It was a bit of a challenge to read The Maltese Falcon. Even though Hammett describes Spade as “a blond Satan” with “stooped shoulders” it was difficult for me not to envision Spade as Bogart. Secondly, The Maltese Falcon has been parodied so many times, by people like Woody Allen and Garrison Keillor, that sometimes it was difficult for me not to laugh when I read the scenes that inspired parody i.e. When “Miss Wonderly” hires Archer and Spade and when Gutman explains why he wants the Falcon.
Although, it was well worth the effort, just for the way Hammett describes spade rolling a cigarette. The ending is quite a bit different from the film. Lastly, The Maltese Falcon is also the story that started a genre; herein are double crosses, within double-crosses, a femme fatale, and potboiler suspense. I highly recommend The Maltese Falcon to anyone who is a fan of Noir or old movies.
Review Submitted by: Kevin Oldfield
Rating: Highly Recommended