And what a client! - the irresistible and treacherous femme fatale Brigid O'Shaughnessy.
Believing the book's vividly drawn characters and memorable dialogue cry out for theatrical treatment, Blackstone Audio commissioned this faithful dramatization by the award-winning Hollywood Theater of the Ear, in which a brilliant cast brings to life all the excitement and suspense of Hammett's original in the playhouse of the mind.
©1957 Dashiell Hammett; (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"Hammett's prose [is] clean and entirely unique. His characters [are] as sharply and economically defined as any in American fiction." (The New York Times)
A lover of audiobooks of all kinds, since childhood, when long car journeys were accompanied by Discworld stories. @ReineDesLivres (Twitter)
I was really excited by the cast of this audiobook, and they perform very well - especially Michael Madsen, but there's one cast member missing - a third-person narrator. Hearing the cast describe themselves (using Hammett's inimitable style) is slightly strange, and would have been better in the voice of someone else (even if only to make it clear it wasn't dialogue!).
I purchased this book because it was noted as the "best dramatization of 2008". The actors did a great job, but for some reason the director has the actors doing their own narration. Do I really want to hear Iva's character tell me about her supple breasts?? The story was great, but the narration is extremely distracting. A very unfortunate choice for an otherwise great listen.
Voice over actor with four audiobooks currently available on Audible. Strongly recommend picking up The Greenstone Grail. Enjoy!
Great performances on a classic story that make the whole thing incredibly riveting. It's a tiny bit off-putting to hear the few sections of narration in the voices of the characters, but beyond that, a completely flawless production.
The story and Sam Spade the detective were both absolutely amazing!
This dramatization had high production values and was like listening to a movie.
I now see what the appeal of listening to radio dramas before television.
Edward Herrmann was outstanding.
I'm going to look around for more dramatizations from "Hollywood Theater of the Ear."
The speed and story.
The ending by far
lets not get carried away now.
I hate books, but I liked this one.
"A Great Listen"
I found this a great listen. I enjoyed it more than the bbc radio version. Well recommended.
"Great story, good voice acting, awful production"
Yes, just not one produced by the same producer.
The way the narration forcibly kicked the listener out of the story instead of drawing the listener in.
Competent but disjointed
None. It wouldn't remain faithful to Hammett's original.
I'm a fan of noir and pulp fiction, and The Maltese Falcon is one of my favourite stories. I thought that a dramatisation with Michael Madsen as Sam Spade couldn't go wrong. Instead, I was wrong.
Graphic Audio shows how an audiobook dramatisation should be done. This, on the other hand, shows how it most definitely should not.
No fault should be attributed to Madsen, Oh, Herrmann and their cohorts; the voice acting was good enough. Rather, the producer (or possibly the director, or both) should be taken out and shot. This "genius" decided to have all of the actors narrate any and all descriptive text which vaguely referred to their characters, instead of having a completely separate voice for the narration while leaving the actors to voice the characters' dialogue.
Each time the voice changed it was not immediately obvious whether some dialogue was being spoken or some description being narrated, and every time this happened it served only to remind the listener of the fact instead of helping to suspend disbelief. This lack of a coherent, single, recognisable voice for the narration ruined any immersion the story might have had.
Note to the producer/director: next time, get an extra actor for the narration. Graphic Audio does what it does so well, because it works. You could do the same.
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