RARA-AVIS: Hammett, Chandler and their influenc

From: Bludis Jack ( buildsnburns@yahoo.com)
Date: 24 Mar 2004

I have always thought the Hammett wrote the most influention hardboiled novel with "The Maltese Falcon" and that Chandler the most influential body of hardboiled work with Marlowe.

That being said, I am one of the few people I know who thinks that most of Hammett's potboiler work--his long stories, his pieced together novels--are inferior in quality to many of those writers who came later--the MacDonalds, JDM and Ross, and the early Parker stuff--and also inferior to his work written as novels, like "The Glass Key," and "The Maltese Falcon."

I never did like "The Thin Man," neither the book nor the movie. It was too cozy for my taste, and when he started to give everybody the same initial because he found a monagramed handkerchief, I thought he was just being cute.

Chandler, even in his stories was cool and methodical, working from a premise to a solution.

Hammett was just bang, bang, shoot 'em up, with a cozy like gimick that solved all the problems.

Reading "Red Harvest" was like a bumpy ride on a safari--sound and fury signifying nothing except a lot of dead things, in Hammett's case, people.

That's my take on it, and I'll bet I am far in the minority here, at least in my opinion of "Red Harvest."

Jack Bludis

===== Now: "The Big Switch," and "The Deal Killer" Coming in June: "Shadow of the Dahlia" http://jackbludis.com/

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