Re: RARA-AVIS: Hammett biog

From: Terrill Lankford (
Date: 22 Jul 2000

ejmd wrote:

> The Diane Johnson biog is probably the least good---according to Willliam F.
> Nolan, anyway, who published a long list of corrections to all the factual
> errors.

Dreyer's probably doesn't think much of Haagen Daas either.

I don't know how "factual" Johnson's bio is - and I take all bios with a huge grain of salt - but it's damn good reading. (Although I have to admit that I read it 10-15 years ago.) Aside from writing award winning bios, Johnson is also a very talented novelist and screenwriter. She knows how to spin a credible yarn. This helps immensely when writing about a writer who didn't write for much of his life.

Maybe the way to approach it would be to read Johnson's entertaining bio, then Nolan's fact check list.

Haven't read the Hellman/Hammett book yet. What is the verdict from all you other rare birds on that one?


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