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This Is The Original Detective Novel

One of the many things I love about reading through the Time list is the opportunity I’ve had to read a lot of groundbreaking fiction.

Many of these books were the first of their kind. And if they weren’t the “first,” they were at least the books that made the genres popular.

Red Harvest absolutely fits into that mold. If you read this novel without context or background, you might think it’s just another detective novel—like thousands of others. But Red Harvest is so well done, so before its time, that I believe it sets itself apart even if it was written 10 years ago instead of in 1929.

As I mentioned in my post on Tuesday about the novel’s opener, you could read the whole novel with a wise guy detective voice in your head. It’s spot on. In the comments, Aeolianlyre mentioned that she read the opening paragraph with Humphrey Bogart’s voice in her head, and that’s exactly the tone the novel gives you.

The Continental Op is the unnamed narrator sent to a small town in Montana to investigate corruption. As you might guess, things spiral out of control once he gets there. That’s where the story begins.

It’s a short novel, but we all need a short novel every now and then right? Not only that, but it’s a good short novel so I should have this one finished up soon.

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12 Comments Post a comment
  1. Red Harvest is evidently an iconic book. I have to confess I hadn’t heard of it prior to visiting your blog. Will add it to my to-read list.

    Like

    April 24, 2014
    • I hadn’t heard of it either before this blog, so you have company.

      Like

      April 24, 2014
  2. I’ve only ever read The Thin Man by Hammett and it was a different experience, but I did enjoy it! Can’t wait to see what you have to say about this one.

    Like

    April 24, 2014
  3. Love following this

    Like

    April 24, 2014
  4. Looks like you have something to read to get the taste of Possession out of your system.

    Like

    April 24, 2014
  5. TJ McAvoy #

    It’s my favorite Hammett, it has more of an edge than any of his other works.

    Like

    April 25, 2014
  6. Liz #

    Adding to my list. Have to admit I’ve always confused him w/ Chandler. Probably because of Humphrey Bogart.

    Like

    April 26, 2014
  7. I’ve been reading more of Hammett lately, but I need to add this one to my list!

    Like

    April 26, 2014

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. The Short Life of Authors | Boy Reads Books
  2. Book #70: Red Harvest | 101 Books
  3. April 2014: Classic crime in the blogosphere | Past Offences Classic Crime Fiction

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