April 14, 2010 |
These days, Ireland sometimes seems to export writers the way it once did priests. Not least among them is a fine group of first-water crime novelists, including the redoubtable John Banville writing under the pseudonym Benjamin Black. Declan Hughes also comes to the genre from a more elevated literary angle — in his case, a successful career as a playwright and screenwriter that included a stint as artistic director of the well-regarded Rough Magic Theatre Company, which he co-founded, and a writerly association with the Abbey Theatre.
February 9, 2009 |
Writing a contemporary follow-up to a classic novel is either an act of bravery or chutzpah -- or perhaps both. One must contend with vociferous readers who consider the classic so sacrosanct they deem any new work heretical. In the last few months alone, the news of impending sequels to A.A.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 14, 2007 |
Call in the coppers, get Sam Spade on the case: The Maltese Falcon's gone again. In a missing-bird caper reminiscent of the one that perplexed Dashiell Hammett's fictional sleuth, the owner of a landmark restaurant here is offering 25 Gs ($25,000) for a replica of the famed Maltese Falcon swiped from a locked display case over the weekend.
June 11, 2006 |
JUST in case books written by women haven't been shoehorned into enough marketing categories, there's a new one, coined in the Washington Post. So-called pink mysteries are books by women that feature a female protagonist (miserable love life optional) who solves crimes while decked out in designer heels and expensive manicures. No hard-boiled detectives in trench coats please!
January 30, 2005 |
"That strange Marylander" is what Henry Louis Mencken ("the sage of Baltimore") called Samuel Dashiell Hammett, who was born in the Old Line State in 1894, 45 years after Edgar Allan Poe died there. Like Poe, Hammett grew up in an America still fashioning its social and cultural identity from raw materials. And like Poe, inventor of the detective story, Hammett would write tales that held not only the shocks and thrills of entertainment but also the lights and shadows of art.
September 21, 2003 |
People have been talking in one way or another about the black bird -- ex-detective Dashiell Hammett's third and classic novel, "The Maltese Falcon" -- ever since its original serial publication in Black Mask magazine in 1929. As a 1930 Knopf hardcover, the book was an immediate bestseller, going through seven printings that year. The "Falcon," a masterpiece of American hard-boiled writing, revolutionized the detective novel, and its merit as literature was seen from the first by critics.