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Publisher's Summary

The Thin Man introduces Nick and Nora Charles, New York's coolest crime-solving couple. Nick retired from detecting after his wife inherited a tidy sum, but six years later a pretty blonde spies him at a speakeasy and asks for his help finding her father, an eccentric inventor who was once Nick's client.  

Nick can no more resist the case than a morning cocktail or a good fight, and soon he and Nora are caught in a complicated web of confused identities and cold-blooded murder.

©1934 Alfred A. Knopf. Copyright renewed 1961, 1962 by Dashiell Hammett. All rights reserved. (P)2008 BBC Audiobooks America

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    189
  • 4 Stars
    179
  • 3 Stars
    79
  • 2 Stars
    30
  • 1 Stars
    16

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    169
  • 4 Stars
    129
  • 3 Stars
    56
  • 2 Stars
    15
  • 1 Stars
    22

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    178
  • 4 Stars
    130
  • 3 Stars
    57
  • 2 Stars
    18
  • 1 Stars
    11
Sort by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Story is classic. Recording? Not so much.

This is a classic noir story and Dashiell Hammett is a master of the genre. The actor doesn't do a bad job. His tone is a bit sarcastic but I credit that to artistic license. My biggest complaint is that the entire last chapter is missing from this unabridged recording. How unfortunate. It's a good thing I have the printed copy too.

21 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

RECORDING IS DEFECTIVE! MISSING SEVEN CHAPTERS!

Would you try another book from Dashiell Hammett and/or William Dufris?

THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE ISSUE. THIS RECORDING IS DEFECTIVE!

What do you think your next listen will be?

THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE ISSUE. THIS RECORDING IS DEFECTIVE!

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of William Dufris?

THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE ISSUE. THIS RECORDING IS DEFECTIVE!

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

ANGER ABOUT THE DEFECTIVE RECORDING.

Any additional comments?

This recording is defective. It's missing seven chapters of the book. I reported this to Audible in October, 2012, and they still haven't corrected it. AND THEY STILL ARE OFFERING THE DEFECTIVE RECORDING FOR SALE! If you look at other comments, you can see that the defect has existed at least since July, 2011. AND YET AUDIBLE CONTINUES TO OFFER THE DEFECTIVE BOOK TO ITS UNSUSPECTING CUSTOMERS! Do I seem angry? Well, I am. I love the idea of Audible, but my experience with this book and their cavalier attitude and inadequate customer service has completely undermined my confidence in the accuracy and completeness of their recordings.

42 of 43 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Defective recording is missing 7 chapters

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

A complete recording.

What could Dashiell Hammett have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Not the fault of the author.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narrator was fine.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The parts that were not missing were excellent.

23 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kathryn
  • WATERFORD, MI, United States
  • 11-04-11

The reader ruins it.

I love this book but every female voice is made unbearable whiny, even Nora's. Many of the male characters sound cartoonish. I know this is noir and there is meant to be a lot of color but the reader makes it hard to listen to.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

a great listen on every level!

story, characters and storytelling stand the test of time. very much enjoyed this iconic book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Bad performance ruins classic

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

To the rnarrator Put some thought into what kind of impression you want to give of the first-person narrator before you start talking. the narrator uses elegant language; don't sound like a careless slob.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

So much like the movie

I love the movie series so much, so I was eager to read the original book. They're very closely correlated, which I was pleased about. Of course the book has a little more dry detail and introspection, but the characters and events were very accurate. I wish the ending had been as dramatic as the dinner party at the end of the movie, but it was still the same verdict.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Couldn't finish

It may be because I watched the movie before listening/reading the book, but I really had a hard time with this story: boring with borderline creepy; and the narrator did nothing to help. I couldn't finish it.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A classic mystery

The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett features Nick Charles, a former detective, aged 41, who now lives the high life since his wife, Nora, inherited a fortune. As the book opens, Nick sits drinking at a speakeasy in New York a few days before Christmas 1933 when a young lady approaches him. She tells him that she is Dorothy Wynant, the daughter of Nick's former client, the eccentric inventor Clyde Wynant. Dorothy asks Nick's help to locate her father, whom she hasn't seen in nearly ten years. He puts Dorothy in touch with Clyde's lawyer, who tells Dorothy where her father lives, though he is currently out of town. Then two days later, the newspaper reports that Clyde's secretary, Julia Wolfe, has been murdered. Julia's affair with Clyde was responsible for the break-up of Clyde and Mimi's marriage eight years earlier. It was the-now Mimi Yorgunsen who discovered Julia as she lay dying of a gunshot wound when Mimi visited Julia's home to inquire after the location of her ex-husband.

Nick tries to stay out of the case, pointing out that he quit the private detective business several years earlier, but everyone seems determined to drag him into it. Dorothy and her younger brother, Gilbert, also become enamored of Nick, full of hero worship, and Mimi tries to flirt with Nick, all of which add to the pressure Nick experiences to work on the case. But then Shep Morelli, the mobster whom police have zeroed in on, shoots Nick in a bizarre attempt to prove his innocence. Fortunately, it's only a flesh wound in his side, so typical of such books, Nick virtually immediately forgets about his injury, as if a gunshot wound is nothing more than a papercut.

The plot thickens when the police discover that Wynant's ex- wife's new husband, Chris Yorgunsen, is really Victor Rosewater, a former employee and enemy of Wynant. Nick finds himself having to sort through all the lies of those around him, in particular Dorothy, who clings to Nick as "the maiden in distress," and Mimi, who alternates between hostility and coming onto him romantically. "When I start believing Mimi, I hope I have sense not to admit it." In the meantime, Clyde Wynant proves elusive, with everyone's wondering about his involvement in the situation.

The Thin Man, published in 1932, is a classic mystery book that inspired a popular series of movies starring William Powell and Myrna Loy as Nick and Nora Charles. The title refers to Clyde Wynant, who is unusually thin. The book centers around the question of whether Wynant murdered Julia Wolfe or is just an eccentric inventor trying to save his latest invention. The conclusion came as quite a surprise to me but made sense once it all came out.

The characters in this book come across vividly, as we strongly picture each one, especially Nick and Nora, along with Dorothy and Mimi. Nick seems to be drinking alcohol throughout the whole course of the book, so I can't help but wonder how he has his wits to detect the case. We see Nora, Dorothy, Gilbert, and Mimi drunk at various times, but though Nick drinks more than everyone else, he never seems to get drunk. Dorothy does get a little tiresome at times, as she clings to Nick and seems like a lovesick teenager with a lot more complexity and deceit to her than the 20- something woman she is.

William Dufris performs the audiobook of The Thin Man. He creates strong characterizations of each one in the book. The voices he creates for each person suit all of them well. I appreciated his inflections and timing in his performance, which I really enjoyed.

So far in my exploration of classic mysteries, Going for the Golden, I have not been highly impressed by most of the books, which seem to be darker and often more dragged out than books I typically enjoy. But The Thin Man came across stronger and more interesting than many classic mysteries I've covered so far, with the definite exception of the Nero Wolfe and Perry Mason books, which I love. Hammett writes from experience, having worked as a private detective both before and after World War I, adding verisimilitude to the book. It contains curious twists, and the question of the truth about Clyde Wynant and his innocence adds a strong layer of intrigue. I give this book four stars.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Sandy
  • United States
  • 06-11-17

Classic ruined by the narrator

William Powell and Myrna Loy were wonderful in the movie as was the plot and story and I couldn't wait to listen to it on audible. Totally ruined by a narrator whose people either sound querulous or blurry or stupid. Will try another thin man with another narrator.