RARA-AVIS: The Glass Key

From: J.C. Hocking (jchocking@yahoo.com)
Date: 21 Mar 2010

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    Sometime back someone was saying nice things here about Hammett's The Glass Key, which got me thinking that I hadn't read it in many years. So I broke it out and read it. There is something about the better hard-boiled authors of the 1920's and '30s, and Hammett in particular.  Their style is so transparent that I literally forget that I am reading prose.  I know the characters, plot, even specific scenes of The Glass Key very well, but the prose is so immersively lucid that I am swallowed by the narrative and it all unfolds for me afresh. I imagine that much of this is due to my own personal appreciation for (vulnerability to?) that particular style of writing, but it is a fine thing.  Nothing much better than sitting down to read a few pages, and then starting up from the text to find that you've read a quarter of the book and didn't even notice it going by.



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