Dashiell Hammett (May 27, 1894 – January 10, 1961)
American author of hard-boiled detective novels and short stories, screenwriter, and political activist. 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).
Hammett “is now widely regarded as one of the finest mystery writers of all time”. In his obituary in The New York Times, he was described as “the dean of the… ‘hard-boiled’ school of detective fiction." His novels and stories also had a significant influence on films. (Wikipedia)
From our stacks: Dust cover detail from The Maltese Falcon By Dashiell Hammett. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1945. Jacket design by Warren Chappell.
*READ SECOND PARAGRAPH FOR SYNOPSIS* (read this book people)
Unlike anything I’ve ever read before. This creepy, paranormal/psychological thriller/cult novel is so unique and bizarre that I can’t begin to explain how good it was without sounding like a sociopath. You never know what’s real, what’s psychosis and what’s witchcraft, so it leaves you guessing all the damn time.
Without spoiling anything, this book centres around two girls who share the same body: Carly, who’s around during the day, and Kaitlyn, who has the night. They have a beautiful and peculiar sisterhood created entirely by leaving each other messages when they are awake. But, of course, nobody believes this is true and ‘Carly’ has been diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder. Soon, things start to change between them until something terrible happens which resorts in a whole bunch of terrifying and disturbing events. It’s scary and captivating and even horrifying in some places.
This story is told in diary entries, reports, interviews and written records of video tapes all collected to carry out an investigation. I usually don’t like multi-media story telling - but this is absolutely fascinating! Kaitlyn writes in her diary as if it’s talking back (which it could be in her head) and you will never know the parts of the story that haven’t been recorded in some way. It’s very mysterious in that way.
As well as all this, if you think about this book too much - it’s hecka scary. Not for readers who don’t like gore since it’s so deliciously gory and gross (see? sociopath.). There’s a lot of cult-like actions, too, which are fascinating since you never know whether what they’re saying is true or a result of group hysteria or psychosis.
God this is such a good book! I’m probably going to hell for how much I enjoyed it and I am a little worried about how the author came up with this concept but still - READ IT.
Happy 115th Birthday to the Master of Suspense! For over 50 years, Alfred Hitchcock created dozens of some most recognizable and praised horror movies of the 20th century.
In the coming weeks, the New York Public Library will be showing two different Hitchcock films at two different locations. On Sunday, August 17, Family Plot (1976) will be playing at the Mid-Manhattan Branch at 2pm. The following Thursday, Psycho (1960) will be playing at Epiphany Library. Come escape the August heat and enter his chilling world for an afternoon of thrills.