Sunday, June 27, 2010

Review: Dashiell Hammett, Red Harvest (1929)



Raymond Chandler praised Dashiell Hammett for "[giving] murder back to the kind of people that commit it for reasons, not just to provide a corpse . . . [and putting] these people down on paper as they were, and [making] them talk and think in the language they customarily used for these purposes." But these strengths are not too much in evidence in Red Harvest, Hammett's debut novel. The Continental Op, who narrates the proceedings, is more a catalyst than a character, and the many criminals who populate his story are too busy killing to emerge as much more than killers. Perhaps the most interesting characters are Sheriff Noonan, who somehow manages to seem a precursor to both Lou Ford and Chief Wiggum, and Dinah Brand, a femme fatale whose femme-powers are provocatively difficult to account for. Bottom line: Hammett's snappy prose rescues this hard-boiled cartoon. Grade: B-

2 comments:

  1. did you wrote a poem if yes its hard to find

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  2. Are you referring to this? Follow the link. . . .
    Verse Noir by David Rachels

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