The Thin Man: Book Review

The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett

Audible recently had a $4.95 sale and I was browsing through it and found The Thin Man on sale. I was intrigued since I really enjoyed the Thin Man movies starring William Powell and Myrna Loy. So I went ahead and bought it.

The book was originally published in 1934. I naively assumed that the content would be “clean” given the time it was written in. Lol, WRONG!

While there were no explicit adult situations, there are men cheating on their wives, possible incest hinted at, and abuse. the language was also quite strong. There was also a short passage about cannibalism which, though not grotesquely described, I still found rather disturbing.

It had been a long time since I had seen the movie so I couldn’t remember who the murderer was. It was fun to listen to the book and see if I could figure out who done it… I did. =D

The story is told through the eyes of Nick Charles, a former NY detective who has returned to NY after several years absence with his socialite wife. He is reluctantly pulled into the mystery of who killed the secretary of one of Nick’s former clients. A client who is consistently absent. It doesn’t help that the main family involved is touched by the god of craziness and they seem to have no ability to tell the truth.

I enjoyed listening to the book though I was rather taken aback by the language and the attitudes of the characters. But that was just the result of my own incorrect presumptions going into the reading.

The style of exposition is more conversation based rather than descriptive based. This lends itself to a more seemingly simplistic story-telling. I think this works very well for this story and helps to create the character of the narrator, Nick Charles.

Those who enjoy gritty detective stories will probably enjoy The Thin Man.

Kindle: The Thin Man

Physical Book: The Thin Man

ibook:  The Thin Man – Dashiell Hammett