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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Dashiell Hammett Cover Gallery

Dashiell Hammett was one of the fathers of hardboiled writing in the 1920s. His stories in Black Mask have the lean, pared-down style that was to become the trademark of the tough, action-packed crime yarns that were to follow in the heyday of the magazine. Although his writing career spanned twenty years, Hammett only wrote a handful of novels, of which three are Hammett writing at his peak: Red Harvest, The Maltese Falcon and The Glass Key. Sadly, Hammett's writing career was ending just as Raymond Chandler was writing in awe and praise of his work in "The Simple Art of Murder": Hammett served during the Second World War but after he was released from military service he became embroiled with the political machinations of red-baiters and, branded a Communist, served six months in prison for refusing to name others. Political harassment and ill-health dogged his life and he died in 1961, twenty-five years after the publication of what was to be his last novel.

Red Harvest (New York, Knopf, 1929)
Panther Books 754, (Feb) 1958, 160pp, 2/-. Cover by John Vernon
Penguin 1888, 1963, 201pp.
Pan Books 0330-24361-6, (May) 1975, 190pp, 50p. Cover photo
——, 2nd imp., 60p.
——, Xth imp., 1980, 190pp.
Orion (Crime Masterworks) 0752-85261-2, 2003, 240pp.
Orion 978-1409-13808-2, 2012, 215pp.
Personville was known as Poisonville. And with good reason...
__Donald Willsson was shot dead in the street when he launched a newspaper campaign to clean up the city.
__But not before he had contacted the Continental Op who arrived to be plunged into a blood-bath of battles between rival gangsters, embroiled in the wiles of a vitriolic femme fatale, and sucked into a cesspool of crime and corruption...
The Dain Curse (New York, Knopf, 1929)
Penguin C2483, 1966, 188pp.
Pan Books 0330-24262-8, 1975, 188pp, 45p. Cover photo
——, 2nd imp., 60p.
——, 3rd imp., 1978, 188pp, 70p. *MTI edition [FC: James Coburn]
Orion (Crime Masterworks 27) 0752-85180-2, 2002, 250pp.
One by one, those closest to Gabrielle meet violent, hideous deaths...
__Through a mind clouded by drugs, she knows she is cursed.
__As the slaughter assumes strange, cult-ridden shapes, one of Dashiell Hammett's toughest investigators comes to grips with a case that is either murderous conspiracy or modern witchcraft at its most evil...
The Maltese Falcon (New York, Knopf, 1930)
Pan Books 185, 1951, 190pp. Cover by Philip Mendoza
Panther Books 751, 1957 [Jan 1958], 192pp, 2/6. Cover by John Vernon
Penguin 1887, 1963, 201pp, 3/6. Cover photo
Pan Books 0330-24261-X, 1975, 201pp, 45p. Cover photo
——, 2nd imp., 60p.
——, Xth imp., 1980, 201pp.
Orion (Crime Masterworks 1)
Orion (Crime Masterworks 1) 0752-86533, 2nd imp., 2005, 213pp.
Thinking Ink Media 978-1907-59032-0, 2011, 197pp, £7.00.
Miss Wonderly came to see Sam Spade for protection. The help he provided killed his partner. Now, in no mood for charity, Sam starts digging—and finds not only greasy Joel Cairo and fatso Gutman but also the lovely Miss Wonderly's real identity... and the Maltese Falcon...
__This, an acknowledged classic of crime, is Dashiell Hammett in his best tough-talking, fast-action, swift-telling style.
The Glass Key (New York, Knopf, 1931)
Digit Books nn, (Jun) 1957, 2/-. Cover by De Seta
Digit Books R488, (May) 1961, 2/6.Cover by Rainey (after De Seta)
Digit Books R720, Jun 1963, 160pp, 2/6. Cover by unknown
Penguin C2435, 1966, 220pp. Cover photo
Pan Books 0330-24362-4, 1975, 220pp.
——, 2nd imp., 1977, 220pp, 60p. Cover photo
——, Xth imp., 1980, 220pp.
Orion (Crime Masterworks 11) 0752-85132-2, 2002, 212pp.
Orion 978-1409-13804-4, 2012, 212pp.
In the America of 1930, big gangsters grew fat on prohibition as the little ones died in the gutter.
__Woman make the trouble and men settle it with guns in this hard-hitting, fast-talking crime classic of an all-in fight between hoods to gain political control with all the nasty means at their disposal...
The Thin Man (New York, Knopf, 1934; London, Barker, 1934)
Penguin 14, 1935.
——, 2nd imp., 1952, 2/-. Cover: design
——, 3rd imp., 1961.
Penguin 0140-00014-3, 4th imp., 1974, 190pp, 30p. Cover photo by Peter Barbieri
——, 5th imp., 1974.
——, 6th imp., 1977.
——, 7th imp., 1979, 190pp, 85p. Cover by Paul Higgens (design by Robert Hollingsworth)
——, Xth imp., n.d. Cover design by Ashworth/Sissons
Penguin 0141-02724-X, 2006, 222pp.
Penguin 978-0241-96252-7, 2012, 240pp.
Retirement suited Nick just fine. He had a pretty wife called Nora, a Schnauzer called Asta, and a taste for good Scotch.
__All it took was a little persuasion. Life four .32 bullets, a blonde, the newspapers, the cops, and a junked-up hoodlum in his bedroom.
__Nick Charles, formerly Trans-American Detective Agency Ace, was back in business.
Woman in the Dark (New York, Random House, 1988; London, Headline, 1988)
Headline 0747-23253-9, 1989, xx+106pp.
On a dark night a young woman seeks refuge at an isolated house. She is hurt and frightened. The man and woman who live there take her in. But their decency is utterly unequipped to deal with the Woman in the Dark, or with the designs of the men who want her.
__First published in installments in Liberty magazine and now rediscovered after many years, Woman in the Dark shows Dashiell Hammett at the peak of his narrative powers. With an introduction by Robert B. Parker, the author of the celebrated Spenser novels.
The Big Knockover, edited by Lilian Hellman (New York, Random House, 1966; as The Dashiell Hammett Omnibus, London, Cassell, 1966)
Penguin 0140-02941-9, 1969, 414pp.
——, 2nd imp., 1977, 414pp, 95p.
——, Xth imp., 1979, 414pp.
Penguin 0140-08655-2, 1986, 414pp.
Orion (Crime Mastreworks) 0752-86751-2, 2005, 420pp.
Orion 978-1409-13806-8, 2012.
'Dashiell Hammett gave murder back to the kind of people that commit it for reasons, not just to provide a corpse; and with the means at hand, not with handwrought duelling pistols, curare, and tropical fish'—Raymond Chandler.
Here are ten classic suspense stories from the twenties and thirties—selected and introduced by Lilian Hellman.
__Hammett's Continental Op—tough, tired, intelligent, a snap-brimmed Sir Galahad with a Browning—was the prototype for a whole new tradition of Private Eye thrillers.
The Continental Op, edited by Steven Marcus (New York, Random House, 1974; London, Macmillan, 1975)
Pan Books 0330-25112-0, 1977, 255pp, 80p. Cover photo by Colin Boagey
Picador Books 0330-28195-X, 1984.
Orion (Crime Masterworks) 0752-85617-0, 2004, 281pp.
Orion 978-1409-13807-5, 2012, 281pp.
Introducing the man from the Continental Detective Agency. The original tough private eye. Seven stories from the old master—gems of crime fiction from Black Mask magazine of the vintage twenties.
Nightmare Town, edited by Kirby McCauley, Martin H. Greenberg & Ed Gorman (New York, Knopf, 1999; London, Picador, 2001)
Picador 0330-48110-X, 2002, 396pp, £6.99. Cover photo by Mark Adams
In the title story, a man on a bender enters a small town and ends up unravelling the dark mystery at its heart. A woman confronts the brutal truth about her husband in teh chilling story 'Ruffian's Wife'. 'His Brother's Keeper' is a half-wit boxer's eulogy to the brother who betrayed him. 'The Second-Story Angel' recounts one of the most novel cons ever devised. In seven stories, the tough and taciturn Continental Op takes on a motley collection of deceitful, the duped, and the dead, and once again shows his uncanny ability to get at the truth. In three stories, Sam Spade confronts the darkness in the human soul while rolling his own cigarettes. And the first study for The Thin Man sends John Guild on a murder investigation in which almost every witness may be lying.
    In Nightmare Town, Dashiell Hammett, America's poet laureate of the dispossessed, shows us a world where people confront a multitude of evils. Whether they are trying to right wrongs or just trying to survive, all of them are rendered with Hammett's signature gifts for sharp-edged characters and blunt dialogue.
    Hammett said that his ambition was to elevate mystery fiction to the level of art. This collection of masterful stories clearly illustrated Hammett's success, and shows the remarkable range and variety of the fiction he produced.

1 comment:

Slap Bookleather said...

Wow, nice collection. I will be using one of your images for a post of my own on Red Harvest which should be out later this weekend. Thanks!