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becke_davis
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: American Mystery Classics: DASHIELL HAMMETT


dulcinea3 wrote:

I recorded a movie yesterday because it said it was based on a Dashiell Hammett story.  The movie is called No Good Deed (2002), with Samual L. Jackson and Milla Jovovich.  The descriptions actually sounds a bit like The House on Turk Street, which was one of my favorites from The Continental Op.  I don't know when I'll get around to watching it, but I'm looking forward to seeing if I'm right.  If they have Jackson playing the Op, I'm not sure I can see him in that role, though.

 

Ah, I just looked the movie up on wikipedia, but didn't read the whole thing, and I was right about the story it is based on!  I do think Jackson has the Op's role, but he apparently has a name (I guess it would be difficult to not give him a name in a movie, although it worked in Rebecca).


There's another whole series of books with a Nameless Detective - it's written by Bill Pronzini. I'm not going to post all the links - there are 35 books!

 

Camouflage (Nameless Detective Mystery Series #35) 

Savages (Nameless Detective Mystery Series #31) 

Betrayers (Nameless Detective Mystery Series #34) 

Schemers (Nameless Detective Mystery Series #33) 

Fever (Nameless Detective Mystery Series #32) 

Mourners (Nameless Detective Mystery Series #30) 

Sentinels (Nameless Detective Mystery Series #23)        

 

 

Inspired Wordsmith
basson_mommy12
Posts: 743
Registered: ‎05-27-2008
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Re: American Mystery Classics: DASHIELL HAMMETT


dulcinea3 wrote:

I recorded a movie yesterday because it said it was based on a Dashiell Hammett story.  The movie is called No Good Deed (2002), with Samual L. Jackson and Milla Jovovich.  The descriptions actually sounds a bit like The House on Turk Street, which was one of my favorites from The Continental Op.  I don't know when I'll get around to watching it, but I'm looking forward to seeing if I'm right.  If they have Jackson playing the Op, I'm not sure I can see him in that role, though.

 

Ah, I just looked the movie up on wikipedia, but didn't read the whole thing, and I was right about the story it is based on!  I do think Jackson has the Op's role, but he apparently has a name (I guess it would be difficult to not give him a name in a movie, although it worked in Rebecca).


Several movies have had main characters without a name, and very successfully, too. One of recent memory is

Ghost Writer  which is based on the book The Ghost , which is in my TBR pile. I LOVED this movie. Another is

Drive which is also fabulous, if you can put your mind into the set of watching an Aesop's Fable in a modern setting. Finally, one of the most famous is

Good, the Bad, and the Ugly who is universally refered to as "The Man With No Name." This the final film of three:

Fistful of Dollars 

For a Few Dollars More   

"The Answer to the Great Question of ... Life, the Universe and Everything ... (is) 42." -- Douglas Adams' "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"

Ruth W.
Grand Rapids, MI
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basson_mommy12
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Re: American Mystery Classics: DASHIELL HAMMETT

[ Edited ]

I finished

Red Harvest  several days ago. Wow! Here's my review:

 

Dashiell Hammett's writing is gritty [the most commonly used adjective in all the reviews I read, but hard to get away from, because it's true], detailed and full of sarcasm. You have to read with your wits about you, or you will miss sub-contextual humor. His use of language is right up there with Mark Twain; don't get lost in the vernacular! We're only a few decades separated and yet, many passages read as if in another language. I recommend watching some old films, such as "The Maltese Falcon" and other noir classics of the 1930s and 1940s (not to mention "L.A. Confidential") to get your ear warmed to the rhythm of the lingo, because if you don't have a comfortable knowledge of words like hooch & shyster, you might feel a bit lost.

Also, if you have an aversion to reading about smoking, drinking, drug use or prostitution, you would definitely want to stay away from this one. I was joking to myself at the beginning that one could play a drinking game and take a drink each time a character takes a drink, makes a drink, offers a drink, etc... but then, about half-way through, I reconsidered since anyone trying that game would never finish the book because they would pass out after the fifth chapter. Some readers have complained that this book is "amoral" but without giving any spoilers, I'd have to disagree and you'll have to trust me.

 

The Continental Op setting up his identity at the beginning of the story confused me at first, I must be honest. I hadn't realized this was an Op novel, I just took it off the NY Times Top 100 Novels list and jumped in. Heed my warning about warming yourself into the pace of Hammett's writing. He doesn't write in short bursts of narrative or long descriptive passages, but somewhere in between. The dialogue is quick and witty, and if you blink you might miss it. Nothing is wasted but it isn't sparse. You come away from the book KNOWING the characters like you would recognize them in the street, if they weren't already dead.

"The Answer to the Great Question of ... Life, the Universe and Everything ... (is) 42." -- Douglas Adams' "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"

Ruth W.
Grand Rapids, MI
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becke_davis
Posts: 35,755
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: American Mystery Classics: DASHIELL HAMMETT


basson_mommy12 wrote:

I finished

Red Harvest  several days ago. Wow! Here's my review:

 

Dashiell Hammett's writing is gritty [the most commonly used adjective in all the reviews I read, but hard to get away from, because it's true], detailed and full of sarcasm. You have to read with your wits about you, or you will miss sub-contextual humor. His use of language is right up there with Mark Twain; don't get lost in the vernacular! We're only a few decades separated and yet, many passages read as if in another language. I recommend watching some old films, such as "The Maltese Falcon" and other noir classics of the 1930s and 1940s (not to mention "L.A. Confidential") to get your ear warmed to the rhythm of the lingo, because if you don't have a comfortable knowledge of words like hooch & shyster, you might feel a bit lost.

Also, if you have an aversion to reading about smoking, drinking, drug use or prostitution, you would definitely want to stay away from this one. I was joking to myself at the beginning that one could play a drinking game and take a drink each time a character takes a drink, makes a drink, offers a drink, etc... but then, about half-way through, I reconsidered since anyone trying that game would never finish the book because they would pass out after the fifth chapter. Some readers have complained that this book is "amoral" but without giving any spoilers, I'd have to disagree and you'll have to trust me.

 

The Continental Op setting up his identity at the beginning of the story confused me at first, I must be honest. I hadn't realized this was an Op novel, I just took it off the NY Times Top 100 Novels list and jumped in. Heed my warning about warming yourself into the pace of Hammett's writing. He doesn't write in short bursts of narrative or long descriptive passages, but somewhere in between. The dialogue is quick and witty, and if you blink you might miss it. Nothing is wasted but it isn't sparse. You come away from the book KNOWING the characters like you would recognize them in the street, if they weren't already dead.


This is a fabulous review! I hope you posted it at the book's B&N page!

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dulcinea3
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Re: American Mystery Classics: DASHIELL HAMMETT

Ruth, you made me laugh with your idea of a drinking game, and that people would be passed out by the fifth chapter!  You also reminded me to look up a word that I didn't know that Hammett used now and then.  "Yegg" means safecracker, or robber.  I don't remember the specific times he used it, to see if he used it in the more specific sense (safecracker).  I had thought maybe they were ex-cons or something.  Now I know!

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becke_davis
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Re: American Mystery Classics: DASHIELL HAMMETT


dulcinea3 wrote:

Ruth, you made me laugh with your idea of a drinking game, and that people would be passed out by the fifth chapter!  You also reminded me to look up a word that I didn't know that Hammett used now and then.  "Yegg" means safecracker, or robber.  I don't remember the specific times he used it, to see if he used it in the more specific sense (safecracker).  I had thought maybe they were ex-cons or something.  Now I know!


I think the noir genre uses slang a lot more than other mysteries, and it's interesting to see which words have become obsolete since the books came out.

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basson_mommy12
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Registered: ‎05-27-2008
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Re: American Mystery Classics: DASHIELL HAMMETT


becke_davis wrote:

dulcinea3 wrote:

Ruth, you made me laugh with your idea of a drinking game, and that people would be passed out by the fifth chapter!  You also reminded me to look up a word that I didn't know that Hammett used now and then.  "Yegg" means safecracker, or robber.  I don't remember the specific times he used it, to see if he used it in the more specific sense (safecracker).  I had thought maybe they were ex-cons or something.  Now I know!


I think the noir genre uses slang a lot more than other mysteries, and it's interesting to see which words have become obsolete since the books came out.


Ah, but see, they're not obsolete in MY house... I'm setting my children up to be ostracised. Bwuahahahaha!

"The Answer to the Great Question of ... Life, the Universe and Everything ... (is) 42." -- Douglas Adams' "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"

Ruth W.
Grand Rapids, MI
Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,755
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: American Mystery Classics: DASHIELL HAMMETT


basson_mommy12 wrote:

becke_davis wrote:

dulcinea3 wrote:

Ruth, you made me laugh with your idea of a drinking game, and that people would be passed out by the fifth chapter!  You also reminded me to look up a word that I didn't know that Hammett used now and then.  "Yegg" means safecracker, or robber.  I don't remember the specific times he used it, to see if he used it in the more specific sense (safecracker).  I had thought maybe they were ex-cons or something.  Now I know!


I think the noir genre uses slang a lot more than other mysteries, and it's interesting to see which words have become obsolete since the books came out.


Ah, but see, they're not obsolete in MY house... I'm setting my children up to be ostracised. Bwuahahahaha!


My kind of house...