★ [PDF / Epub] ☄ The Dain Curse By Dashiell Hammett ✪ – Uroturk.info

The Dain Curse Towards the end of The Dain Curse, a female character tells the Continental Op affectionately that he is a monster A nice one, an especially nice one to have around when you re in trouble, but a monster just the same, without any human foolishness like love in him While in fact he may have a bit human foolishness than she gives him credit for, this does sum up the essence of Hammett s anti hero Unlike the romantic chess playing Marlowe and even keeled Archer who d follow him, the Continental Op is a short, fat, unattractive beast whose only conquest is the case he s paid to solve.For me one of the striking attributes of the Op was his intense, nasty, and thoroughly unapologetic racism The language and attitudes in this book towards non white characters, particularly women, are pretty shocking to the modern reader s ostensibly jaded sensibilities This is one of the main reasons I love old crime fiction, though for its detailed depiction of the s of times that have passed Retrospective representations of old timey American racism usually seem unrealistic those racists are villains and their attitudes are supposed to illustrate a moral point In The Dain Curse, the Op s racism is just taken for granted, and the vulgarity and violence of its expression as when he instructs another operative to rough up the mulatto in order to scare her is just supposed to be part of what makes him hardboiled.Maybe reading old crime novels isn t the most responsible way to learn social history, but it is one of the most fun In addition to showing multi ethnic 1920s California with all its unpleasantness and white supremacy, this book like all twentieth century crime fiction is fascinating for the contrast it illustrates between privacy now and then It always fascinates me to read about a world where people s home addresses were common knowledge and easily shared, but where no one needed a social security number no one had a social security number to rent an apartment or turn on the lights, there weren t many photographs floating around, and there was nothing really to stop a person from moving to a new city and setting up a life under a new name.More specific to this book was its period depiction of substance use, in particular of opioid addiction There is a pretty remarkable sequence of morphine detox, and I found this, and the sympathetic junkie character, a lot down to earth and less sensational than most modern treatments of the subject.In terms of this book s plot, it s pretty ridiculous and not one of those brilliantly satisfying, all comes together brilliantly like a puzzle type things, but personally I don t care so much about that I really liked the structure, which was three major sections in which tons of people were killed and then the case would seem to be solved but the Op was not satisfied that all was really concluded as neatly as it seemed, and he d be proven right when the murders inevitably started up again On the whole, I found the book very engaging and fun and satisfying to read I think I might ve read it already, years and years ago, but I don t really remember I probably won t remember this time very well soon either, but it was a good summer read and now I m on to the next book in my crime spree, having finally recalled that there s no point in my trying to read anything except that during this time of the year. 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 Dangerous The Dain Curse Is One Of The Continental Op S Most Bizarre Cases, And A Tautly Crafted Masterpiece Of Suspense The Continental Op is brought in after some diamonds go missing, but instead of solving a simple case of theft he ends up embroiled in the on going troubles of a disturbed young woman who believes herself to be the victim of a family curse.This certainly isn t the best Hammett you can read, but it s not bad The plot is all over the place and doesn t make much sense, but the main appeal is the attitude of the Op who still shines as the cynical private detective who has seen it all. Hammett s first stab at crime fiction as literature possibly the first ever , the last appearance of the Continental Op and the most misunderstood of his novels While every other Op tale was a straight ahead tough guy detective story, this book is an elaborate satire of three things 1 the English tea cozy mystery novel, where at the climax everyone all the characters are gathered in the parlor while the detective explains what happens, 2 the weird menace horror stories like Lovecraft s that were the primary competitor of the crime pulps and 3 the contempt that real literary authors had for his work.So the novel includes such bizarre set pieces as a parlor scene that does not end in the traditional British manner a scene where the Op fistfights God and repeated scenes where literary author Owen Fitzstephan mocks the crimes the Op investigates and his true to life detective methods as boring writing material The fact that both the Op and Fitzstephan are obviously aspects of Hammett himself makes it even weirder.The only one of his novels that was not a smash hit with critics, it sadly led him to abandon the Op forever, Hammett no longer believing that a series character would be taken seriously as literature. The best books dissolve in your hands You get so caught up in them you don t recall moving your eyes over the lines of print or turning the pages When a good read is open you re a thousand miles away and a hundred years ago Unfortunately, The Dain Curse 1929 isn t that type of read You never forget it s a book because of how it bounces when you throw it against the wall.It starts off like dozens of other mysteries a home is broken into and some diamonds go missing The Continental Op is called in to investigate The thief turns up eventually, and so do the skeletons in the closet, the bats in the belfry, and the bodies in the basement San Francisco is transformed into a morgue and the carnage spills over into the surrounding counties At the center of this whirlpool of death and insanity is Gabrielle Leggett, a young woman who s convinced that a family curse is responsible for destroying everyone she is close to The Op has to recover not only the diamonds but also the young woman s wits.Hammett s plain, terse style creates an air of verisimilitude in the first few chapters You may be reminded of Hemingway But Hemingway got away with this type of writing because he was interested in creating characters, and he understood understatement Hammett works with stick figures and tries to counterbalance his spare prose with bizarre and over the top twists and turns in the plot Everybody has a name, a gat in the pocket, and a secret to hide When things get too quiet, Hammett either introduces half a dozen new characters or he just chucks another corpse on the heap You ll be stymied trying to keep track of who s who And what a variety of murders You d think Hammett was about to move on to another genre and was cleaning out the ice box.So read The Dain Curse as pure pulp fiction, the kind that sticks in your teeth You may be frustrated with the long confessions that tried to make sense of an otherwise almost incomprehensible plot The body count is ridiculous But in the end you may come to like the Op and enjoy the book for its zaniness and its strong period feel. Bodies galore When Edgar Leggett s home is broken into and some not particularly valuable diamonds go missing, his insurance company send along their operative to investigate enter the Continental Op, the only name we are given for the first person narrator The CO soon decides that there s been some kind of inside job, and that there s to the case than a simple burglary Leggett has a wife and a weird, strange looking but oddly attractive daughter, Gabrielle The plot is entirely incomprehensible so that s as much of a summary as I ll give Suffice it to say, the thing soon turns bloody, with corpses than you could shake a stick at, supposing you would want to do such a thing Gabrielle, who seems to be thought of by some as a femme fatale but seems to me way too pathetic to be such a thing, is at the centre of all the mysterious happenings and comes to believe she is cursed It s up to the CO to solve whatever it is that s going on, and amazingly, he does.Oddly, despite the fact that the plot is nonsensical, episodic, and barely hangs together, I still found the book entertaining This is largely due to the snappy, hardboiled style of the writing and the relentless pace, which doesn t give the reader much time to ponder the basic absurdity of the storyline Plus, in the middle of it there is a passage of very effective horror writing, as the CO battles an evil apparition that may be real or may be the product of hallucination, or is possibly a combination of both I forgave a lot of the book s weaknesses for my enjoyment of that piece of writing Through the thing s transparent flesh I could see my hands clenched in the center of its damp body I opened them, struck up and down inside it with stiff crooked fingers, trying to gouge it open and I could see it being torn apart, could see it flowing together after my clawing fingers had passed but all I could feel was its dampness. It also gives a snapshot of aspects of Californian life at the time of writing the late 1920s Inevitably, this involves some pretty strong racist language, but I felt this was an accurate reflection of the time built in and possibly incorrect assumption in that phrase that things have improved since and in fact Hammett treated his non white characters no worse than his white ones, so at least he was pretty even handed in that sense We also get to see that guns were as ubiquitous then as they still are now In fact, as I write this, I m realising that it could as easily have been written today weird religious cults, casual drug taking, addiction, money is the root of all evil Prohibition might be the only thing that has really receded into the past, though I liked that he touched on the idea of moral degeneracy showing as a physical thing, identifiable by physical features a concept that pops up in true crime cases around the turn of the century and also appears in quite a lot of late Victorian horror writing Hammett references Arthur Machen in the text and I felt his influence could be seen both in this concept and in the piece of horror writing in the middle of the book Another touch I enjoyed is Hammett s inclusion of a character who is a novelist, which gives him the chance to include some humorously self deprecating dialogueAre you who make your living snooping sneering at my curiosity about people and my attempts to satisfy it We re different, I said I do mine with the object of putting people in jail, and I get paid for it, though not as much as I should That s not different, he said I do mine with the object of putting people in books, and I get paid for it, though not as much as I should Yeah, but what good does that do God knows What good does putting them in jail do Relieves congestion, I said Put enough people in jail, and cities wouldn t have traffic problemsI feel I should have to say about this one, but I don t It s quite fun, so long as you can get past the silliness of the plot But in truth I m not sure why it would be considered a classic any than most other books of the era For me, it s doesn t even come close to the only other Hammett I ve read, The Maltese Falcon, which unlike this one is tightly plotted and has a wonderful femme fatale worthy of the title I suspect that if it hadn t been for that later one, this one may have been forgotten along with most of the pulp fiction of the time According to Martin Edwards in his The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books, Hammett himself later described this book asa silly story all style , and I m forced to agree with him Still, that style covers a whole lot of weaknesses meaning that I found it an entertaining read overall, and that s the most important thingwww.fictionfanblog.wordpress.com 1920s America The language in this book is at times embarrassing with its sexist and racist comments But the story is a romp where after 50 pages it seems like a murder or two has been solved But then there are even murders all connected to a young woman who thinks she is carrying a family curse It s all a bit fanciful at times but there is a uniqueness to have a crime novels where the crimes just keep coming. Enter Unnamed Continental Op of Red Harvest fame This time he was doing an investigation on behalf of an insurance company Somebody stole second rated diamonds from a researcher who borrowed them from somebody else to discover a way to give them permanent color Everything seemed like an ordinary burglary until people connected to investigation started to drop dead with alarming rate To give you a mild spoiler the total amount of dead bodies at the end was not as high as in Red Harvest nobody can beat this record, but it came close enough Out hero he is like an anti hero was trying to protect a young woman from herself She believed there was a curse attached to her She also seemed to be right every time the investigation was seemingly over, the culprits caught and brought to justice, she would move to a different location and after a short time people would start dropping dead again Rinse and repeat This endless investigation gave the story an interesting angle Was there a real curse Especially considering the second part had some pseudo paranormal elements By the way, I loved this part The mystery was great and quite complicated, the action was exactly what you would expect from a star of Red Harvest The only reason I did not give book 5 stars was a slowdown at the end Dashiell Hammett confirmed his status of a classic noir mystery writer once again I have yet to find a boring book written by him. If you re into stuff like this, you can read the full review.Daft The Dain Curse by Dashiell Hammett Original Review, 1981 03 08 We don t do it that wayYou re a storywriter I can t trust you not to build up on what I tell you I ll save mine till after you ve spoken your piece, so yours won t be twisted to fit mine In The Dain Curse by Dashiell Hammett Are you who make your living snooping sneering at my curiosity about people and my attempts to satisfy it We re differentI do mine with the object of putting people in jail, and I get paid for it, though not as much as I should That s not differentI do mine with the object of putting people in books, and I get paid for it, though not as much as I should In The Dain Curse by Dashiell Hammett


About the Author: Dashiell Hammett

Also wrote as Peter Collinson, Daghull Hammett, Samuel Dashiell, Mary Jane HammettSamuel Dashiell Hammett was an American author of hardboiled detective novels and short stories Among the enduring characters he created are Sam Spade The Maltese Falcon , Nick and Nora Charles The Thin Man , and the Continental Op Red Harvest and The Dain Curse In addition to the significant influence his


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