Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Book Review: The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett

This is another title that frequently shows up on lists of books to read in your lifetime, so I decided to give it a whirl.

The Maltese Falcon is a 1930s private detective story in the most noir sense you can think of. Sam Spade is hired by a mysterious (and voluptuous) woman to follow a man. Sam passes this duty to his partner, Archer, and is soon informed that Archer has been shot to death. Sam becomes involved in the mystery of the Maltese Falcon from that point, posturing with nefarious characters and making love to beautiful women all along the way. The falcon has been stolen many times throughout history, and now has been found by several men willing to do anything and pay any price to get it. People are killed, women are kissed, cheeks are slapped. Drama ensues. In the end, Sam figures out that his new love is responsible for his partner's death and no amount of attraction will make him take the fall for her. He turns her in.

This was really just silly to read. Talk about a completely different time! If you are a fan of high drama film noir, then this story is for you. I find it funny how Sam is basically every man's dream. All the women want him to the point that he is annoyed by it. He is always one step ahead of the others involved in his dealings and no matter who he is dealing with. Everyone involved in this story is a bit of a bad guy no matter what their situation, and even when the big mystery is revealed no one really gets what they want. The story just moves on and away from the main character, Sam Spade. It was a quick read, so it made for an amusing little escape. I give this book 3 out of 5 stars.

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