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Secret Agent X-9

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Raymond, Alex New York: [S.l. ] 1983 Trade paperback Very good. No dust jacket as issued. xii, 225 p. : chiefly ill.; 26 cm. Includes Illustrations. Contents: You're the top! ... --Mystery of the silent guns--The Martyn case--The torch car case--The Fixer. Read more Show Less

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GOOD. *AUTOGRAPHED/SIGNED* by William F. Nolan on page across from title page with hand-drawn illustration of Dashiell Hammett. Red illustrated wraps, bagged for protection, ... approx. 6'' x 10'', shelf wear, faded wraps, chips to edges, rub wear to corners and spine ends, yellowing page edges. Read more Show Less

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Possible retired library copy, some have markings or writing. May or may not include accessories such as CD or access codes.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
One of the best-known pulp writers of the 1930s, Hammett also wrote a comic strip. Commissioned by the King Features Syndicate as an attempt to cash in on the popularity of Chester Gould's Dick Tracy, with artwork by Flash Gordon's Alex Raymond, Secret Agent X-9 ran from January 1934 to late 1935. In an excellent introduction, comics' historian Bill Blackbeard warns that the strip is at its best for ``one brilliant 3 -month stretch,'' when X-9 goes after ``The Top.'' After that it sinks into tiresome formula, without any of the charm that made Hammett so popular in the first place. Blackbeard attributes this to massive creative conflicts between Hammett and the syndicate. This is worth it only if you already have a large pulp or Hammett collection, or for Blackbeard's historical documentation.-- Keith R.A. DeCandido, NYPL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780930330057
  • Publisher: International Polygonics, Limited
  • Publication date: 1/28/1985
  • Pages: 225

Meet the Author

Dashiell Hammett
Dashiell Hammett
An elegant figure with a real background as a private eye, Hammett pioneered hard-boiled fiction with his plain-spoken dialogue and classic characters such as Sam Spade, Nick Charles, and the Continental Op. Opening the door for a slew of imitators, Hammett left an indelible mark with a relatively short body of work.

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

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