Literary Masterpieces, Volume 3: The Maltese Falcon (Literary Masterpieces (Gale) #3)
Gale Study Guides to Great Literature are a unique reference line composed of three series: Literary Masters, Literary Masterpieces and Literary Topics. Convenient, comprehensive and targeted to current coursework, the guides put authors, titles and topics into context for high school and college students as well as general researchers.Not to be confused with uninspiring r...more
Hardcover, 200 pages
Published December 14th 1999 by Gale Cengage
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I like to think of this book as a study in 1930s male machismo (and feminine mystique). It was like getting to see what Hammett considered to be a real man's man, someone who's stoic and tough and doesn't take any shit, especially from authority. A man that, when he looks at a woman, first sizes up her sexual potential, who knows that his aura draws women in and doesn't know how to interact without objectifying them. (And let's not forget the femme fatale that uses all her arts to fake an innoce...more
Eh, I think this is an example of a good plot with a relatively strained writing style. Too many simple sentences were strung together with a great deal of essentially superfluous description. Oddly, the last third or so of the book was basically nearly no action but a great deal of sitting around and talking. While it was an excellent mystery, the general style of the book bothered me, and Spade eventually comes off as something of a massive jerk (though I'm pretty sure he could qualify as a Ja...more
Now I see why they adapted this book. I've read three of Hammett's books in just a few weeks, and this is the best by far. Clean, solid structure and pacing, a real hard-boiled character in Sam Spade, and dialogue and scenes that crack like a whip and can be heard echoing down through a thousand imitators on page and on the screen.