The man who created the boldest hard boiled fiction, Dashiell Hammett, wrote The Thin Man in 1933 and launched the fun-loving, booze-swilling, mystery-solving couple Nick and Nora Charles into American culture. MGM sold millions of movie tickets by casting William Powell and Myrna Loy as this classiest of romantic couples. Over 14 years and six films, these stars navigated grave periods of history: the Great Depression, World War II, and the Cold War. The novel and films live on as gems of a unique gritty sophistication. This complete history of The Thin Man series covers the brightest stars, tastiest scandals, headlines and conflicts behind these classic films. With a cast of hundreds, we see Hammett, his lover Lillian Hellman, and their friend Dorothy Parker fight alcoholism, sexual convention and Senator Joe McCarthy in culture wars of eerie contemporaneity.
“This first unabridged appearance of two Nick and Nora Charles ‘novellas’ by Hammett should be an occasion for delight, and it is.” —The Wall Street Journal Dashiell Hammett was a crime writer who elevated the genre to true literature, and The Thin Man was Hammett’s last—and most successful—novel. Following the enormous success of The Thin Man movie in 1934, Hammett was commissioned to write stories for additional films. He wrote two full-length novellas, for the films that became After the Thin Man and Another Thin Man. Bringing back his classic characters, retired private investigator Nick Charles and his former debutante wife Nora, who return home to find Nora’s family gardener murdered, pulling the couple back into another deadly game of cat and mouse. Hammett has written two fully satisfying Thin Man stories, with classic, barbed Hammett dialogue and fully developed characters. Written in the style of a screenplay treatment, The Return of the Thin Man is a hugely entertaining read that brings back two classic characters from one of the greatest mystery writers who ever lived. This book is destined to become essential reading for Hammett’s millions of fans and a new generation of mystery readers the world over. “Read Return of the Thin Man and rediscover why Dashiell Hammett was the peerless master of crime fiction in all its dark and bloody glory.” —New York Journal of Books “A volume no fan of Hammett’s, of Nick and Nora Charles, of The Thin Man series should even think of doing without.” —The Huffington Post
Although characters and stories like Sam Spade and The Maltese Falcon are famous the world over, despite the New York Times' description of him as the 'dean of the school of hard-boiled noir', Dashiel Hammett wrote only five full-length novels in his career. The Thin Man was the last of these, published in 1934. But Hammett wrote two other 'treatments' for investigator Nick Charles and his nemesis Charles Wynant; the 'thin man' of the title. Lost when Hammett retired as a novelist, together those treatments form the continuing story of The Thin Man, which is now being published for the first time. Dashiell Hammett died in 1961. His influence inspired writers as diverse as Raymond Chandler and William Burroughs and changed the face of crime writing forever.
The Thin Man (1934) is a detective novel by Dashiell Hammett, made famouos by the series of movies based on it starring William Powell and Myrna Loy. The story is set in New York City during the Christmas season of 1932, in the last days of Prohibition in the United States. Nick Charles, a retired private detective, and Nora, his socialite wife, become embroiled in a mystery.