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The Maltese Falcon (Dramatized) Performance
The Maltese Falcon (Dramatized)
Written by: 
Dashiell Hammett
Narrated by: 
Michael Madsen, Sandra Oh, Edward Herrmann
The Maltese Falcon (Dramatized) Performance

The Maltese Falcon (Dramatized)

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Publisher's Summary

The Maltese Falcon first appeared in the pages of Black Mask magazine in 1929. Almost immediately it was acknowledged, not only as a great crime novel, but as an enduring masterpiece of American fiction. Sam Spade, its protagonist, is the archetypal tough, cynical P.I., "able," as his creator explained, "to take care of himself in any situation, able to get the best of anybody he comes in contact with, whether criminal, innocent by-stander or client."

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.

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (93 )
5 star
 (50)
4 star
 (27)
3 star
 (12)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (1)
Overall
4.4 (66 )
5 star
 (41)
4 star
 (16)
3 star
 (5)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (1)
Story
4.5 (64 )
5 star
 (39)
4 star
 (16)
3 star
 (8)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (0)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Emily Mount Macedon, Australia 01-05-13
    Emily Mount Macedon, Australia 01-05-13 Member Since 2015

    A lover of audiobooks of all kinds, since childhood, when long car journeys were accompanied by Discworld stories. @ReineDesLivres (Twitter)

    HELPFUL VOTES
    146
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    79
    62
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    17
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Entertaining, but needed a third-person narrator"

    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!).

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dana Hislop 08-21-10
    Dana Hislop 08-21-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    128
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Why no third-party narrator????"

    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.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kyle McCarley Reseda, CA, United States 03-01-11
    Kyle McCarley Reseda, CA, United States 03-01-11

    Voice over actor with four audiobooks currently available on Audible. Strongly recommend picking up The Greenstone Grail. Enjoy!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Excellent"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrea 06-17-16
    Andrea 06-17-16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic!!!"

    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."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Blake 03-20-16
    Blake 03-20-16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "First one I like"
    What made the experience of listening to The Maltese Falcon (Dramatized) the most enjoyable?

    The speed and story.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Sam Spade


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The ending by far


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    lets not get carried away now.


    Any additional comments?

    I hate books, but I liked this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dr. Scott Silverii USA 03-21-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    26
    7
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Still fantastic"

    A long time fan of this story, hearing the dramatic reading brought it to life. Old-school feel and adventure. Still fantastic!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • kevinsprake
    NOTTINGHAM, United Kingdom
    6/10/12
    Overall
    "A Great Listen"

    I found this a great listen. I enjoyed it more than the bbc radio version. Well recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Alex
    UK
    5/9/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great story, good voice acting, awful production"
    Would you try another book written by Dashiell Hammett or narrated by the narrators?

    Yes, just not one produced by the same producer.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Maltese Falcon (Dramatized)?

    The way the narration forcibly kicked the listener out of the story instead of drawing the listener in.


    What three words best describe the narrators’s performance?

    Competent but disjointed


    What character would you cut from The Maltese Falcon (Dramatized)?

    None. It wouldn't remain faithful to Hammett's original.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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