Customer Reviews


29 Reviews
5 star:
 (14)
4 star:
 (10)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Character Development
If you are like me, you met The Thin Man first in the movie series. Those movies have Nick Charles straddling the gap between the "haves" and the tough guy world with insouciance as he waltzes with the wealthy socialites and unravels fatal plots. The book itself is much darker, directly suggesting alcoholism, incest, adultery, and all the minor crimes . . . and deadly...
Published on 6 Aug. 2004 by Donald Mitchell

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Monotone
A book where everyone sounds exactly the same, and there's an alcoholic drink on every page. Not sure if the two are related. I did lose the plot at some stages, even though it's only 200 pages long. Confusingly monotone.
Published on 14 Sept. 2011 by Frootle


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Character Development, 6 Aug. 2004
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 127,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
If you are like me, you met The Thin Man first in the movie series. Those movies have Nick Charles straddling the gap between the "haves" and the tough guy world with insouciance as he waltzes with the wealthy socialites and unravels fatal plots. The book itself is much darker, directly suggesting alcoholism, incest, adultery, and all the minor crimes . . . and deadly sins. The view is that humans are thoroughly flawed, but some can rise above that to serve others anyway. That is the nobility of the Nick Charles character . . . as he staggers out of bed in the afternoon with yet another hangover. Helping out old clients is his source of redemption against the temptations he cannot resist.
The world view is probably somewhat autobiographical as Hammett spent more of his time in Hollywood late in his career, rather than working as a fiction writer. The echoes of F. Scott Fitzgerald are very strong, especially to Tender Is The Night.
For those who love the classic "tough guy" stories by Hammett, this one can never have the same appeal. Nick is still tough, but he mostly shows it by taking abuse with style. That's a feminine kind of toughness that comes from maturity. He passes off the chances to trade punches when they arise.
The characterizations of Nick and Nora Charles are the strength of the novel. But the book transcends that by also creating a picture of a flawed marriage between two people with hearts of gold who love each other, but are also killing each other. The development of the relationship is brilliant.
The mystery itself isn't very mysterious. It just has lots of red herrings. If you judge mysteries by the quality of the plot unfolding of that mystery, you will probably rate this book at 3 or 4 stars.
I suggest that you think about what temptations are difficult for you to resist. How will those temptations undermine your life and your relationships? How can you occupy yourself in ways so that there will either be less temptation or you will be more able to resist it?
To your good health and that of all your relationships!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Character Development, 6 Aug. 2004
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 127,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
If you are like me, you met The Thin Man first in the movie series. Those movies have Nick Charles straddling the gap between the "haves" and the tough guy world with insouciance as he waltzes with the wealthy socialites and unravels fatal plots. The book itself is much darker, directly suggesting alcoholism, incest, adultery, and all the minor crimes . . . and deadly sins. The view is that humans are thoroughly flawed, but some can rise above that to serve others anyway. That is the nobility of the Nick Charles character . . . as he staggers out of bed in the afternoon with yet another hangover. Helping out old clients is his source of redemption against the temptations he cannot resist.
The world view is probably somewhat autobiographical as Hammett spent more of his time in Hollywood late in his career, rather than working as a fiction writer. The echoes of F. Scott Fitzgerald are very strong, especially to Tender Is The Night.
For those who love the classic "tough guy" stories by Hammett, this one can never have the same appeal. Nick is still tough, but he mostly shows it by taking abuse with style. That's a feminine kind of toughness that comes from maturity. He passes off the chances to trade punches when they arise.
The characterizations of Nick and Nora Charles are the strength of the novel. But the book transcends that by also creating a picture of a flawed marriage between two people with hearts of gold who love each other, but are also killing each other. The development of the relationship is brilliant.
The mystery itself isn't very mysterious. It just has lots of red herrings. If you judge mysteries by the quality of the plot unfolding of that mystery, you will probably rate this book at 3 or 4 stars.
I suggest that you think about what temptations are difficult for you to resist. How will those temptations undermine your life and your relationships? How can you occupy yourself in ways so that there will either be less temptation or you will be more able to resist it?
To your good health and that of all your relationships!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dorothy is a sleaze in the book, 26 Feb. 2011
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Thin Man (Paperback)
When I see a film based on a novel, I like to read the novel to compare plots and execution. Most of the time the novel or story is fuller than the movie due to the short media time and the target audience. In this case, the novel does have a better-developed plot and is more cohesive. The characters are more true to form and there is a real Rosewood/Rosebrien. However, the book characters are more sinister and Dorothy is sleazy. I planed to make this the last story I would read by Dashiel Hammett. However, others tell me I just picked the wrong one to start with.

The film on the other hand, was modified to give a lighter approach. It is the film that I will think of as the real "Thin Man" and Maureen O'Sullivan as the real Dorothy that was concerned about her father. Speaking about that, what is the Sullivan act?

The Thin Man Starring: William Powell, Myrna Loy
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Thinner Laughs Than the Movie; Still Great Fun, 3 May 2015
By 
Mark Baker - Carstairs Considers (Santa Clarita, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Thin Man (Penguin Essentials) (Paperback)
Having watched all the movies in The Thin Man franchise in the last couple of years, I decided it was time to sit down and read the Dashiell Hammett book that started it all. The Thin Man still works all these years later and is lots of fun in the process.

It's Christmas, and Nick and Nora Charles are spending Christmas in New York. In the years before Nick married Nora, he worked New York as a private detective. Now he devotes his time to managing Nora's wealth and drinking.

A few days before Christmas, he runs into Dorothy Wynant, the daughter of former client Clyde Wynant. She's back in town trying to track down her father, but no one has heard from Clyde in months. Then Clyde's secretary and sometimes lover is murder, with Clyde being the chief suspect. Nick tries to stay out of the mystery, but suspects keep finding him to declare their innocence. Nora, meanwhile, finds all this fascinating. Will Nick find the killer?

The movie version and the franchise is started are well known and loved, not only for their mysteries but also for the laughs. I've got to say I didn't find quite as much humor in the printed version of the characters. Don't get me wrong, I did laugh a few times, but it was lacking the overall charm and wit of the movie.

However, the mystery was outstanding. I've got to confess I really didn't remember many details of the plot, so most of the twists took me by surprise once again. The final chapter that revealed many of the clues made me feel stupid since so many of them passed right over my head.

Nick and Nora are just as charming on page as they were on the screen. Nora was actually involved in much of the story here, which I appreciated. True, she didn't contribute much to the ultimate resolution, but it was still fun seeing her reactions to all the stuff happening around them. The rest of the characters were very interesting. Everyone was hiding something, so watching the layers being peeled was entertaining and kept me turning pages.

All of this was accomplished in close to 200 pages. As you might imagine, there was very little wasted words here. But I never had any trouble getting into the book.

The book was written in the early 1930's and is set as a "modern" book. While it doesn't waste lots of time on the culture, it does provide a fun historical trip while painting a picture (probably mostly fantasy) of what life was like for the fortunate rich during this time.

Almost 70 years later, The Thin Man remains a mystery classic, and with good reason. It's got a well plotted mystery filled with interesting characters. If you enjoy mysteries, you owe it to yourself to read it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Great Character Development, 6 Aug. 2004
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 127,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
If you are like me, you met The Thin Man first in the movie series. Those movies have Nick Charles straddling the gap between the "haves" and the tough guy world with insouciance as he waltzes with the wealthy socialites and unravels fatal plots. The book itself is much darker, directly suggesting alcoholism, incest, adultery, and all the minor crimes . . . and deadly sins. The view is that humans are thoroughly flawed, but some can rise above that to serve others anyway. That is the nobility of the Nick Charles character . . . as he staggers out of bed in the afternoon with yet another hangover. Helping out old clients is his source of redemption against the temptations he cannot resist.
The world view is probably somewhat autobiographical as Hammett spent more of his time in Hollywood late in his career, rather than working as a fiction writer. The echoes of F. Scott Fitzgerald are very strong, especially to Tender Is The Night.
For those who love the classic "tough guy" stories by Hammett, this one can never have the same appeal. Nick is still tough, but he mostly shows it by taking abuse with style. That's a feminine kind of toughness that comes from maturity. He passes off the chances to trade punches when they arise.
The characterizations of Nick and Nora Charles are the strength of the novel. But the book transcends that by also creating a picture of a flawed marriage between two people with hearts of gold who love each other, but are also killing each other. The development of the relationship is brilliant.
The mystery itself isn't very mysterious. It just has lots of red herrings. If you judge mysteries by the quality of the plot unfolding of that mystery, you will probably rate this book at 3 or 4 stars.
I suggest that you think about what temptations are difficult for you to resist. How will those temptations undermine your life and your relationships? How can you occupy yourself in ways so that there will either be less temptation or you will be more able to resist it?
To your good health and that of all your relationships!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Master of the hard-boiled detective story, 26 Jan. 2015
By 
Brian R. Martin (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Glass Key (Paperback)
Dashiell Hammett's creative period was very short, effectively terminated in the 1940s by chronic ill health (TB), alcoholism, and political persecution because of his extreme outspoken left-wing views. But prior to this he produced some memorable work, and was a master of the `hard-boiled' detective story. He is best known for `The Maltese Falcon', following the successful film staring Humphrey Bogart, but `The Glass Key' is generally regarded as his finest work. The `hero', if he can be called that, is the cool Ned Beaumont, a hard-drinking fixer for a gangster, Paul Madvig, who controls a city via his political and police stooges. But Ned has a moral code of sorts, and when Paul looks like being betrayed at election time, and may even be indicted for a murder, he steps up, and at considerable personal danger (he is severely beaten several times) eventually forces the real killer to confess. To cap it all he even `wins' the daughter of a Senator, who Paul vainly hoped to marry. The story is more complex than these few sentences convey. There are many twists and turns and it has a real surprise ending. The writing is in a terse, laconic style that has often been imitated but never excelled. An excellent read.
Comment
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Plot THINS!, 13 May 2012
This review is from: The Thin Man (Penguin Essentials) (Paperback)
A REVIEW OF `THE THIN MAN' by DASHIELL HAMMETT

`The Thin Man' (first published in 1932) is a tightly-plotted, teasing who-dunnit from `The Golden Age of Crime Fiction'. Set in New York during the Christmas week of 1932 it deals with ex-private detective (or `gum shoe'), Nick Charles's attempts to find the killer of a woman of dubious reputation (Julia Wolf) who was caught up in the personal and professional business of screwy inventor/genius/shop-keeper, Clyde Wynant. As he attempts to untangle the mass of clues, red-herrings, aliases and false alibis, Charles needs to rely upon all of his old powers of deduction to solve a case that is simultaneously complex and simple.

Although pacey and engaging, there are obvious limitations to `The Thin Man' that make its inclusion in the ranks of `classic' crime capers questionable. Perhaps the most glaring of these is the fact that virtually every character is devoid of any truly likeable qualities. Our sleuth Charles himself is a cynical (virtual) alcoholic, living brazenly off his rather smug wife, Nora's, wealth. Compare this character profile to Agatha Christie's ludicrously pompous (but hugely endearing and enduring) Hercule Poirot. Likewise, the suspects are all horribly flawed characters, especially Wynant's ex-wife and children. Thus, when the finger of guilt points at various suspects during the story's unfolding, it is difficult for the reader to truly care whether or not justice is done.

What has saved `The Thin Man' from obscurity is its ingenious twist-in-the-tale. Like the best Poirot novels of the era, the solution to the crime appears to be screamingly obvious once one fundamental fact is established, leaving the reader to ponder, "How did I miss that?!" In addition, the setting of Prohibition-era America adds a pleasing backdrop to the gritty case, albeit by exposing the absurd failure of the well-intentioned alcohol ban.

Therefore, `The Thin Man' survives as a diverting but not wholly-satisfying entry in the canon of crime fiction. Today it is perhaps best remembered as the book that inspired the series of MGM film from the 1930s. These movies, starring William Powell as Nick Charles, adopted a lighter touch and gave audiences a far more appealing leading man. Might this explain why the film spawned a series of sequels, whilst the novel remained a one-off? Over to you, Hercule...

Barty's Score: 7/10
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Dorothy is a sleaze in the book, 8 July 2013
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: THE THIN MAN (Paperback)
When I see a film based on a novel, I like to read the novel to compare plots and execution. Most of the time the novel or story is fuller than the movie due to the short media time and the target audience. In this case, the novel does have a better-developed plot and is more cohesive. The characters are more true to form and there is a real Rosewood/Rosebrien. However, the book characters are more sinister and Dorothy is sleazy. I planed to make this the last story I would read by Dashiel Hammett. However, others tell me I just picked the wrong one to start with.

The film on the other hand, was modified to give a lighter approach. It is the film that I will think of as the real "Thin Man" and Maureen O'Sullivan as the real Dorothy that was concerned about her father. Speaking about that, what is the Sullivan act?

The Thin Man Starring: William Powell, Myrna Loy
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars melodramatic hardboiled yarn, 29 May 2012
By 
Rob Kitchin - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
The Thin Man is a crime farce, written in an all-tell, dialogue and action style, with no excess fat in the prose. There's a lot of melodrama, with people storming in and out, kissing and making up; and lots of lying, deceit, manipulation and double crosses. Nick Charles is the rock at the centre of all this carry-on; the tough, no-nonsense PI, who's able to calmly and authoratively take charge and sort the wheat from the chaff, and is attractive to dames and admired by men. He's the guy that everybody naturally turns to for help, including the police. The characterisation is well developed and Hammett keeps the dozen or so central characters swirling round each other, with the pace relentless without being excessive, and the plot twisting continuously. The story had a little too much melodrama for my taste, but it's an enjoyable hardboiled yarn nonetheless.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars The Thin Man, 10 Feb. 2014
By 
D. J. Wilden "denise7248" (Maidenhead, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Thin Man (Penguin Essentials) (Paperback)
I used to really love the films with William Powell and Myrna Loy as Nick and Nora Charles and their dog Asta, only fairly recently found out that Dashiel Hammett wrote the stories, again another link via Rory Gallagher who was a great fan of his works, Just read a book from the library which turned up in Hammetts papers and was published in 2012, Its kind of quirky and full of punchy dialogue, very very 1930's which I love, Nick was mostly a bit squiffy all the time, solved crimes and no bad language which is really refreshing, going to enjoy reading it as I have enjoyed the library book.
I also didn't realise Dashiel Hammett wrote The Maltese Falcon which is another favourite film of mine, so I bought the book to read
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Thin Man (Penguin Essentials)
The Thin Man (Penguin Essentials) by Dashiell Hammett (Paperback - 5 April 2012)
£7.99
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews