Crime Stories and Other Writings

Crime Stories and Other Writings

Book - 2001
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Penguin Putnam
In the stories and novellas he wrote for Black Mask and other pulp magazines in the 1920s and 1930s, Dashiell Hammett took the detective story and turned it into a medium for capturing the jarring textures and revved-up cadences of modern American life. In this volume, The Library of America collects the finest of these stories: twenty-four in all, along with some revealing essays and an earlier version of his novel The Thin Man.

Mixing melodramatic panache and poker-faced comedy, a sensitivity to place and a perceptive grasp of social conflict, Hammett’s stories are hard-edged entertainments for an era of headlong change and extravagant violence. For the heroic sagas of earlier eras Hammett substituted the up-tempo, devious, sometimes nearly nihilistic exploits of con men and blackmailers, fake spiritualists and thieving politicians, slumming socialites and deadpan assassins.

As a guide through this underworld he created the Continental Op, the nameless, laconic detective, world-weary and unblinking, who serves as protagonist of most of these stories. The deliberately unheroic Op is separated only by his code of professionalism from the brutality and corruption that run rampant in stories such as “Zigzags of Treachery,” “Dead Yellow Women,” “Fly Paper,” and “$106,000 Blood Money.”

Hammett’s years of experience as a Pinkerton detective give even his most outlandishly plotted mysteries a gritty credibility, and his intimate knowledge of San Francisco made him the perfect chronicler of that city’s waterfronts, back alleys, police stations, and luxury hotels. By connecting crime fiction to the realities of American streets and American speech, his Black Mask stories opened up new vistas for generations of writers and readers.

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.

Baker & Taylor
A revealing look inside the mind of the one of the great writers of detective fiction includes essays, twenty-four stories, and an early version of "The Thin Man."

& Taylor

A revealing look inside the mind of one of the great writers of detective fiction includes essays, 24 stories, and an early version The Thin Man.

Publisher: New York : Library of America : Distributed to the trade in the United States by Penguin Putnam, c2001
ISBN: 9781931082006
Branch Call Number: F HAM
Characteristics: 934 p. ; 21 cm
Additional Contributors: Library of America (Firm)


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Feb 24, 2017

This book contains many Hammett stories from The Big Knockover collection, edited by Lillian Hellman. Crime Stories and Other Writings keeps the original pulp versions of Hammett's stories; The Big Knockover offers many of the "Ellery Queen" versions. Keep to Crime Stories or the 2016 Collected Case Files of the Continental Op, edited by Richard Layman and Julie M. Rivett.

Dec 08, 2010

Hammett refined his hard-boiled story-telling by writing for pulp magazines. Collected here are nearly all of his short stories, most of them featuring his Continental Op. While it may not be necessary to read ALL of these, it's an quick way to ease into the genre.

These are a MUST for any serious Noir fan.


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