Mike's Reviews > The Continental Op

The Continental Op by Dashiell Hammett
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Apr 18, 12

bookshelves: 20th-century, detective-fiction, hard-boiled-detective, dashiell-hammett
Read in April, 2012

Extended review to follow. I've got some catching up to do. I'll just start by saying "Thanks" to goodreads group "Pulp Fiction" for selecting this one as April's read. Hammett is a favorite of mine. However, I had not read the Continental Op short fiction. These are gems.

At first impression, these stories may seem to come across as a little on the old fashioned side. The lingo is clearly from an earlier time. But the contemporary reader of hard-boiled fiction wouldn't have so much on the shelf if it hadn't been for Hammett who single handedly created the genre.

The man with no name, but operates with a strict code of honor and ethics, is a force to be reckoned with. For this reader, the Op is Spade's equal. The tragedy of Hammett is his writing career ended in an act of self immolation, espousing the wrong politics. Hammett had a lot left in him by the time he was blackballed during the McCarthy Era. It's a good thing he had the good fortune to have the love and support of a good woman, Lillian Hellman. And, never for a minute think there's not some Hammett that shines through the plays of Lillian Hellman. Imagine--friend, lover and editor all rolled into one. That's quite a combination.
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