Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 50% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Listen in Prime Shop now
Customer Review

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terse, taut and brutal: welcome to Hammett's world, 9 Dec. 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Continental Op (Picador Books) (Paperback)
Hammett's writing is one of the things in life I'm not sure I could do without. It's a lesson in a hard school - with the advantage that you don't have to learn it personally - he did. We all get to enjoy the results without the slightly grimy feeling of having actually lived among the kind of people he wrote about.

Am I sounding a bit fastidious? - well I'm glad it wasn't me down there in the pit of urban 1920s America with the yeggs, the grifters, the pushers, the small time crooks and big time gangsters, the compromised rich and their blackmailing staff, the dangerous beauties and the thick-necked boobies who fall for them, the handsome killers and, last but not least, the Op himself, up to his elbows in it.

Was there ever a more brutal portrait than this? The Op (an operative for a detective agency modelled on the Pinkertons) tells the story, and you rarely get the luxury of a look at him. He's short, stocky, not handsome. He plays by a code, but not by any rules anyone can find. He will gleefully watch while the bad people tear each other apart, and he will pluck the missing booty, or the missing girl, or the missing proof, from a dying man's bloody hands. He's a lonely man, but he's no knight errant like Chandler's wonderful Philip Marlowe. He is as spare with words as with his fists: his style is reminiscent of "The Way of the Samurai". Hammett absolutely refuses to let you get sentimental over his sneering Op: the minute there's a danger of it, he reminds you that this is a story, with a set purpose, dangit, and he sends his Op off in another, pitiless direction. You walk behind him, sometimes amused, sometimes sad, sometimes a tiny bit horrified.

If this doesn't give you even the slightest desire to read Hammett, so be it - your loss!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
  [Cancel]


Review Details

Item

5.0 out of 5 stars (5 customer reviews)

4 star
0

3 star
0

2 star
0

1 star
0

£0.01
Add to wishlist
Reviewer


Location: Kent, UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 42,203