The Hunter and Other Stories

( 1 )


THE HUNTER AND OTHER STORIES is a unique literary publication from one of the greatest writers of the 20th century, Dashiell Hammett. This volume includes both new Hammett stories gleaned from his personal archives along with screen treatments long buried in film-industry files. The best of Dashiell Hammett's unfamiliar treasures have been rescued from deep in these archives: screen stories, unpublished and rarely published fiction, and intriguing unfinished narratives. Hammett is regarded as both a pioneer and ...

See more details below
$18.31 price
(Save 26%)$25.00 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (38) from $1.99   
  • New (15) from $4.12   
  • Used (23) from $1.99   
The Hunter and Other Stories

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$9.99 price
(Save 33%)$15.00 List Price


THE HUNTER AND OTHER STORIES is a unique literary publication from one of the greatest writers of the 20th century, Dashiell Hammett. This volume includes both new Hammett stories gleaned from his personal archives along with screen treatments long buried in film-industry files. The best of Dashiell Hammett's unfamiliar treasures have been rescued from deep in these archives: screen stories, unpublished and rarely published fiction, and intriguing unfinished narratives. Hammett is regarded as both a pioneer and master of hard-boiled detective fiction, but these dozen and half stories that explore failed romance, courage in the face of conflict, hypocrisy, and crass opportunism, show him in a different light. The collection also includes two full-length screen treatments. "On the Make" is the basis for the rarely seen 1935 film Mr. Dynamite, starring a corrupt detective who never misses an opportunity to take advantage of his clients rather than help them. "The Kiss-Off" is the basis for City Streets (1931), with Sylvia Sydney and Gary Cooper caught in a romance complicated by racketeering's obligations and temptations. Like the screen stories from RETURN OF THE THIN MAN, they read as novellas-rich in both story and character.

Publication of these new volumes is due to the passion of Julie M. Rivett, Hammett's granddaughter and a well-regarded Hammett scholar, as well as Richard Layman, the author of the first full-length biography of Hammett, Shadow Man, the definitive bibliography, and other works. Rivett and Layman are trustees for Hammett's literary estate and have co-edited two previous Hammett volumes-Selected Letters of Dashiell Hammett and Dashiell Hammett: A Daughter Remembers. THE HUNTER AND OTHER STORIES will appeal to longtime Hammett fans, and introduce a new generation to one of the most influential voices in American fiction.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Reviewed by Don Herron. I know fans of crime writer Dashiell Hammett (1894–1961) who have been waiting decades to read the stories collected in this book. Stories from his personal files that he probably never tried to sell, a couple more that haven’t been reprinted in over 80 years—plus never-before-published screen treatments and a fragment starring his iconic PI, Sam Spade. Most come from an archive placed by his longtime companion, Lillian Hellman, in the Ransom Center, University of Texas, and it’s taken all these years to get the rights cleared, a saga in itself. Nothing here gets close to Hammett’s white-hot run of fiction in the pulp Black Mask from 1923–1930, the long series of tales featuring the short, fat Continental Op, building up to the peak novels The Big Knock-Over and Red Harvest, and the creation of Sam Spade for The Maltese Falcon. That’s where he made his rep, allowing him to cash out in Hollywood in the 1930s. By 1934 and publication of The Thin Man and a handful of stories, Hammett was done with prose fiction—whatever he tried to write after that was left as fragments for the Ransom archive. But if you’re a Hammett fan, you’ll want to savor any leftovers from the feast. Under the section head “Crime,” the title story is one of a small group of unpublished detective tales about a short, fat investigator bullying a confession out of a suspect, but lacking some touch that might have made it solid. Other sections use the headings “Men” and “Men and Women.” Most intriguing is the never-before-published “Magic,” a tale of sorcery perhaps intended for the pulp Weird Tales—it’s as if Hammett is channeling WT mainstay Clark Ashton Smith. Pulp scholars will be talking about that one for years. “On the Way” appeared in Harper’s Bazaar in 1932, an autobiographical romp—featuring the author and a woman based on Hellman cruising the bars and dance clubs in Hollywood—which sees print in a Hammett collection for the first time. “Screen Stories” collects three Hammett treatments, including “The Kiss Off,” the basis for the Gary Cooper film City Streets, and “On the Make,” originally a vehicle in which Sam Spade went crooked, but this version features a shady PI named Gene Richmond, though it does resurrect the gangster the Dis-and-Dat Kid from The Big Knock-Over. Always good to see old pals one more time. The collection wraps up with a lost Sam Spade story, “A Knife Will Cut for Anybody,” the only fragment included in the book. Not from the Texas holdings, this item comes from an unnamed mystery writer who bought it on the antiquarian market years ago—as rare as rare can be. I understand that the e-book edition will include other fragments as extras, so die-hard collectors will want that, too. This may not be the last Hammett book: current collections do not gather all his work—no less than two Op tales are missing—but we’re getting close to the end. And then, someday, we fans will want definitive editions—and few authors deserve them more. Agent: Joy Harris, Joy Harris Literary Agency. (Nov.) Don Herron is the author of The Dashiell Hammett Tour, based on his long-lived guided walk, and Willeford, a biography of cult crime writer Charles Willeford.
Library Journal
Dashiell Hammett was one of the founders of the hard-boiled detective genre with novels such as The Maltese Falcon and The Thin Man, but he also wrote several other novels and many short stories. This volume, edited with commentaries by Layman (Shadow Man: The Life of Dashiell Hammett) and Rivett, Hammett's granddaughter, includes his uncollected short fiction. Several of these are mysteries, but Hammett was a working writer who was always trying to broaden his appeal. Some of the stories (such as "Fragments of Justice" and "An Inch and a Half of Glory") would have been right at home in the pages of The New Yorker or the Saturday Evening Post. Hammett's tenure in Hollywood is represented by three treatments for the studios, two of which actually became films. Fans of Hammett's gift for swiftly paced plotting and his ear for the language of the day will be pleased to find much evidence of this in these stories. VERDICT While not essential for the hard-boiled mystery fan (there are volumes of the collected crime novels and short stories available), this work would be a good companion to the Library of America volumes for the Hammett completist.—Dan Forrest, Western Kentucky Univ. Libs., Bowling Green
Library Journal
Edited by Rivett, Hammett's granddaughter and a noted scholar on the master of hard-boiled crime fiction, and Hammett biographer Layman, this book should get some attention. Among its entries are new stories found in Hammett's archives, some rarely published pieces, and screen treatments that had vanished into various film-industry files.
From the Publisher

“For aficionados of the genre, the unearthing of new Hammett stories is akin to Christians discovering an epilogue to the New Testament. . . . These stories are among Hammett’s best. . . . [His] prose is always savvy and sturdy, but for the man who invented ‘hard-boiled,’ it can also be surprisingly elegant.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“This fascinating collection of hitherto unpublished or ungathered tales . . . will be a treat for any fan of the father of the hardboiled detective story.”—Wall Street Journal

“Hammett’s talent allowed him to create moving and realistic characters using seemingly perfunctory details—the literary equivalent of a Picasso doodle. . . . Any Hammett fan will surely want to peruse this.”—Columbus Dispatch

The Hunter and Other Stories caulks a crack in American literature. . . . The non-crime stories in The Hunter and Other Stories are good enough to make one wonder what a different kind of writer Hammett might have become had he published these stories before he began to make a living with crime fiction.”—The Daily Beast

“Layman and Rivett have expertly introduced and edited these stories. . . . The Hunter and Other Stories is a very good book by a great writer. Perhaps more important, it opens a wide window upon the creativity of one of our most important American storytellers of the twentieth century.”—Barnes & Noble Review

“Very entertaining writing. . . . This book is a must-read.”—Huntington News

“Hammett uses words like scalpels to surgically reveal slivers of seediness whether it concerns detectives or wronged men or wronged women. If you want to discover why Sam Spade’s dad burst onto the scene like a 30s literary nova, here’s your chance.”—Will Durst, Progressive Magazine

"A pure pleasure to read."—Jeff Baker,

“A labor of love . . . this collection is certainly a worthy monument to an important and brilliant literary career, one that reveals a heretofore hidden side of one of America’s most important fiction authors.”—

“Fans of crime writer Dashiell Hammett . . . have been waiting decades to read the stories collected in this book.”—Publishers Weekly (boxed review)


"Tantalizing."—Detectives Beyond Borders


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

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

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

The Barnes & Noble Review
Yes, Dashiell Hammett was a crime writer, but what else was he? After more than fifty years, a collection appears to show us that he experimented with different subjects and forms -- including the character-driven "literary fiction" that is the stereotypical antithesis of plot-driven crime writing.

It turns out that these extremes aren't so far apart in Hammett's hands. To explain why not, let's look first at his substantial legacy. Dashiell Hammett wasn't just any crime writer. As the leading member of the first wave of hard-boiled crime writers, he sparked a revolution that changed the style and attitude of detective storytelling. The laconic, emotionally detached hard-boiled style became the leading standard for the genre in Hammett's time, and its popularity exploded in succeeding generations. Today, the hard- boiled compels writers and readers from Los Angeles to Bangkok, making Hammett one of the great avatars of genre fiction of any sort.

Hammett harbored literary ambition from early on. He honed his craft in short stories that he published during the 1920s, mostly in pulp magazines like Black Mask. These he saw as his apprenticeship. When he turned to novels at the end of the decade, he did so because he believed himself ready, as he put it in a letter, to "make literature" of a genre that had ridden to popularity in the ephemeral dime novels of previous generations.

Beginning in the late 1920s, Hammett's extraordinary fecundity peaked with a handful of great crime novels that appeared one after another. In Red Harvest (1929), Hammett's recurring detective character, the otherwise unnamed Continental Op, cleans up a corrupt western city by catalyzing a bloodbath in which the main actors mostly all do each other in. The Dain Curse followed the same year. Then came The Maltese Falcon (1930), immortalized onscreen by John Huston in 1941, featuring Humphrey Bogart's brilliant performance as detective Sam Spade. Huston directed from his own screenplay, faithfully adapted from the novel. Hammett followed the Falcon with the less- noticed but terrific The Glass Key (1931), a story that searches for the meaning of friendship and loyalty.

Hammett's novels brought him fortune, fame, and respect, and hard-boiled writing ascended with him. But Hammett didn't long remain on that train. The Thin Man (1934), a detective story more aristocratically urbane than grittily urban, showcased different effects in his storytelling. Then Hammett stopped writing books.

That didn't mean he stopped writing. He produced some stories for more high-toned magazines, and he worked as a screenwriter in Hollywood. He also wrote stories that were never published. Nevertheless, it would be fair to say that after his gloriously productive decade beginning in the early 1920s, Hammett lost the thread. Eventually impoverished by careless spending and disabled by alcoholism, he declined into a long silence before his death in 1961.

When great writers pass away, it falls to their executors to curate their reputations. Lillian Hellman, a well-known writer in her own right and Hammett's on-and-off lover and companion during the last three decades of his life, was his first such posthumous guardian. Hellman wanted the world to remember Hammett as a great crime writer, so she mined his archive for crime stories that Hammett had never collected in his lifetime. In today's parlance, we would say that she enhanced Hammett's brand.

Today Hammett is finally benefiting from what marketers call "brand extension." His granddaughter, Julie M. Rivett, and Hammett biographer Richard Layman have now collaborated to bring the lesser-known aspects of Hammett into view. Their collection, The Hunter and Other Stories, serves up a few crime stories as an hors d'oeuvre (and a false start to a new Sam Spade story as lagniappe), but the bulk of this interesting new volume is devoted to Hammett's experiments with other kinds of plots and effects. Here are city and drawing room fictions, impressionistic character sketches, and also screen stories that Hammett wrote during his Hollywood stint.

Hammett distinguished himself from his hard-boiled contemporaries through his handling of feeling. His early peers (pulp legends like Raoul Whitfield and Paul Cain) essentially exiled emotion from their work. Their characters show little evidence that they feel anything. Hammett, on the other hand, portrayed the act of emotional suppression, and thereby hinted at the existence of emotion beneath the hard-boiled exterior. Hammett's characters maintain their reserve, but the author allows the reader to see the effort that they expend to do so: think of Sam Spade explaining to his lover, Brigid O'Shaughnessy, why he has to turn her in at the end of The Maltese Falcon. The strain shows, and with it the humanity.

This sensitivity readily extends beyond crime stories. Even when Hammett was publishing the detective fiction that built his reputation, he was writing others about sexual politics, male rivalry, and the Walter Mitty–like fantasies of ordinary office workers. Hammett writes in one story of a man whose moment of courage during a fire inflates his view of himself ever after (and not for the better), and in another story of a man whose cowardice during a different fire reveals an oddly thoughtful egotism. He enters the conflicted mind of a young woman preparing to defy her mother and meet a young man for a weekend tryst. "Magic," a story of the supernatural, reads as a loose allegory of Hammett's mordant view of writing and fame soon before he fell silent: "To the extent one becomes a magician," Hammett writes, "one ceases to be a man."

Layman and Rivett have expertly introduced and edited these stories, divided them into categories, and dated them, sometimes through clues provided by setting or the home address Hammett typed atop unpublished manuscripts. This editorial apparatus is edifying, and never intrusive.

So are these stories as good as the crime classics we remember Hammett by? Sometimes -- but that's an unfairly high standard. The Hunter and Other Stories is a very good book by a great writer. Perhaps more important, it opens a wide window upon the creativity of one of the most important American storytellers of the twentieth century.

Leonard Cassuto is a professor of English at Fordham University and the author of Hard-Boiled Sentimentality: The Secret History of American Crime Stories, now available from Columbia University Press. He can be found on the Web at www.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802121585
  • Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/4/2013
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 988,736
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Dashiell Hammett

Dashiell Hammett (1894-1961) was an American author of hard-boiled detective novels and short stories, a screenplay writer, and a political activist. The enduring characters he created include Sam Spade (The Maltese Falcon), Nick and Nora Charles (The Thin Man), and the Continental Op (Red Harvest and The Dain Curse).


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.

Read More Show Less
    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 4
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 10, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    This collection of mostly previously unpublished stories found i

    This collection of mostly previously unpublished stories found in various sources shows Dashiell Hammett as a versatile and gifted writer of more than just crime stories. It spans from the early twenties through various phases of his life and is grouped in four subject categories: Crime, of course; Men, Men and Women; and, Screen stories. It includes 17 short stories and three screen stories.

    In an appendix, the beginning of a Sam Spade story or novel is included by special arrangement with a private collector, along with unedited fragments Hammett left behind. This material, of course, is probably of interest only to specialists, but the rest should warrant reading by those who remember him as only the author of “The Maltese Falcon” and gain a better perspective of Hammett, and it is recommended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)