Return of the Thin Man

Return of the Thin Man

2.3 10
by Dashiell Hammett
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Dashiell Hammett was a crime writer who elevated the genre to true literature, and The Thin Man was Hammett's last--and most successful--novel. Following the enormous success of "The Thin Man" movie in 1934, Hammett was commissioned to write stories for additional films. He wrote two full-length novellas, for the films that became "After the Thin Man" and "Another

See more details below

Overview

Dashiell Hammett was a crime writer who elevated the genre to true literature, and The Thin Man was Hammett's last--and most successful--novel. Following the enormous success of "The Thin Man" movie in 1934, Hammett was commissioned to write stories for additional films. He wrote two full-length novellas, for the films that became "After the Thin Man" and "Another Thin Man". Bringing back his classic characters, retired private investigator Nick Charles and his former debutante wife Nora, who return home to find Nora’s family gardener murdered, pulling the couple back into another deadly game of cat and mouse. Hammett has written two fully satisfying "Thin Man" stories, with classic, barbed Hammett dialogue and fully developed characters.

Neither of these stories has been previously published (except for a partial in a small magazine 25 years ago). The Return of the Thin Man is a hugely entertaining read that brings back two classic characters from one of the greatest of mystery writers who ever lived. This book is destined to become essential reading for Hammett's millions of fans and a new generation of mystery readers the world over.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Hammett completists and film fans will best appreciate this collection containing the story treatments that became After the Thin Man (1936) and Another Thin Man (1939), the sequels to the original Hollywood hit, The Thin Man (1934), starring William Powell and Myrna Loy as imbibing investigators Nick and Nora Charles, abetted by their adorable dog, Asta. Written in movie shorthand (“Nick and Nora exchange suspicious glances”), these treatments don’t represent Hammett’s artistic peak, though there’s the occasional nugget (“He is having the first ‘clean’ love affair of his life and thinks this slut is Joan of Arc”). Hammett scholar Richard Layman and Hammett’s granddaughter, Julie M. Rivett, provide background on such matters as negotiations with MGM. Amazingly, the alcoholic author reported he spent 10 months sober while writing one of these bibulous scripts. In the 1939 effort, one of the two words uttered by the infant Nick Jr. is drunk. A short unproduced treatment from 1938 titled “Sequel to the Thin Man” rounds out the book. Agent: Joy Harris, Joy Harris Literary. (Nov.)
From the Publisher

PRAISE FOR RETURN OF THE THIN MAN

"This first unabridged appearance of two Nick and Nora Charles 'novellas' by Hammett should be an occasion for delight, and it is." —The Wall Street Journal

"Read Return of the Thin Man and rediscover why Dashiell Hammett was the peerless master of crime fiction in all its dark and bloody glory." —New York Journal of Books

"A volume no fan of Hammett's, of Nick and Nora Charles, of 'The Thin Man' series should even think of doing without." —The Huffington Post

PRAISE FOR DASHIELL HAMMETT

"I think Hammett's stories are about the best there are." —Ross MacDonald

"Hammett's prose was clean and entirely unique. His characters were as sharply and economically defined as any in American fiction." —The New York Times

"Hammett . . . wrote scenes that seemed never to have been written before." —Raymond Chandler

"The exuberance of language, the relish with which seedieness is described . . . it's a pleasure to imagine young Hammett cutting loose with whatever rascally high jinks he could cook up." —Margaret Atwood

"An acknowledged literary landmark." —The New York Times Book Review

Kirkus Reviews
Yet another trip to the Hammett archive discloses the two screen stories on which the films After the Thin Man (1936) and Another Thin Man (1939) were based, along with a bonus, an unproduced (and probably unproducible) outline for a Sequel to The Thin Man. The biggest surprise here is how closely the husband-and-wife team of Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett hewed to Hammett's novella-length stories in preparing the two films' screenplays. Fans of the films will find virtually all the suspects and plot twists already present in Hammett, together with much of the banter between retired detective Nick Charles and his socialite wife, Nora, all wrapped up in the lightly comic tone established by The Thin Man (1934). Who would have thought that Hammett himself wrote Nick's burlesque response to the invitation from Nora's aunt's butler to "walk this way," or that Goodrich and Hackett were mainly responsible for streamlining and simplifying Hammett's twisty storylines and providing more business for Nora, whom Hammett tends to slight in favor of her more active husband? After the Thin Man--which takes the couple back to San Francisco to meet the corpse of Nora's former gardener, and eventually that of her cousin Selma's missing husband--is the more amusing, more inventive, and more satisfyingly mystifying of the two. Another Thin Man--which, borrowing much of its material from Hammett's story "The Farewell Murder," presents the couple with an infant son before they're summoned to the Long Island estate of imperious Colonel Burr MacFay, the ex-partner of Nora's late father, whose choleric conviction that he's going to be murdered is eventually proved correct--offers more for Nora to do, though in an altogether more domestic role. Judicious editors Richard Layman and Julie M. Rivett provide a notable addendum to the Hammett canon, even if both tales and their brief addendum read like screen treatments and the volume's title perpetuates the canard that the thin man is Nick Charles.
New York Times
“Peter Ganim and Nicola Barber shine as the witty Nick and Nora Charles, and Scott Brick’s narration securely anchors the story.”
AudioFile

Wisconsin Bookwatch
“Fans of the films will find virtually all the suspects and plot twists already present in Hammett, together with much of the banter between retired detective Nick Charles and his socialite wife, Nora, all wrapped up in the lightly comic tone established by [the original movie].”
Kirkus

Booklist
“Caustic dialogue, shocking plot twists, and edge-of-one’s-seat suspense characterize these masterpieces of crime fiction, brought vividly to life with a stellar full-cast performance. Return of the Thin Man is an absolute ‘must-have’ for fans of Hammett’swork.”
Wisconsin Bookwatch

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802120502
Publisher:
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date:
11/06/2012
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >