Everybody drinks constantly and says 'You know as much about it as I do.' It's very entertaining.
The movie is even better; of course, it has Myrna Loy
Lots of witty banter in this classic "who dunnit?" Very entertaining.
Having never read a Hammett book before, it was suggested that I start off with his Nick and Nora Charles for a "lighter" read. While I enjoyed the interaction and banter between the couple (though I do have to admit that I expected Nora to have greater impact on the story), the other characters down right irritated me. Add to it a convoluted and tangled mystery and various tangents that detract from the mystery, and you have a slow, bogged down tale. It wasn't terrible, but I expected much more.
Hammett, Nick and Nora make an unbeatable team.
Hammett is a master of spare, evocative prose. His sleuths are sophisticated and wealthy but with grit and underworld (it is during Prohibition) connections. The 30s movie of this wasn't off the mark, except for dwelling on the glamorous night life (reflecting the penchant of the Depression when people didn't need much realism in film, they had too much of it at home.) Witty banter between characters is de rigeur.
Great book. Different from the movie. Worth a read.
Nick Charles, his lovely young wife Nora, and their dog Asta are spending Christmas in a glitzy Manhattan hotel?days in bed, nights in speakeasies, room service at all hours. Nick used to be a detective, but people find it hard to ignore those words ?used to.? So when a sweet young thing spots Nick, remembers him working a case for her father, and asks him to find that very same father (the thin man of the title, now missing), Nick takes it all in stride. But then the thin man?s mistress is murdered. Soon cops, lawyers, and the thin man?s eccentric family are invading the Charles? hotel room, forcing Nick and Nora to quit their lounging and solve the case. Nick would rather drink martinis, but Nora?s game (Asta too) and soon the couple is getting down to the sordid truth. Wealthy and glamorous, sarcastic and wisecracking, Nick and Nora should be annoying?but they are utterly captivating because they completely adore each other. The Thin Man films of the 1930s and 40s (starring William Powell and Myrna Loy) have withstood the test of time with as much charm and wit as Hammett?s original crime caper.
In my opinion, this is Hammett's best. Nick Charles is Hammett's slickest (and wittiest) detective.
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