The Thin Man

I read Dashiel Hammett’s book The Thin Man, and quite enjoyed it. Awesome story of a lovable couple casually working their way through a murder case that’s too amusing to ignore. Has some good droll observations about how people work, like the social boilerplate around saying goodbye:

We shook hands and make polite speeches all around and they went away.

Nice turns of phrase, like this bit after an underling compliments his boss:

“And what a hunch!” Flint exclaimed, practically top-heavy with admiration.

And I’m pretty sure this is one of the greatest paragraphs in the English language:

When we stopped at Reuben’s for coffee on our way home at four the next morning, Nora opened a newspaper and found a line in one of the gossip columns: “Nick Charles, former TransAmerica Detective Agency ace, on from Coast to sift the Julia Wolf murder mystery”; and when I opened my eyes and sat up in bed some six hours later Nora was shaking me and a man with a gun in his hand was standing in the bedroom doorway.

How could you read that, and not go immediately to the next chapter? I watched the movie right away, too, like I did with Gone Girl (movie, book). Both recommended.

The Thin Man

The Thin Man. I watched this after I read the book. It lives up to the source material, for sure. Delightful murder mystery + comedy. It’s nice to watch a charming couple (and pair of actors) just having a great time.

Nora Charles: You know, that sounds like an interesting case. Why don’t you take it?
Nick Charles: I haven’t the time. I’m much too busy seeing that you don’t lose any of the money I married you for.

Watching The Maltese Falcon last month inspired me to read the original. It’s cool to see the names of streets and places I recognize. When I visited SF last year, my hotel was right in the thick of it.

The Maltese Falcon

The Maltese Falcon. This movie is really, really good. Sydney Greenstreet is hilarious. Peter Lorre does the usual vaguely-creepy foreigner bit. Mary Astor is a tricky little devil. Bogart is Bogartian. None of the characters are entirely likeable, or hateable. Thumbs-up.