Friday, October 29, 2021

"The Thin Man" by Dashiell Hammett

When I said I was going on a Dashiell Hammett kick, I meant it.  My goodness, I am enjoying his books!  

I feel like, when I read this for the first time, fifteenish years ago, I just didn't get its humor.  In fact, I recall being rather disappointed by it, for whatever reason.  Not sure if I'd seen the Myrna Loy/William Powell movie version already and thought this didn't measure up, or what.

Well, I found it really funny this time around.  As in, it made me laugh aloud, in public, repeatedly.  The wit is as sharp and acidic as a Jane Austen novel, and the plot trots briskly along.  Not as briskly as in the movie, but I enjoyed that the book has more time to develop some of the characters a bit more.  If you don't like sarcasm, you probably won't dig the humor here, but since I do, boy did it ever please me.

The movie version is a little more bubbly and cute than the book, but that's because the movie is a comedy with a mystery in it, and the book is a mystery with humor in it.  Different focuses, different vibes, same story.  Which, if you don't know, features Nick Charles, a retired detective, and his wealthy wife Nora.  They're visiting New York City for Christmas during Prohibition, and people Nick used to know keep ending up dead.  I had forgotten that this is narrated by Nick Charles in first person, which lends a nice, noir-y voice-over feel to the whole proceeding.

Particularly Good Bits: 

Nora said, "I love you, Nicky, because you smell nice and know such fascinating people" (p. 129).

If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It: PG-16 for rather a lot of cussing, some violence, lots of alcohol, and some innuendo in dialog.


This is my 31st book read and reviewed for my third Classics Club list and my fourth for #ANovelMonthOfMystery.

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