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review 2017-10-08 10:04
The Thin Man
The Thin Man - Dashiell Hammett

by Dashiell Hammett

 

New York 1932, the last days of prohibition. Nick and Nora are a couple who spend much of their time in hotels and speakeasies drinking copious amounts of alcohol. I found them very shallow characters and the book very dialogue heavy.

 

After a gruesome news story I'd rather not have read about a grizzly murder, Nick, a former detective, takes an interest and wants to investigate. This leads to encounters with various low life characters.

 

I had to push myself to read this, but it was blessedly short and one more well known story ticked off my list. I can see how it did better as a movie. It had that 40's film feeling to it, all stiff dialogue and Rita Hayworth flipping her hair (okay so Myrna Loy played the role, it's that era).

 

I can't say that I actually cared about the characters at any point. I'm not big on murder mysteries so the plot wasn't of great interest for me. The lack of description made it difficult to visualise the surroundings or much of what the characters looked like or wore so any clues had to come from the dialogue.

 

The thing I've most taken away from this read was the knowledge that this is not a genre for me, though I've committed to reading one more by the same author, just because it's that well known.

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text 2017-10-07 18:42
Halloween Bingo -- Classic Noir -- The Thin Man -- NO BINGO
The Thin Man - Dashiell Hammett

 

 

I read The Thin Man on 14 September for the Classic Noir buddy read.

 

I believe there are six squares that can still be called without giving me a Bingo.

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review 2017-09-17 16:01
The Thin Man by Dasheill Hammett
The Thin Man - Dashiell Hammett

Julia Wolf is dead, shot no less than four times. Secretary to the somewhat infamous inventor and all-together missing, Clyde Wynant, everyone is looking to him for answers - his lawyer, the police, his ex-wife, his children...and by plea of letter (and Nora's pushing) Nick Charles, once private detective, current moneyed-by-marriage lush.

 

As a mystery goes this book was kind of a mess, no? It was always to be thus, most of the players are completely unreliable - the pathological liar, the silly girl, the morbid boy, the two-faced, the greedy, the down-right stupid, the love-sick...there's not a one among them with their head on their shoulders, or with their head in the game so to say. Poor Nick and Nora, surrounded by fools wrecking their drinking holiday, having to put it all together for everyone.

 

I didn't end up enjoying it for the mystery. I did enjoy it for the humor and banter. Nick and Nora's jovial teasing and Nick's sometimes sarcastic wit directed to those stumbling around him, made the book.

 

Set during the end days of prohibition, I can only imagine that Nick and Nora were on a holiday to drink, where speaks were a plenty and everyone had closeted booze. I'm sure it was a bit of a social status to have a bottle or two in your home, in your desk drawer, in your boudoir - and all these people were so silly. It certainly read like a comedy to me at those times and I didn't take it very seriously. And I'd have to leave it like that instead of acknowledging that Hammett had his own battles with drink and tumultuous relationships -that he chose to only show the 'best of' in his fictional writing makes a sad sort of sense.

 

Over all, I will probably read more of Dasheill Hammett - at least his two more popular works, The Maltese Falcon and Red Harvest. I have a hunch those will be more oriented to the genre. The saving grace for me and The Thin Man is that I didn't have any story expectations, just that I knew that Nick and Nora were characters not to be missed.

 

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review 2017-09-17 11:33
The Thin Man-Buddy Read for Halloween Bingo 2017
The Thin Man - Dashiell Hammett

Lost my review twice now so I'm ready to spit nails.

 

I was happy to read the comments from those that did this buddy read. Other than that, if this is an example of Classic Noir, I don't think I'm going to be a fan. I didn't like anyone. The writing at times was hard to understand since it was written in another time and place. A couple of things I had to go and look up and realized it would have been better for me to just watch an old black and white movie instead.

 

 

"The Thin Man" follows Nick Charles, a former PI who is dragged into looking for a missing man he used to know, Clyde Wynant. Wynant goes missing after a former mistress/lover of his is found murdered. Clyde's terrible ass family shows up and asks him to find Clyde and or just act genuinely annoying. Someone else called them sociopaths in one of the updates and honestly I agree. 

 

Nick Charles is the main character in "The Thin Man." I assume the movies make him and Nora (his wife) more partner like. But besides Nora calming down people, ordering Nick food, and making Nick a drink, there wasn't much for her to do. Oh yeah, she laughed about her husband being flirted with right in front of her. 

 

The other characters are cringe worthy individuals. 

 

Mimi Wynant is a terrible mother to her two kids, Dorothy and Gilbert. She's obsessed with finding her ex husband to see what money she can shake out of him. In a crazy scene she loses it and goes incoherent with rage. She also beats her daughter and everyone acts like that's cool.

 

 

Dorothy is a low rent Lolita wannabe.

 

Gilbert is obsessed with his sister (yeah not in a good way) gives her drugs and talks about taking cocaine to make himself sharper. As one does.

 

There's the guy having an affair, but that's okay cause his wife is awful. Shakes head. 

 

Nick is thrown up against criminals and cops and finally announces who did it. I didn't follow the clues at all. So it was a surprise to me. 

 

The writing was typical of the 1930s. I didn't care for it much though. The flow was awful. It was just people drinking and shouting at each other. There's also a random story about cannibalism I'm still confused about including. 

 

The setting of New York during the Christmas holiday didn't feel realistic at all. Did any character mention cold or snow? New York during the last days of Prohibition should have been awesome as a setting.

 

The ending as I said was just a sad trombone sound come to life. Nick explains to Nora the who and the why. She argues with him, he ignores her, and they talk about New Year's Eve.

 

The end.

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text 2017-09-17 11:24
Reading progress update: I've read 11%.
The Thin Man - Dashiell Hammett

Reading this makes me feel like I'm watching a 1940s black & white movie with Lauren Bacall flipping her hair.

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