Denae's Reviews > The Maltese Falcon

The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review

it was ok
bookshelves: the-fuck-is-this-the-fuck-was-that, read-in-2011, challenge-1010-by-2020, nook

I began reading The Maltese Falcon with every expectation that I would enjoy it. I have heard so many comparisons of Dashiell Hammett to Raymond Chandler that anything else seemed impossible. Unfortunately, this was not the case. Try as hard as I can, I cannot see where the brilliance supposedly lies. All of the ingredients are there: beautiful, lying and tragic woman; hard-boiled detective; copious amounts of booze and coffee; evil men slapping the beautiful women in the face. (Seriously, what is up with all the slapping in noir?) Somehow, despite everything, it came off less compelling than a third-rate Alistair MacLean. What's up with that?
3 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Maltese Falcon.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

September 15, 2011 – Shelved
October 27, 2011 – Started Reading
October 27, 2011 – Finished Reading
October 28, 2011 – Shelved as: the-fuck-is-this-the-fuck-was-that
August 10, 2012 – Shelved as: read-in-2011
August 10, 2012 – Shelved as: challenge-1010-by-2020
July 4, 2013 – Shelved as: nook

Comments Showing 1-5 of 5 (5 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Petra-X Off having adventures You make the genre sound very formulaic!

Denae For me, that's part of the beauty of a good noir book. It has all the parts of the formula, but rises above those components to be something of its own. This just bored me. I'm really quite shocked!

aPriL does feral sometimes I'm not positive, but I think it's because this book was one of the first of its type. It had never been done. The formulas of the genre were invented in this author's style. You just read the original first book of the genre, or at least ONE of the first ever written. Between the Depression, where Americans actually starved to death, and WWII when many Americans lost their faith in humanity, veterans came back from the war and started writing books like this where all humanity is worthless and faithless and always in it for themselves. NOW this is a genre type. When this was originally published this stuff had never been seen in America before. it was condemned and hidden behind counters. Such hopelessness, low life depravity and psychotic murder, but especially since evil was not punished uniformly (the 'good' guy was bad too) was shocking to a Mark Twain readership that was middle class America. The slapping was a form of literal castration to male Americans of the time. Women slapped and pulled hair. Men snorted with derision at such giggly fighting. A real man used his fists or feet or a gun. If you were a man and slapped a man you were calling him a female, the deadliest insult in a world of ex-war vets that shot people in war or ex-cons who murdered people for food in the Depression.

Denae I can definitely understand something being respected because of its place in a genre, but I still did not enjoy this book.

back to top