Review - The Maltese Falcon

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The Maltese Falcon
Author: Dashiell Hammett
Pages: 200+

Publisher's Description:
A treasure worth killing for. Sam Spade, a slightly shopworn private eye with his own solitary code of ethics. A perfumed grafter names Joel Cairo, a fat man named Gutman, and Brigid O'Shaughnessy, a beautiful and treacherous woman whose loyalties shift at the drop of a dime. These are the ingredients of Dashiell Hammett's coolly glittering gem of detective fiction, a novel that has haunted generations of readers. 

My thoughts:
What makes this book great is Hammett's writing style. The plot itself isn't overly complex or confusing and the characters are believable. One can easily attribute these things to how well written the novel is. I could read Hammett's prose forever, it's just so smooth and clean and I didn't have to go back once to reread anything for clarity. 

My favorite part of the book was probably near the end when Spade makes it clear to Brigid that he's not going to 'play the sap' for her...Also a lot of things made me laugh, mostly names; Ms. Wonderly's real name being Brigid O'Shaughnessy (completely ridiculous to just odd)...or Mr. Gutman the fat man. The book opens with a description of Sam Spade which basically concludes him to favor a blond satan, with a V theme dominating his facial features...and throughout the novel you get the feel that he's sort of a womanizer. But I'm wondering who in the world would find anyone resembling satan attractive? I digress. 

I liked the ending too. It would have been too easy for the falcon to have been authentic...I mean it's been floating around the globe for years, jumping in and out of history and for some sloppy thieves to have procured it, would have been too much. But Hammett knew what he was doing. 

The Maltese Falcon

Four stars.

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