Brandon's Reviews > The Maltese Falcon

The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
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's review
Nov 06, 2014

it was amazing
bookshelves: detective-books, fiction, favorites, noir, 2012
Read from May 14 to 17, 2012 , read count: 1

Here we go. Book number two in my 25 crime-fiction classic list! After finishing this, I probably should've started with this one but honestly, who's going to blame me for reading a Raymond Chandler novel first?

Sam Spade and Miles Archer, private eyes residing in San Fransisco, are hired by a woman to procure the safe return of her little sister after she has run off with another man. While Spade accepts the job, he doesn't completely buy Ms. Wonderly's story feeling that there is more to what she's telling them. What turns out to be the understatement to end all understatement's, Spade becomes entangled in a search for a rare, valuable statue that puts his life in danger and his reputation with the law on the line.

I was originally hesitant about starting this noir/hard boiled/crime fiction journey because I was under the impression that these books were going to suffer from such massive over-hype that I would feel RIDICULOUS for not liking them.

This book was just tremendous. Really, just all around greatness from start to finish. It blows my mind that there had not been many books around at the time written in this style or with characters like these. It must have had people reeling when they finished it, scrambling for more!

Like Chandler's The Big Sleep, this book is endlessly quotable. I'm such a fan of great similes and snappy, witty dialogue and this book is just stuffed to the breaking point with memorable lines.

If it hadn't been so damn entertaining, I may have taken a little bit of an issue that Spade never really seems to be in any danger. Despite the fact that these criminals have the upper hand on a few occasions, they come across as buffoons with no real plans of their own.

That being said, it's hard to really find fault in something so excellent.

On a side note, something tells me that if I slap someone and they get angry, I wouldn't be able to tell them they'll take it AND like it. It works for Spade because he's clearly so damn slick but I doubt I have the ability to pull that one off.
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Quotes Brandon Liked

Dashiell Hammett
“Joel Cairo: You always have a very smooth explanation ready.
Sam Spade: What do you want me to do, learn to stutter?”
Dashiell Hammett, The Maltese Falcon

Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Nick Baam Don't blame you for having a Chandler first, though I would have gone w Farewell, My Lovely. By the by, made this comment above but perhaps more suited to you: no film version of any Philip Marlowe book has gotten Marlowe right, I don't think. Bogie was too small, Robert Montgomery too frail, Elliot Gould too slouchy, Robert Mitchum a tad weighty and slow. Travis McGee would be another difficult to cast, though Rod Taylor -- a favorite actor of mine -- surely wasn't it.

message 2: by Ryan (new) - added it

Ryan Tobin Buffoons! hahaha (a great word to substitute for Pantywaists) lol. :)

message 3: by Ryan (new) - added it

Ryan Tobin Also...what is this "25 crime-fiction classics list"?

message 4: by Brandon (last edited Nov 06, 2014 05:18AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Brandon I started this a while back and I'm pretty sure it has surpassed 25 by now as I keep adding to it..haha.

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