The Maltese Falcon, Dashiell Hammett

A few years ago, my father’s friend gave me some books from his collection. I can’t remember the reasoning for it; he may have just been downsizing. The books are a part of a collection of mystery classics and they are absolutely gorgeous, so there was no way I could refuse them–though, honestly, I’d never refuse a book. I am the New Colossus of the library world, crying to my friends and foes alike: “Give me your tired, your poor, / Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, / The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. / Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me.”

My The Maltese Falcon is a solid, rich-black hardcover, with an image of the falcon statue etched in silver and bordered by spades on the cover. The spade motif continues through the rest of the book’s detailing: the endsheets are a brilliant red colour–but not one that would suggest blood–and covered in a pattern of black spades. The edges of the pages are gilded in silver. In the first few pages, there are pictures from the movie–each filled with an emoting Humphrey Bogart–and the original movie poster. There’s even one of those notes at the end about the typeface the book is set in and its designer!

The content of the book itself was meh. Sam Spade’s pretty full of himself, and I don’t understand why anyone puts up with him. I could really have done without the sexist and homophobic undertones. The book needed a little less talk and a lot more action. I could have died satisfied if I had just lived this story once in my Film Studies class.


Books Read: 16


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