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Publisher's Summary

The Continental Op is a short, squat, and utterly unsentimental tank of a private detective. Miss Gabrielle Dain Leggett is young, wealthy, and a devotee of morphine and religious cults. She has an unfortunate effect on the people around her: they have a habit of dying violently. Is Gabrielle the victim of a family curse? Or is the truth about her weirder and infinitely more dangerous? The Dain Curse is one of the Continental Op's most bizarre cases, and a tautly crafted masterpiece of suspense.

©1928, 1929 Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. All rights reserved. (P)2011 AudioGo

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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Story

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  • Darwin8u
  • Mesa, AZ, United States
  • 05-12-12

A Literary IMPOSSIBLE bottle.

I think Dashiell Hammett made this novel into a type of literary impossible bottle. I admire his work, and generally followed the puzzled steps, but at the end just think he went a strata too deep. Don't get me wrong, I DO love Hammett and liked this book a lot. It just isn't in the same class as: Red Harvest, The Thin Man or The Maltese Falcon.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Brad
  • Littleton, MA, United States
  • 09-03-15

A Noir Classic

An atmospheric prohibition era detective novel with an incredibly complex plot. The essence is the authentic period dialog and the world weary detective following a maze of crimes. This novel is a precursor to so many 1950's detective novels.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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The Continental Op Does An X-File

The Dain Curse is probably the weakest of Hammett's novels, and definitely the strangest. The overall arc is told via three detective stories: the first is about the Op investigating a diamond burglary, the second has him investigating cult weirdness, and the third has him investigating small-town weirdness, with a short detour that reveals a more compassionate side. The stories, being so different, give the whole thing a off-kilter feel. The characters don't always convince, and there are quite a few of them to keep track of by the end.

That said, I still enjoyed the book. It may not be The Maltese Falcon, or even Red Harvest, but it's still three hardboiled yarns written by one of the greats. It benefits from Hammett's splendid prose, constant plot twists, a surreal atmosphere, and Richard Ferrone's gravelly narration. I don't regret spending a credit on it, and I think that's the main thing.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A good but complicated plot

This story is god and unconventional. Its more four connected story’s that don’t make all that much sense until the end. Its well written, the dialog is superb and the atmosphere is as hardboiled as it gets. But the plot is a little bit confusing.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Hard-boiled Classic

The adaptation from short stories to novel makes it feel like such, but I could not stop listening.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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One of my favorite Continental Op stories.

Richard Ferrone sounds exactly as I'd picture the Op sounding, and does a great job. with the rest of the characters.

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Great snakes!

I love Hammett, every word is dingy poetry. A great yarn and the use of color is amazing. I recommend it!

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Expected more from Dashiell Hammett.

Great narrator. I found the story somewhat contrived and a bit disappointing. Blatant racism.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Cobbled Noir

Hammett's noir fiction language is the most interesting aspect of this audiobook, and Ferrone has a wonderful voice for noir. The unnamed detective goes from one crime to another starting with a diamond theft. The plot elements seem cobbled together and the detective's attempts to understand the connections are tediously laid out.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful