RARA-AVIS: Hammet and Cain

From: Channing ( filmtroll@sbcglobal.net)
Date: 01 Oct 2007

I think one of the problems with the appreciation of Hammett's novels is that although they were collected as
"novels", the Dain Curse, Red Harvest and the Big Knockover were originally written as interlocking short stories. I remember suffering a sense of disconnect with the Dain Curse because parts 3,4 take place years after part 1 and 2 and they're only vaguely connected. So it's not really fair to criticize the plotting as Hammett wrote them as separate stories.

When Hammett finally set out to write a proper novel,
"The Maltese Falcon", it is probably the finest hard-boiled detective novel ever written.
  Comparing Cain to Hammett is like comparing noir to hard-boiled. They're the grandfathers of the modern crime novel and their names have become examples of greatness in their respective oeuvre.


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