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Dashiell Hammett


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An undisputed master of "noir" / hardboiled crime fiction, with his own quintessential laconic, super-intense and witty pulp style... plus enough excitement to fill a hundred "Godfather" trilogies, and then some.

"Discovering pulp fiction now, right now, is a bit like finding a lost treasure. You are unearthing something that will entertain, enlighten, amuse, horrify, mangle, jangle, keep you riveted. Decades after they were written, these stories still manage to have an edge."
--Harlan Coben

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"The Maltese Falcon" (nv)
(Sam Spade)
© @ Black Mask, Sep 1929
Alfred A. Knopf, 1930
--/ third place crime/noir novel
--/ adventure award
--/ style award
--/ emotion award

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"Red Harvest" (nv)
(The Continental Op #1)
© @ Black Mask, Nov 1927 - Feb 1928
Alfred A. Knopf, 1929
--/ third place crime/noir novel
--/ adventure award
--/ style award
--/ shock value
--/ emotion award

A definite "gushing, mind-blowing noir-gasm". Here is how Stephen from Goodreads sums it up:

"This is noir at its grittiest and most violent with characters that are all shades of shady and more murders than Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween and Friday the 13th... combined. Add to that an ever constant flow of so much booze-swilling that the alcohol seems to sweat off the page and you have a dark, gritty and spectacular slice of crime literature. Seriously, the only thing getting killed faster than people is the liquor…"

Part 1: "The Cleansing of Poisonville" in Black Mask, November 1927 issue
Part 2: "Crime Wanted - Male or Female" in Black Mask, December 1927 issue
Part 3: "Dynamite" in Black Mask, January 1928 issue
Part 4: "The 19th Murder" in Black Mask, February 1928 issue

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"The Thin Man" (nv)
(Nick & Nora Charles Mystery)
© @ Redbook, Dec 1933 - Feb 1928
Alfred A. Knopf, 1934
--/ third place crime/noir novel
--/ adventure award
--/ style award
--/ emotion award

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EXPLANATION OF THE RATING SYSTEM:

"SF&F Reading Experience" is part of "Dark Roasted Blend / Thrilling Wonder" family of sites. We try to highlight the most entertaining and rewarding science fiction and fantasy, with emphasis on memorable reader experience, not necessarily general acceptance by the critics. Have fun, and delve into our extensive ratings and reviews!

Most reviews are written by Avi Abrams, unless otherwise noted. Reviews also appear on our unique historical retrospective page Wonder Timeline of Science Fiction. Feel free to submit your own review, if a particular story is not listed here.


All major OFFICIAL AWARDS are highlighted in BLUE
("winner" has a letter "W" by it, otherwise it is a runner-up only)

Our PERSONAL AWARDS (ratings) are highlighted in RED and PURPLE:
--/ first place :
--/ second place :
--/ third place :

--/ fourth place :

--/ cool : (equal to fifth place)
ALL "BEST OF" LISTS ARE LOCATED HERE

These awards are given in the following categories:
- novel :
- series :
- novella :
- story :
- collection :

Also, there are our personal STYLE / GENRE SPECIFIC AWARDS. These reflect the story's content and the lasting impression on the reader:

--/ wonder award
sense-of-wonder, "visual intensity" and inventiveness

--/ idea award
originality of idea / concept

--/ adventure award
exhilarating plot, excitement / action

--/ style award
outstanding literary qualities, inimitable style

--/ romance award
intense and beautiful love / relationships

--/ humour award
funny and cool

--/ emotion award
touching, lasting impression, sensitivity

--/ shock value
altogether wild

--/ awesome scale
mind-boggling; further enhances sense-of-wonder

--/ rare find
very hard to locate, mostly from old pulps, never reprinted, etc.

Again, please feel free to leave your own review or comment under every writer's entry; also recommend us other stories you liked.