Red Harvest

Narrated by: Richard Ferrone
Length: 6 hrs and 27 mins
4 out of 5 stars (431 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

When the last honest citizen of Poisonville was murdered, the Continental Op stayed on to punish the guilty--even if that meant taking on an entire town. Red Harvest is more than a superb crime novel: it is a classic exploration of corruption and violence in the American grain. From the author of The Maltese Falcon.

©1929, 1956 Alfred A. Knopf, Inc, Dashiell Hammett. All rights reserved. (P)2011 AudioGO

Critic Reviews

"Dashiell Hammett is an original. He is a master of the detective novel, yes, but also one hell of a writer." ( Boston Globe)
What members say
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story, great narration, terrible reccording

If you could sum up Red Harvest in three words, what would they be?

Bad audio engineer

What did you like best about this story?

Tight, complex, hard-boiled noir/detective thriller. Classic Dashiell Hammett.

Would you be willing to try another one of Richard Ferrone’s performances?

Maybe. His narration and voice-acting is great. But there is this audio artifact from the recording where a lot of initial consonants are cut off, probably from an improperly-adjusted noise-gate. So for example, the words "she" and "he" both come out pronounced "E". This is distracting, and it also makes it hard to follow some of what is going on.

13 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

It's not Yojimbo

But it's just as good. Think film noir. It is a great gangster story from a century ago.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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The Op takes the case.

Where does Red Harvest rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Red Harvest is a the one of the best action audiobooks I Listened to so far

Who was your favorite character and why?

The Op is my second most favorite detective Hammett ever wrote. Right after Sam Spade.

Have you listened to any of Richard Ferrone’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I listened him do Hammett other Op story, The Dain Curse. His performance in this audio was better.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes this was one those books.

Any additional comments?

Hammett writes the best stories. They also make great audiobooks.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Interestingly, The Op nevers quotes Ezekiel 25:17.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would recommend it, but with the caveat that while this is a good hardboiled novel, listeners wanting to introduce themselves to Hammett should go for "The Maltese Falcon" read by William Dufris.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Red Harvest?

There is one point where The Op gets into a car with some gangsters and, going to another gangster's building, firebombs it like the Rojos in "A Fistful Of Dollars". The whole thing gloriously devolves into huge gunfight in the street.

The Continental Op is, like, the most hardboiled dude in the universe. Before this, I've only listened to Hammett's "The Maltese Falcon" and "The Glass Key", and The Op leaves Sam Spade and Ned Beaumont in the dust.

What aspect of Richard Ferrone’s performance would you have changed?

There were a couple points in the reading where I believed Ferrone was misinterpreting character dialogue. I also think, but am not sure, that at one point he got voices mixed up.

Other than that, I liked him. His gravelly first-person narration adds yet another level of hardboiled to this already ridiculously hardboiled book.

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

Reading this after the (relatively) restrained "Falcon" and "Key", I was delighted at just how over-the-top the story is. If memory serves, less than ten people die in "Falcon" and in "Key". Here, I wouldn't be surprised if the body count hits fifty. Even The Op seems surprised by it all, given his worries at going "Blood Simple."

Any additional comments?

In my mind, Hammett essentially took a B-story idea and elevated it with good plotting, prose, and dialogue. This really is a fun book.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Yojimbo in Baltimore

Tough-guy noir bloodbath as The Continental Op takes down the entire corrupt city of Personville (based, I'm told, on Baltimore, a city that Hammett deeply loathed.) Fun, fast-moving, with lots of snappy dialogue--and, to my mind, better written than The Glass Key. Just stay alert--there are a lot of names to keep track of.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Deception and greed

To keep his company town his own, the owner of the company town, Wilson, brings in thugs to break A strike at a mining company in the 1920s.
It takes eight months to break up the strike but then the true cost begins to become apparent.Those who help break up the strike have no plans to go away from the city that they feel that they now own and control. Battles ensue between the owner of the mining Company and the thugs.

The owner of the mining company brings a man from a company in San Francisco to clean up the town. That man, Dashiell Hammett, is given carte blanche ample funds to use whatever methods he would like to use to restore the town to civility and expunge the thugs.

One thug is a bootlegger, another is a gambler, another is a woman who brokers information, another is the police chief and there more including Wilson who hires Hammett. Also Wilson had a son who came back home to help clean up the town, not knowing that his father was involved in part of its corruption.

The book is a delightful Read. Hammett is only one man. He has to think carefully how he is going to use his Brains, occasionally his Brawn and, and pistol to stay alive, Get control of the town,and decrease the number of thugs in town.

He does this with tact, careful talk, knowing how to be in the right place at the right time, working hard, and realizing how he can take it vantage of one groups anger or misunderstanding and have the various bags fight it out among themselves until he’s the last man standing.

Although the plot may be good, what we enjoy is Hammet and how he does his job.

The language of the time (1920s)has many colloquialisms that we learn through context but these add tremendously to the distraction created by the work. There is much hidden humor and double entendre.

This book is a distraction. In my opinion that’s often what a book should do, distract us from reality for a while and this book draws us in with its well described characters, it’s mini subplots, Practical Criminal philosophy,partial understandings and out right deceit as well as the cleverness used by our hero, Dashiell Hammett, to achieve his objectives.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Noir fun

This book was a fun, fast paced read with memorable characters, and a plot really kept my interest. The narration was excellent.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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A Very Well Read Audiobook, An Ok Noir Detective Story of The 1920s

This audiobook is very well read by Richard Ferrone, I read this novel on Kindle while listening simultaneously and the narrator was very faithful and professional.

The story itself is a decent example of the hard core, cynical Noir private detective of the 1920s and 1930s. There are parts of the story that are unrealistic. There are numerous characters and I occasionally had trouble keeping track while listening. The Kindle really helped me in that regard.

I enjoyed this listening and reading experience, mostly from the standpoint of experiencing a Noir Pulp Detective Novel of that era. Thank You...

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Very well done.

Richard Ferrone sounds like my Dad. I love the story, but the performance really brought the whole thing home for me.

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ah...noir

I read this years ago and liked the style. The reader made it even better.