Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Dashiell Hammett free online!!!

Dashiell Hammett's early story "Arson Plus"  is available free online as the Library of America's story of the week. The story was one of Hammett's first, but it's almost miraculously full of the humor and laconic hard-boiled style of his later work.

Hammett was our best crime writer,  the Library of America may be our best publisher, and and the price is right. What's not to like?

© Peter Rozovsky 2012

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Blogger Dana King said...

"Hammett was our best crime writer, the Library of America is arguably our best publisher, and the story is free. What's not to like?"

Not a thing, and nary a word wasted.

Thanks for the link.

March 28, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Concision is appropriate when writing about Hammett.

March 28, 2012  
Anonymous Elisabeth said...

"We poked around in the ashes for a few minutes—not that we expected to find anything, but because it's the nature of man to poke around in ruins."

I knew I'd like this Hammett guy the first time I read this short story.

March 28, 2012  
Blogger The Celtic Kagemusha said...

I've been getting those LofA stories for a year and more, but most of them are still sitting in my inbox, unread.
Maybe even 'unclicked-on'

This will be an exception: one of the un-unclicked-ons; of the un-unread, even

March 29, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Elisabeth, Hammett is the father of hard-boiled detectives, but he may the father as well of every fictional detective who ever paused for an off-hand or humorous remark amid his or detection. The man may get too little credit.

March 29, 2012  
Blogger The Celtic Kagemusha said...

I just chanced upon this when skimming through the .pdf file

"Just at the wrong minute Handerson decided to look over
his shoulder at us—an unevenness in the road twisted his
wheels—his machine swayed—skidded—went over on its side.
Almost immediately, from the heart of the tangle, came a flash
and a bullet moaned past my ear. Another. And then, while I
was still hunting for something to shoot at in the pile of junk
we were drawing down upon, McClump’s ancient and bat-
tered revolver roared in my other ear."

I think this is what they mean by economy; and 'less is more'

March 30, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Here's a reposting of an earlier comment. My Steve-Jobs-manufactured-in-absolutely-humane-working-conditions computer inserted a particularly bizarre correction in the last one. What I intended was:

TCK, that story is worth un-unreading. I've waiting for the LoA to choose a crime story for its story of the week.

Come to think of it, Hammett is probably the only option. I think LoA has published only novels by other crime writers. Has it included chapter-length excerpts from novels as stories of the week?

March 30, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

TCK, Hammett was so much better than everyone else writing crime fiction around him. It's like Babe Ruth hitting 54, and 59, and 60 home runs when the other top power hitters in baseball were hitting 18 and 19.

March 30, 2012  

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