Home --- Professional Books --- English-American Studies --- American Lit. 
  Please direct all inquiries to: orders@leabooks.com

American Literature
Library of America
Dashiell Hammett

IMPORTANT NOTICE: All prices are subject to change. The prices listed here are for reference only and were the publisher's suggested retail price at the time we posted this catalogue. Usually, LEA Book Distributors will charge the publisher's suggested US retail price or at times the publisher's price for foreign customers. Check with us for latest price changes.

Dashiell Hammett. Complete Novels
Complete Novels book jacket Edited by: Steven Marcus
Library of America
ISBN: 1-883011-67-1
Series Number: 110
Product Code: 201147
Price: $35.00
In a few years of extraordinary creative energy, Dashiell Hammett invented the modern American crime novel. In the words of Raymond Chandler, "Hammett gave murder back to the kind of people that commit it for reasons, not just to provide a corpse.... He put these people down on paper as they were, and he made them talk and think in the language they customarily used for these purposes." Beginning as a prolific contributor to the pulp magazines of the 1920s, he succeeded during his brief career in making his kind of crime fiction a crucial part of the fabric of American writing: a genre that did not evade reality buy rather embodied the grittiness and harshness of modern urban life.

The five novels that Hammett published between 1929 and 1934, collected here in one volume, have become part of modern American culture, creating archetypal characters and establishing the ground rules and characteristic tone for a whole tradition of hardboiled writing. Drawing on his own experiences as a Pinkerton detective, Hammett gave a harshly realistic edge to novels that were at the same time infused with a spirit of romantic adventure. His lean and deliberately simplified prose won admiration from such contemporaries as Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, and William Faulkner.

Each novel is distinct in mood and structure. Red Harvest (1929) epitomizes the violence and momentum of his Black Mask stories about the anonymous detective the Continental Op. In this raucous and nightmarish evocation of political corruption and gang warfare in a western mining town (modeled on Butte, Montana) nicknamed "Poisonville," the Op takes Machiavellian pleasure in pitting one faction against another to bring about their mutual destruction. The Op returns in The Dain Curse (1929) to preside over a more ornately melodramatic tale involving jewel theft, drugs, and a mysterious religious cult. With The Maltese Falcon (1930) and its protagonist Sam Spade, Hammett achieved his most enduring popular success. A tightly constructed quest story with an unforgettable cast of eccentric adventurers, it is at the same time shot through with a sense of disillusionment and the arbitrariness of personal destiny.

The Glass Key (1931), an exploration of city politics at their most scurrilous, tracing intricate patterns of loyalty and betrayal in scenes charged with drama. His last novel, The Thin Man (1934), is a ruefully comic tale distinct from the rest of his work. Paying homage to the traditional mystery form, it is best remembered for its protagonists Nick and Nora Charles, the sophisticated inebriates who would enjoy a long afterlife in the movies.

 

Dashiell Hammett. Crime Stories and Other Writings
Crime Stories and Other Writings book jacket Edited by: Steven Marcus
Library of America
ISBN: 1-931082-00-6
Series Number: 125
Product Code: 201147
Price: $35.00
In scores of stories written for Black Mask and other pulp magazines in the 1920's and 1930's, Dashiell Hammett used the vernacular adventure tale to register the jarring textures and revved-up cadences of modern America. His stories opened up crime fiction to the realities of American streets and American speech. Now The Library of America collects the finest of them: 24 in all, along with some revealing essays and an early version of his novel The Thin Man. The texts, reprinted here for the first time, are those that appeared originally in the pulps, without the cuts and revisions introduced by later editors.

Hammett's years of experience as a Pinkerton detective give even his most outlandishly plotted mysteries a gritty credibility. Mixing melodramatic panache and poker-faced comedy, his stories are hard-edged entertainment for an era of headlong change and extravagant violence, tracking the devious, nearly nihilistic exploits of con men and blackmailers, slumming socialites and deadpan assassins. As guide through this underworld he created the Continental Op, the nameless and deliberately unheroic detective separated from the brutality and corruption around him only by his professionalism.



Remember, we commit ourselves to provide
ANY BOOK PUBLISHED IN ENGLISH OR IN SPANISH!

  Please direct all inquiries to: orders@leabooks.com
Home --- Professional Books --- English-American Studies --- American Lit. 

LEA Book Distributors 1999