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May 29, 2008


Elaine Flinn

Sadly, many of us often forget how much we owe to Hammett. Most praise is usually to Cain, Chandler, etal. Not that they weren't - and still are...enormous influences...


I adore Dashiell Hammett, whom I discovered when a child. I love all his books but I think The Dain Curse is my favourite. I know it isn't regarded as his best, but for some reason I like it the best of his novels (there aren't many - about 5 that I know of, as well as the short stories). I am quite happy to read any of his books; for me, he's endured more than Chandler and MacDonald, though I'm fond of them too.


PS, He was a lover of Lillian Hellman; she's written interesting works about their relationship.


I owe nothing. Hated THE MALTESE FALCON and read nothing else by him.

Come to think of it, I don't much like the others, with the exception perhaps, of Connelly's LINCOLN LAWYER.

But that's really beside the point. Clearly he was an influential author.

Elaine Flinn

You really, really crack me up!

Cosmo Vittelli

Apparently, he had a habit of writing in his underwear.

Which, I guess is better than if he were writing in someone else's.

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David J. Montgomery is a writer and critic specializing in books and publishing. He is an emeritus columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times and The Daily Beast, and has also written for USA Today, the Washington Post, and other fine publications. A former professor of History, he lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and two daughters.

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