The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett
Reviewed by Jason Koivu
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The Thin Man is best read with a drink in hand. Do you have a drink? Do you need a refresher? Would you like another? Above all else, it is important that you be drinking!
My god, a lot of alcohol is consumed in this book! It reads as if Ernest Hemingway had taken up crime noir.
Nick Charles, private detective, has hung up his hat. Nora, his wife, kinda wishes he hadn't. She likes wrapping her head around a good mystery. Well, a good one comes along in the form of murder for money, and Charles' old friends are all wrapped up in it.
The plot unfolds essentially in three places: at the Charles', at their friends', and at a speakeasy...each place being as well stocked with liquor as the next. Other than drinking, they don't do much of anything. And they don't really go anywhere, unless it's someplace to drink. They hang around and tie one on while they try to figure out whodunnit.
The writing is solid, the plot feels sound, the characters are a little dramatic (don't get me started on the women...these dames is batty!), but once all that's in motion, the book as a whole feels static. Dashiell Hammett, author of The Maltese Falcon pretty much invented this genre, so perhaps I should lay off. But I'm not always one to treat revered things precious-like...just the stuff that's precious to me.
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