Mark's Reviews > Red Harvest

Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett
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Feb 17, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: crime-and-mystery

Hammett's first novel is a cobbling-together of several BLACK MASK short stories: there are some bumps in the narrative road, and a lot of characters come and go (emphasis on "go," where I mean "for good"), but ultimately this novel is a masterpiece of violence and cynical social commentary. It's also a cornerstone of the "cleaning up the corrupt town" genre that ranges from the spaghetti Western to the films of Kurosawa. Furthermore, it's also the debut of Hammett's character "The Continental Op." It's probably impossible for us to appreciate today just how much this novel, and the writings of Hammett in general, have influenced "the hard-boiled" and all its descendents. This was my first time reading it, and I loved it, especially the lean and tough dialogue and the incredible sense of time and place Hammett creates in "Poisonville" California.
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message 1: by Stephen (new)

Stephen I love Hammett, but I haven't read this one yet. The Glass Key is my favourite - I'm sure James Ellroy must have been influenced by it (although I know you're not an Ellroy fan).


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