Lost Stories

( 2 )

Overview

Dashiell Hammett, the creator of Sam Spade, The Maltese Falcon, and The Thin Man, was one of the 20th century’s most influential and entertaining authors. Even so, many of Hammett’s stories—including some of his best—have been out of the reach of anyone but a handful of scholars and collectors, until now. This essential compendium rescues 21 long-lost Hammett stories, all either never collected in an anthology or unavailable for decades. These stories appear nowhere else, and represent a variety of styles from ...

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Overview

Dashiell Hammett, the creator of Sam Spade, The Maltese Falcon, and The Thin Man, was one of the 20th century’s most influential and entertaining authors. Even so, many of Hammett’s stories—including some of his best—have been out of the reach of anyone but a handful of scholars and collectors, until now. This essential compendium rescues 21 long-lost Hammett stories, all either never collected in an anthology or unavailable for decades. These stories appear nowhere else, and represent a variety of styles from the famous mysterysmith: his first detective fiction, humorous satires, adventure yarns, a sensitive autobiographical piece, and a Thin Man story told with photos. In addition, all stories have been restored to their original versions, replacing often wholesale cuttings with the original text for the first time. To round out this celebration of Hammett, three-time Edgar Award–winner Joe Gores has written an introduction describing how Hammett influenced literature, movies, television, and Gores’ own life.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Lost Stories qualifies as essential reading for anyone interested in the development of the crime-fiction genre." —CrescentBlues.com

"Emery does do a wonderful, illuminating job of chronicling the life and times of the author." —Ruminator

Publishers Weekly
Diehard fans of hard-boiled king Dashiell Hammett have craved a collection like this for decades, gathering fiction currently unavailable in book form, plus a handful of tales never reprinted anywhere. Period illustrations embellish certain stories, and the texts often refer to original typescripts. Casual readers, however, may find the overall quality disappointing. Most of the stories are minor. Many are quite brief. A few tales yet remain uncollected, so this is not a one-stop shop, and one of the best from this book, "Night Shade" has already appeared in the Vintage Hammett (2005). As if unsure of the premise, the editor immerses the stories within what is, in effect, a short biography of Hammett written by himself-almost half the total page count. Edgar-winner Joe Gores provides an introduction. (Sept.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Lost might be an overstatement, but these 21 Hammett mysteries are tough to find elsewhere, and it's great having them together. The stories, which run the breadth of the author's career--from the 1920s through the 1940s--are buttressed by a swell introduction by fellow mystery writer and Hammett aficionado Joe Gores. Hammett's Lost Stories is must reading for mystery buffs. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780972589819
  • Publisher: Vince Emery Productions
  • Publication date: 9/28/2005
  • Series: The Ace Performer Collection series
  • Edition description: 21 Long-lost Stories
  • Pages: 342
  • Sales rank: 892,879
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Dashiell Hammett

Dashiell Hammett was the creator of Sam Spade and the author of The Maltese Falcon and The Thin Man. He was a Pinkerton's detective, an advertising man, a soldier in the U.S. Army during both World Wars, an Academy Award-nominated screenwriter, a political activist, and a prolific short story writer. Joe Gores is a writer of novels, short stories, and screenplays, and the recipient of three Edgar Awards. He has written scripts for Kojak, Columbo, Magnum P. I., Remington Steele, and other television series. He is a past president of the Mystery Writers of America. Gores' popular novels and stories about the detective firm Daniel Kearney Associates are based on his own 12 years of experience as a San Francisco private eye. He lives in Fairfax, California.

Biography

Dashiell Samuel Hammett was born in St. Mary's County. He grew up in Philadelphia and Baltimore. Hammett left school at the age of fourteen and held several kinds of jobs thereafter -- messenger boy, newsboy, clerk, operator, and stevedore, finally becoming an operative for Pinkerton's Detective Agency. Sleuthing suited young Hammett, but World War I intervened, interrupting his work and injuring his health.

When Sergeant Hammett was discharged from the last of several hospitals, he resumed detective work. He soon turned to writing, and in the late 1920s Hammett became the unquestioned master of detective-story fiction in America. In The Maltese Falcon (1930) he first introduced his famous private eye, Sam Spade. The Thin Man (1932) offered another immortal sleuth, Nick Charles. Red Harvest (1929), The Dain Curse (1929), and The Glass Key (1931) are among his most successful novels. During World War II, Hammett again served as sergeant in the Army, this time for more than two years, most of which he spent in the Aleutians.

Hammett's later life was marked in part by ill health, alcoholism, a period of imprisonment related to his alleged membership in the Communist Party, and by his long-time companion, the author Lillian Hellman, with whom he had a very volatile relationship. His attempt at autobiographical fiction survives in the story "Tulip," which is contained in the posthumous collection The Big Knockover (1966, edited by Lillian Hellman). Another volume of his stories, The Continental Op (1974, edited by Stephen Marcus), introduced the final Hammett character: the "Op," a nameless detective (or "operative") who displays little of his personality, making him a classic tough guy in the hard-boiled mold -- a bit like Hammett himself.

Author biography courtesy of Random House, Inc.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Samuel Dashiell Hammett (full name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      May 27, 1894
    2. Place of Birth:
      St. Mary, Maryland
    1. Date of Death:
      January 10, 1961
    2. Place of Death:
      New York

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2007

    A reviewer

    The tight dialogue and sparse descriptions Hammett is known for had to come from somewhere, and these stories are it. Not perfect, as he learned how to write, but still some stimulating reads.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2005

    Buyer Beware!

    Lost Stories is a rip-off. The short stories fill no more than a hundred pages. Only a few are near Hammett's usual quality. There are no Sam Spade or Continental Op stories and only a few suspense yarns. Many are only one or two pages. The biography linking the story together is shy on analysis and does not explain why Hammett suffered from writer¿s block the last 30 years of his life. I¿m docking the book a star because of the deceptive dust jacket. I was fortunate enough to read a library copy and I suggest you do the same if you are interested.

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