Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Novella June - where is the Thin Man?

I enjoy mysteries and we've never read one for the Novella Group.  So this year I included "The Thin Man" by Dashiell Hammett on our list.  If you are looking for a different kind of book for a book group discussion this is a good choice.  First, there is the language which we agreed takes a little time to get into to rhythm.  Second, there is the time period.  Third, there is the class system.  Fourth, there were plenty of characters and "characters" in this book to keep our discussion going for over an hour.

It was a bonus to learn more about Hammett.  I wish I had done more research prior to our San Francisco trip.  "The Thin Man" is set in NYC and Hammett wrote it in NYC but he is always associated with San Francisco.  He had a very interesting life and, yes, I've looked up the Careers page on the Pinkerton website.   While during his life he had problems with the IRS and was jailed for supporting Communist associates, in 2005 the Senate agree to "a resolution that recognized the importance of the writings of Dashiell Hammett to American literature and culture on the 75th anniversary of the first publication of 'The Maltese Falcon'".  

I kicked off 2008 with "The Maltese Falcon" and Hammett only wrote 5 novels so I have 3 more to go!  He did, however, publish over 80 short stories which I also think would make for interesting reading.

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