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The Glass Key | [Dashiell Hammett]

The Glass Key

Paul Madvig was a cheerfully corrupt ward-heeler who aspired to something better: the daughter of Senator Ralph Bancroft Henry, the heiress to a dynasty of political purebreds. Did he want her badly enough to commit murder? And if Madvig was innocent, which of his dozens of enemies was doing an awfully good job of framing him? Dashiell Hammett’s tour de force of detective fiction combines an airtight plot, authentically venal characters, and writing of telegraphic crispness. A one-time detective and a master of deft understatement, Hammett invented the noir crime novel.
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Publisher's Summary

Paul Madvig was a cheerfully corrupt ward-heeler who aspired to something better: the daughter of Senator Ralph Bancroft Henry, the heiress to a dynasty of political purebreds. Did he want her badly enough to commit murder? And if Madvig was innocent, which of his dozens of enemies was doing an awfully good job of framing him? Dashiell Hammett’s tour de force of detective fiction combines an airtight plot, authentically venal characters, and writing of telegraphic crispness. A one-time detective and a master of deft understatement, Dashiell Hammett - author of The Maltese Falcon - virtually invented the hard-boiled crime novel.

©1931 Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. Copyright © renewed 1958 by Dashiell Hammett. All rights reserved. (P)2011 AudioGo

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (48 )
5 star
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4.1 (46 )
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Story
4.1 (44 )
5 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 05-16-12
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 05-16-12 Member Since 2011

    A part-time buffoon and ersatz scholar specializing in BS, pedantry, schmaltz and cultural coprophagia.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Pacing Quick & Plot was Goldilocks"

    I loved it. I thought Hammett was amazing before, but the Glass Key just solidified it. Definitely his tightest, most coherent novel. The characters were sharp, the pacing was quick, the plot was Goldilocks. No wonder the Coen brothers couldn't get enough.

    17 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joshua United States 06-16-13
    Joshua United States 06-16-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ratings
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    "Not Hammett's best book, but well read."
    Where does The Glass Key rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Near the middle.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    I liked Hammett's prose, the noir atmosphere, and the portrait he painted of a 1920's political machine.

    I didn't particularly like the ending, which I can't explain without giving it away, or the pacing, which lags for a bit in the early-middle.

    All in all, The Glass Key isn't Hammett's best, but it's still more than listen-able.


    What does Stephen R. Thorne bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I can't think of anything special that Mr. Thorne brought to the reading, but he was perfectly competent. He did everything that I would expect an audiobook reader to do, and I would have no problem listening to him again.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It's not really a book that induces great emotion.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeanie Bond 06-23-12
    Jeanie Bond 06-23-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    5
    3
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    "WORST EVER!!"
    What disappointed you about The Glass Key?

    This is possibly the worst book I have ever read! I was shocked at how poor the writing is. I have read at least 4 Dashiell Hammett books and most were quite good, but this one should never have gotten past his editor, or I'm tempted to say that he couldn't possibly have had one.

    I quit at the end of the third CD(out of five) without really knowing just what the plot is, and who the characters are, and what their positions are. Many of Hammett's descriptors are inappropriate, teenage level.

    I don't understand how this book got such high review ratings.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Dashiell Hammett again?

    I'm not sure I would try another Hammett without listening to a good representative part of it.


    What didn???t you like about Stephen R. Thorne???s performance?

    The reader isn't bad, but not particularly good, either.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Glass Key?

    What scenes would I have cut? Just about all of them.


    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
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