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The Continental Op (1945)

de Dashiell Hammett

Outros autores: Veja a seção outros autores.

Séries: The Continental Op (short stories)

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1,1582312,766 (4.05)29
'Not just the first of the tough school of crime-writing but the best' THE TIMES Dashiell Hammett is the true inventor of modern detective fiction and the creator of the private eye, the isolated hero in a world where treachery is the norm. The Continental Op was his great first contribution to the genre and these seven stories, which first appeared in the magazine Black Mask, are the best examples of Hammett's early writing, in which his formidable literary and moral imagination is already operating at full strength. The Continental Op is the dispassionate fat man working for the Continental Detective Agency, modelled on the Pinkerton Agency, whose only interest is in doing his job in a world of violence, passion, desperate action and great excitement.… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 23 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
There are seven stories:
The Tenth Clew, The Golden Horseshoe, The House on Turk Street, The Girl with the Silver Eyes, The Whosis Kid, The Main Death, and The Farewell Murder.
Each story stands alone, but characters may show up in more than one story.

The writing is very much like the cinema noir style of the late '30s and early '40s. I'm still trying to figure out how to simplify "I am neither young enough nor old enough to get feverish over every woman who doesn't make me think being blind isn't so bad." [p. 205, "The Whosis Kid"]

Steven Marcus' introduction gives a brief history of Dashiell Hammett followed by an analysis of his work. Marcusspends a lot of time looking at the story---a parable---that Sam Spade tells Brigid O'Shaughnessy in the novel, The Maltese Falcon, although not in the movie version). His interpretation is that "despite everything we have learned and everything we know, men will persist in behaving and trying to behave sanely, nationally, sensibly, and responsibly. And we will continue to persist even when we know that there is no logical or metaphysical, ( no discoverable or demonstrable reason for doing so." [p. xviii] ( )
  raizel | Apr 14, 2019 |
(Original review, 1981-03-01)

Hammett made no secret of Hammett’s wider (I suppose "wider" will do) literary ambitions, or that he earned his living writing a particular kind of story long after he'd have preferred to write something else. What I don't know is how and especially when he picked up his knowledge of literature. If ever there was an autodidact, it was Hammett. He left school at fourteen and set out on an amazingly varied series of jobs. Somewhere in the course of these he learned to write. I've said before that I suspect it was by writing his reports for Pinkerton's - for someone with his talent that would have been enough to turn out the early Op stories. At some (probably) later time, his reading and his artistic ambitions expanded - before he met Hellman? Hanging around with her crowd? I have no idea, except that I'm sure that it happened and that it didn't happen all at once.

I suspect that he was first exposed to contemporary American fiction, the writing of his professional peers: that, for instance, he read Dos Passos before he got deep into Milton (if he ever did), that he was au courant with culturally dominant ideas about Realism, that he knew what Hemingway was doing and what Hemingway (and others - Lord, were there others...) said about what Hemingway was doing - and how well he was paid for doing it. But I don't know these things, I only think them likely.
I also know that deep myths and archetypes are sometimes invoked by authors who have never heard them explicitly discussed (which is why archetypes are archetypes, after all). I know that it isn't pointless to discuss Hammett as though he knew all about medieval mysteries and Satan's rebellion, and its Promethean antecedents whether he did or not. But my curiosity isn't wired that way: I'm more interested in what he thought he was doing, and I'm much, much more interested in his actual work.

Too many hyper-interpretive schools of criticism have risen and fallen since I left school to make me regret my ignorance of them very much, and if I'm careful I may never let it slip that I still think Pater, Pound and Empson - and Poe too for that matter - had the last word about how to read a book.

“The Continental Op” is not quintessential Hammett, but it’s still pretty good. ( )
  antao | Dec 5, 2018 |
Quite simply the best thing Hammett ever did. A great character who is not a thug (like Sam Spade) or an alcoholic (like Nick and Nora) but a fellow who does his job as best he can without pretending to be something he's not. DH's prose style was at its best her: clipped, terse, concise, telling you everything you need to know and not a bit more.
Read this one...and toss the others out. ( )
1 vote jameshold | Jul 22, 2017 |
BOTTOM-LINE:
Pretty pulpy.
.
PLOT OR PREMISE:
A collection of short stories.
.
WHAT I LIKED:
Stories include The Tenth Clew, The Golden Horseshoe, The House in Turk Street, The Girl with the Silver Eyes, The Whosis Kid, The Main Death, and the Farewell Murder.
.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE:
Not well-developed and kind of campy.
.
DISCLOSURE:
I received no compensation, not even a free copy, in exchange for this review. I was not personal friends with the author, nor did I follow him on social media. ( )
  polywogg | Dec 30, 2016 |
Devious dames, ham-fisted mugs with guns to boot, and intrigue and double crossings to make your head spin! Yep, the Continental Op has all this and more! And as he chases leads and bad guys and gals through the streets of San Francisco, we get 7 adventures to tag along! I liked "The Whosis Kid" the most, and "The Farewell Murder" the least. But, the Op is the Op, and I am a big fan! ( )
  Stahl-Ricco | Jan 23, 2016 |
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» Adicionar outros autores (9 possíveis)

Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Hammett, Dashiellautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Debbie GlassermanDesignerautor principalalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Keith Sheridan AssociatesDesigner da capaautor principalalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Marcus, StevenIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Slonims, NancyArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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The Chinese set down his tan bag and shook his head. "There will be no killing," he drawled, "or there will be quite a bit of killing. You don't mistake my meaning, do you, Hook?" - The House in Turk Street
She face she made at me was probably meant for a smile. Whatever it was, it beat me. I was afraid she'd do it again, so I surrendered. [p. 57, from "The Golden Horseshoe"]
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'Not just the first of the tough school of crime-writing but the best' THE TIMES Dashiell Hammett is the true inventor of modern detective fiction and the creator of the private eye, the isolated hero in a world where treachery is the norm. The Continental Op was his great first contribution to the genre and these seven stories, which first appeared in the magazine Black Mask, are the best examples of Hammett's early writing, in which his formidable literary and moral imagination is already operating at full strength. The Continental Op is the dispassionate fat man working for the Continental Detective Agency, modelled on the Pinkerton Agency, whose only interest is in doing his job in a world of violence, passion, desperate action and great excitement.

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