What the Editors Are Reading

Recently, I watched The Maltese Falcon (1941), featuring Bogart, Greenstreet, and Mary Astor.  This prompted me to reexamine, after many years, the work of Dashiell Hammett, on whose novel the film is based.  I was unable to find Falcon in my library, but I did discover The Glass Key and The Continental Op, so I catch myself looking into them at odd moments of the day.  So far, that is the most progress I’ve made with Hammett (I couldn’t get into The Thin Man either, book or movie, a long time ago), but since a novelist can learn from bad novels as well as good ones (sometimes even more), I suppose I shall persist, at least for a while.  But it is tedious going, especially for someone who had also been rereading Raymond Chandler’s luminous “detective...

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