Its a shame in a way but then again, not at all that most people first come to Dashiell Hammett via Tinseltown translations of his hardboiled prose. The Glass Key. The Thin Man. The Maltese Falcon. The latter book, adapted in letter-perfect fashion for the big screen by John Huston, stands supreme. First published in 1930, the novel hatched Sam Spade, the definitive American anti-hero, and planted the seeds of a new (and seedier) society.
Scholar Richard Layman knows his Hammett. Hell, he wrote the book six of em, actually on the Hammett bibliography, and Layman leads a discussion of Falcon (the novel) in conjunction with the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read project.
Fri., Sept. 19, 7 p.m., 2008