Michael's Reviews > Return of the Thin Man: Two never-before-published novellas featuring Nick & Nora Charles

Return of the Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett
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's review
Nov 03, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: arc, net-galley, short-stories, pulp, mystery, hard-boiled, crime
Read from October 15 to 21, 2012

Dashiell Hammett is often referred to as one of the ‘Big Three’ when it comes to pulp fiction along with Raymond Chandler and James M. Cain. He is known for his hard-boiled novels turned film noir classics including The Maltese Falcon and The Thin Man. Return of the Thin man is a collection of two previously unreleased novellas featuring Nick & Nora Charles from The Thin Man.

While “After the Thin Man” and “Another Thin Man” have been promoted as two never before published novellas, these are basically glorified screen plays by the pulp legend. The cynical ex-detective is back along with his very cleaver wife for some more drinking, flirting and crimes. But you really need to have read or seen The Thin Man before reading this because they are sequels that relay heavily on the character development that has already taken place.

The main problem is there are no stories here; nothing to demonstrate the power of Hammett’s pulp styles. These are just scripts for cashing in on the success of The Thin Man film adaptation. I think they would have worked a lot better if they were made into movies in the 1930’s. It reminds me of the recent movie release of Taken 2; all the plot and character development was in its predecessor, it is just cashing in on the success by trying to continue the story.

As a pulp fan I was looking forward to reading this and I really wanted to love it, but I was very disappointed. This is a gimmick release, not recommended for people new to Dashiell Hammett and Nick & Nora Charles. But if you loved The Thin Man there is a slight pleasure in seeing what Hammett had planned for these characters. The Thin Man was never a favourite of mine, I do really like Nora but for someone interested in trying the author I would recommend The Maltese Falcon or my personal favourite, Red Harvest.

This review originally appeared on my blog; http://literary-exploration.com/2012/...
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Comments (showing 1-10 of 10) (10 new)

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message 1: by Tfitoby (new)

Tfitoby Are you telling me that Taken 2 isn't very good then?

Michael It's just mindless entertainment

message 3: by Tfitoby (new)

Tfitoby That is what you look for in a Liam Neeson revenge thriller i suppose

Michael What I was saying was all the development was done in the first book/movie

message 5: by Tfitoby (new)

Tfitoby Yeah but i wanted the sequel to actually be good so that the threquel could be mind boggling awesome

Michael Keep wishing

Franky I'm about a third of the way through. Totally agree. Not too impressed and the power of the mystery is totally being taken out of the story with its screenplay format.

message 8: by Mohammed (new) - added it

Mohammed Of course this book is bad for people new to Hammett. They should start with Red Harvest or Maltese Falcon. But for hardcore Hammett fan like this book is great news, a gift just to see a different side of Hammett. Is Hammett writing of the screenplays worth 2 stars ? Or is it two stars just because he wrote something in his career that wastn the famous short stories, novels he is known for.....

Michael When rating a book, I don't take into account his other works, I want to judge a book solely on its merits. This one wasn't that good, Hammett is a great writer but I think there was a reason these were never released before.

message 10: by Mohammed (new) - added it

Mohammed Thats what i wondered because when i read your review it sounded like you excepted short stories and not screenplays. I can see why this might not be his best writing because i think Thin Man novel which has fun characters is easily the weakest of his novels just because Red Harvest, Glass Key are brilliant and Maltese Falcon is also better.(less)

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