Reading Early Hammett
A Critical Study of the Fiction Prior to The Maltese Falcon
About the Book
Dashiell Hammett, like most successful writers, honed his skills in the trenches. Long before The Maltese Falcon and The Thin Man made him a household name, Hammett developed his technique writing satirical magazine pieces, then moved on to churn out tales of sex, crime and adventure for pulp magazines. Characters like Sam Spade and Nick and Nora Charles made him famous, but Hammett perfected his style—and created the first hard-boiled detective fiction—writing stories and novels about an anonymous, middle-aged detective, known as the Continental Op.
This detailed examination of the early works of Dashiell Hammett takes a new look at one of the 20th century’s most influential crime writers and his creation of the hard-boiled detective story. Each chapter covers an element of Hammett’s early writing career—his magazine fiction; the Continental Op’s development as a character; the Continental Op novels; and the last Continental Op stories. A concluding chapter provides afterthoughts on Hammett’s career, style and place in the history of detective fiction. A chronology of works cited, a bibliography and an index supplement the text.
About the Author(s)
LeRoy Lad Panek
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Bibliographic Info: chronology, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2004
Table of Contents
1. Hammett’s Magazine Writings 5
2. Making the Continental Op 69
3. The Op Novels 121
4. The Last Op Stories 169
5. Afterthoughts 193
Works Cited 205
Book Reviews & Awards
“one of the most readable, prolific, and perceptive academic scholars of mystery fiction”—Mystery Scene; “fascinating and comprehensive…highly recommended”—Choice; “die-hard Hammett fans will undoubtedly enjoy this book, and scholars should find it an important addition”—Cercles; “excellent…informative, entertaining”—The Compulsive Reader.