Nerditya by Aditya

Book Review: The Thin Man

Ever since I read The Postman Always Rings Twice by James Cain, I was craving for more noir/crime novels which are short and interesting. I found one, The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett. A detective novel featuring the charismatic couple Nick and Nora Charles, the basis for a six movie series.

  • Author: Dashiell Hammett
  • Published: 1934
  • Genre: Crime/Mystery/Detective
  • Age Group: Adults

The story begins with the murder of Julia Wolf, mistress of a wealthy inventor, Clyde Wynant. Nick is pulled into the investigation against his will. His days of being a detective are long gone since he married Nora. However, Wynant was an old client and now his daughter is partly responsible for getting Nick involved.

Nick and Nora are probably the most interesting crime fighting duo since Sherlock and Watson. They're smart, witty and the dialogs Hammett wrote between them are some of the best exchanges I've read. Nick tries to distance himself from the investigation. He loves drinking, and that's what he does. He drinks. Then he drinks some more. There's a lot of drinking. Nora doesn't seem to mind that much.

Nick and Nora keep socializing with Wynant's ex-wife, Nick's old friends who are somehow related to the crime, Wynant's daughter, Dorothy. They talk with a lot of people, go over the details of the case and Nick solves it in the end. The mystery is interesting but nothing great.

There are a few parallel story-lines, quite similar to what I've read in Gaiman's work. The dialog between Nick and Nora remains the best part of the book. Wynant's son is an interesting character also. Everyone else, especially Dorothy, are pretty weak. The books concludes rather well and overall I enjoyed reading it. It's a 200 page book, there isn't much I can write without revealing too much. Read the book, it's good.

Rating: 3/5