✯ The Dain Curse Books ✴ Author Dashiell Hammett – Moi-sosedi.info

The Dain Curse Hammett s first stab at crime fiction as literature possibly the first ever , the last appearance of the Continental Op and the most misunderstood of his novels While every other Op tale was a straight ahead tough guy detective story, this book is an elaborate satire of three things 1 the English tea cozy mystery novel, where at the climax everyone all the characters are gathered in the parlor while the detective explains what happens, 2 the weird menace horror stories like Lovecraft s that Hammett s first stab at crime fiction as literature possibly the first ever , the last appearance of the Continental Op and the most misunderstood of his novels While every other Op tale was a straight ahead tough guy detective story, this book is an elaborate satire of three things 1 the English tea cozy mystery novel, where at the climax everyone all the characters are gathered in the parlor while the detective explains what happens, 2 the weird menace horror stories like Lovecraft s that were the primary competitor of the crime pulps and 3 the contempt that real literary authors had for his work.So the novel includes such bizarre set pieces as a parlor scene that does not end in the traditional British manner a scene where the Op fistfights God and repeated scenes where literary author Owen Fitzstephan mocks the crimes the Op investigates and his true to life detective methods as boring writing material The fact that both the Op and Fitzstephan are obviously aspects of Hammett himself makes it even weirder.The only one of his novels that was not a smash hit with critics, it sadly led him to abandon the Op forever, Hammett no longer believing that a series character would be taken seriously as literature If you re into stuff like this, you can read the full review.Daft The Dain Curse by Dashiell Hammett Original Review, 1981 03 08 We don t do it that wayYou re a storywriter I can t trust you not to build up on what I tell you I ll save mine till after you ve spoken your piece, so yours won t be twisted to fit mine In The Dain Curse by Dashiell Hammett Are you who make your living snooping sneering at my curiosity about people and my attempts to satisfy it We re differentI If you re into stuff like this, you can read the full review.Daft The Dain Curse by Dashiell Hammett Original Review, 1981 03 08 We don t do it that wayYou re a storywriter I can t trust you not to build up on what I tell you I ll save mine till after you ve spoken your piece, so yours won t be twisted to fit mine In The Dain Curse by Dashiell Hammett Are you who make your living snooping sneering at my curiosity about people and my attempts to satisfy it We re differentI do mine with the object of putting people in jail, and I get paid for it, though not as much as I should That s not differentI do mine with the object of putting people in books, and I get paid for it, though not as much as I should In The Dain Curse by Dashiell Hammett Here s a better look at the 1966 Penguin mass market paperback I have Sets a totally different tone compared to other editions I ve seen Here s a better look at the 1966 Penguin mass market paperback I have Sets a totally different tone compared to other editions I ve seen You re her daughter, she cried, and you re cursed with the same black soul and rotten blood that she and I and all the Dains have had and you re cursed with your mother s blood on your hands in babyhood and with your twisted mind and the need for drugs that are my gifts to you and your life will be black as your mother s and mine were black In The Dain Curse, one of Dashiell Hammett s Continental Op books based in part on his own experience of being, not a detective, but an insuranc You re her daughter, she cried, and you re cursed with the same black soul and rotten blood that she and I and all the Dains have had and you re cursed with your mother s blood on your hands in babyhood and with your twisted mind and the need for drugs that are my gifts to you and your life will be black as your mother s and mine were black In The Dain Curse, one of Dashiell Hammett s Continental Op books based in part on his own experience of being, not a detective, but an insurance investigator, Hammett explores one issue some mystery and detective writers have always been interested in or know some of their readers are interested in The possibility of psychic or paranormal phenomena From Sir Arthur Conan Doyle through Agatha Christie, the authors of whodunnits mainly side with the rational, logical, deductive approach to criminal investigation, as far as I can tell There probably is a paranormal crime sub genre just as there is a paranormal romance sub genre, but I am not aware of it In this one, the unnamed Continental Op erative, or insurance investigator thinks psychic stuff is hokum, but he hasn t met the Dain family So, the plot, involving dozens of characters and three different sets of murders focuses if you can use that word for this plot on the Continental Op investigating a theft of diamonds from the Leggett family of San Francisco Along the way to solving all the murders we encounter The Temple of the Holy Grail cult, dope fiends On the one hand it feels very much like a pulpy mash up of horror and mystery see Ed Brubaker s Fatale as another contemporary example , and on the other hand as a gothic novel, complete with drug induced hallucinations, dark sexual drives, secret passages, hidden altars used for human sacrifice, bodies falling from cliffs, and so on The question is whether there is in fact a curse or madness or Pure Evil instead of the usual mundane murder motivations such as greed or jealousy A key event is the CO attempting to free Gabrielle Leggett a Dain fom the religious cult and her addiction to morphine One issue is whether she is in fact a femme fatale impicated in every death in the book The cult keeper is a woman named Aaronia pronounced Erronia, as in some version of Just Wrong Haldorn.This is kind of an aside but one of the interesting things about most classic noir stories is an area already much written about, that the stories mainly reify heteronormativity and white privilege and also, neurotypicality The detectives may be lower middle class, they may be alcoholics, but they are smart, witty, reasonably attractive, attracted to Babes and other dames, but the women themselves are usually femme fatales with bombshell bodies, and almost all the characters are sort of seen as Freaks Fat, gay, people of color, sex addicts, dope fiends, all ABnormal, very short as in midgets , or very tall, with hatchet faced or hawk faced or one eyed or one armed guys I saw the same in Ian Fleming s Bond all the villains are physical freaks versus the gorgeous straight white upper middle class martini drinking male our hero, what all men must aspire to be Many critiques of this basic approach now exist as in women lesbian trans detective stories that are in part commentary on the problems in representation in detective stories But all this to say that in this story, which is an attempt to meld the gothic horror with the detective story, especially ramps up the abnormality, of course all the characters are malformed, odd, weird in short, everything that the Continental Op is not Nevertheless, this is basically a murder mystery made into a 1978 tv series I never saw , pretty crazy but well written, in spite of or in some sense because of all the above issues and confusing, at times, but often great fun to read Not Hammett s best work, sort of an outlier, but still worth checking out if you are exploring his work Hammett is all business when it comes to his Continental Ops stories, The Dain Curse included, which started out as several separately published stories in the crime pulps The gruff, short, overweight, middle aged detective remains nameless, his background and personal life a mystery He gets to work at 9am, piles up a big, hairy mess of clues, and uses his shrewd wit and intuition to bull through them, the hard nosed professional, yet with an occasional flash of heart and compassion. Towards the end of The Dain Curse, a female character tells the Continental Op affectionately that he is a monster A nice one, an especially nice one to have around when you re in trouble, but a monster just the same, without any human foolishness like love in him While in fact he may have a bithuman foolishness than she gives him credit for, this does sum up the essence of Hammett s anti hero Unlike the romantic chess playing Marlowe and even keeled Archer who d follow him, the Conti Towards the end of The Dain Curse, a female character tells the Continental Op affectionately that he is a monster A nice one, an especially nice one to have around when you re in trouble, but a monster just the same, without any human foolishness like love in him While in fact he may have a bithuman foolishness than she gives him credit for, this does sum up the essence of Hammett s anti hero Unlike the romantic chess playing Marlowe and even keeled Archer who d follow him, the Continental Op is a short, fat, unattractive beast whose only conquest is the case he s paid to solve.For me one of thestriking attributes of the Op was his intense, nasty, and thoroughly unapologetic racism The language and attitudes in this book towards non white characters, particularly women, are pretty shocking to the modern reader s ostensibly jaded sensibilities This is one of the main reasons I love old crime fiction, though for its detailed depiction of the s of times that have passed Retrospective representations of old timey American racism usually seem unrealistic those racists are villains and their attitudes are supposed to illustrate a moral point In The Dain Curse, the Op s racism is just taken for granted, and the vulgarity and violence of its expression as when he instructs another operative to rough up the mulatto in order to scare her is just supposed to be part of what makes him hardboiled.Maybe reading old crime novels isn t the most responsible way to learn social history, but it is one of the most fun In addition to showing multi ethnic 1920s California with all its unpleasantness and white supremacy, this book like all twentieth century crime fiction is fascinating for the contrast it illustrates between privacy now and then It always fascinates me to read about a world where people s home addresses were common knowledge and easily shared, but where no one needed a social security number no one had a social security number to rent an apartment or turn on the lights, there weren t many photographs floating around, and there was nothing really to stop a person from moving to a new city and setting up a life under a new name.More specific to this book was its period depiction of substance use, in particular of opioid addiction There is a pretty remarkable sequence of morphine detox, and I found this, and the sympathetic junkie character, a lotdown to earth and less sensational than mostmodern treatments of the subject.In terms of this book s plot, it s pretty ridiculous and not one of those brilliantly satisfying, all comes together brilliantly like a puzzle type things, but personally I don t care so much about that I really liked the structure, which was three major sections in which tons of people were killed and then the case would seem to be solved but the Op was not satisfied that all was really concluded as neatly as it seemed, and he d be proven right when the murders inevitably started up again On the whole, I found the book very engaging and fun and satisfying to read I think I might ve read it already, years and years ago, but I don t really remember I probably won t remember this time very well soon either, but it was a good summer read and now I m on to the next book in my crime spree, having finally recalled that there s no point in my trying to read anything except that during this time of the year The Continental Op is brought in after some diamonds go missing, but instead of solving a simple case of theft he ends up embroiled in the on going troubles of a disturbed young woman who believes herself to be the victim of a family curse.This certainly isn t the best Hammett you can read, but it s not bad The plot is all over the place and doesn t make much sense, but the main appeal is the attitude of the Op who still shines as the cynical private detective who has seen it all. The best books dissolve in your hands You get so caught up in them you don t recall moving your eyes over the lines of print or turning the pages When a good read is open you re a thousand miles away and a hundred years ago Unfortunately, The Dain Curse 1929 isn t that type of read You never forget it s a book because of how it bounces when you throw it against the wall.It starts off like dozens of other mysteries a home is broken into and some diamonds go missing The Continental Op is c The best books dissolve in your hands You get so caught up in them you don t recall moving your eyes over the lines of print or turning the pages When a good read is open you re a thousand miles away and a hundred years ago Unfortunately, The Dain Curse 1929 isn t that type of read You never forget it s a book because of how it bounces when you throw it against the wall.It starts off like dozens of other mysteries a home is broken into and some diamonds go missing The Continental Op is called in to investigate The thief turns up eventually, and so do the skeletons in the closet, the bats in the belfry, and the bodies in the basement San Francisco is transformed into a morgue and the carnage spills over into the surrounding counties At the center of this whirlpool of death and insanity is Gabrielle Leggett, a young woman who s convinced that a family curse is responsible for destroying everyone she is close to The Op has to recover not only the diamonds but also the young woman s wits.Hammett s plain, terse style creates an air of verisimilitude in the first few chapters You may be reminded of Hemingway But Hemingway got away with this type of writing because he was interested in creating characters, and he understood understatement Hammett works with stick figures and tries to counterbalance his spare prose with bizarre and over the top twists and turns in the plot Everybody has a name, a gat in the pocket, and a secret to hide When things get too quiet, Hammett either introduces half a dozen new characters or he just chucks another corpse on the heap You ll be stymied trying to keep track of who s who And what a variety of murders You d think Hammett was about to move on to another genre and was cleaning out the ice box.So read The Dain Curse as pure pulp fiction, the kind that sticks in your teeth You may be frustrated with the long confessions that tried to make sense of an otherwise almost incomprehensible plot The body count is ridiculous But in the end you may come to like the Op and enjoy the book for its zaniness and its strong period feel Enter Unnamed Continental Op of Red Harvest fame This time he was doing an investigation on behalf of an insurance company Somebody stole second rated diamonds from a researcher who borrowed them from somebody else to discover a way to give them permanent color Everything seemed like an ordinary burglary until people connected to investigation started to drop dead with alarming rate To give you a mild spoiler the total amount of dead bodies at the end was not as high as in Red Harvest nob Enter Unnamed Continental Op of Red Harvest fame This time he was doing an investigation on behalf of an insurance company Somebody stole second rated diamonds from a researcher who borrowed them from somebody else to discover a way to give them permanent color Everything seemed like an ordinary burglary until people connected to investigation started to drop dead with alarming rate To give you a mild spoiler the total amount of dead bodies at the end was not as high as in Red Harvest nobody can beat this record, but it came close enough Out hero he islike an anti hero was trying to protect a young woman from herself She believed there was a curse attached to her She also seemed to be right every time the investigation was seemingly over, the culprits caught and brought to justice, she would move to a different location and after a short time people would start dropping dead again Rinse and repeat This endless investigation gave the story an interesting angle Was there a real curse Especially considering the second part had some pseudo paranormal elements By the way, I loved this part The mystery was great and quite complicated, the action was exactly what you would expect from a star of Red Harvest The only reason I did not give book 5 stars was a slowdown at the end Dashiell Hammett confirmed his status of a classic noir mystery writer once again I have yet to find a boring book written by him Everything About The Leggett Diamond Heist Indicated To The Continental Op That It Was An Inside Job From The Stray Diamond Found In The Yard To The Eyewitness Accounts Of A Strange Man Casing The House, Everything Was Just Too Pat Gabrielle Dain Leggett Has Enough Secrets To Fill A Closet, And When She Disappears Shortly After The Robbery, She Becomes The Op S Prime Suspect But Her Father, Edgar Leggett, Keeps Some Strange Company Himself And Has A Dark Side The Moon Would Envy Before He Can Solve The Riddle Of The Diamond Theft, The Continental Op Must First Solve The Mystery Of This Strange Family


About the Author: Dashiell Hammett

Also wrote as Peter Collinson, Daghull Hammett, Samuel Dashiell, Mary Jane HammettSamuel Dashiell Hammett was an American author of hardboiled detective novels and short stories Among the enduring characters he created are Sam Spade The Maltese Falcon , Nick and Nora Charles The Thin Man , and the Continental Op Red Harvest and The Dain Curse In addition to the significant influence his novels and stories had on film, Hammett is now widely regarded as one of the finest mystery writers of all time and was called, in his obituary in the New York Times, the dean of the hard boiled school of detective fiction See


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