Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Aimless Reading: The H's, Part 4 (Dashiell Hammett)

Hammett, Dashiell
Complete Novels

Purchased at the Niagara Falls Outlet Mall discount book store (RIP). I went on a crime fiction jag a few years back after buying this along with the complete Chandler and a couple of Library of America crime anthologies.

I am partial to Chandler over Hammett as a general rule, though I think Red Harvest is as good as any Chandler, except for The Long Goodbye, which I think is the bees knees of crime fiction.

Nowadays I get my crime fix by watching Discovery ID channel, which is basically true crime 24/7. It's kind of sad really, but I can turn it on and watch it for 2 hours and lose all track of time waiting to find out who done it or who got away with it or who went missing, never to be seen again.

from Red Harvest

I first heard Personville called Poisonville by a red-haired mucker named Hickey Dewey in the Big Ship in Butte. He also called his shirt shoit. I didn't think anything of what he had done to the city's name. Later I heard men who could manage their r's give it the same pronunciation. I still didn't see anything in it but the meaningless sort of humor that used to make richardsnary the thieves' word for dictionary. I few years later I went to Personville and learned better.

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