
May 22, 2011
Carl rated it really liked it
Nov 27, 2011
Paul  Perry
Paul Perry rated it it was amazing
Aug 04, 2010
Jason rated it really liked it
Feb 04, 2013
Ryan rated it it was amazing
Jan 18, 2008
Glenn Hopper
Glenn Hopper rated it it was amazing
Aug 22, 2010
Kerri rated it liked it
Aug 24, 2008
Simon Ward
Simon Ward rated it really liked it
Aug 26, 2015
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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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“He did not smile. "I don't believe in anything, but I'm too much of a gambler not to be affected by a lot of things.” 6 likes
“If the Old Man said something was so, then it probably was, because he was one of these cautious babies who'll look out the window at a cloudburst and say, "It seems to be raining," on the off-chance that somebody's pouring water off the roof.” 3 likes
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