❴EPUB❵ ✼ The Glass Key Author Dashiell Hammett – 91videos.co

I read this for the first time which dosent have the rep of Red Harvest, The Maltese Falcon but i found it to be almost his best, great lead character in Ned Beaumont It is really a companion piece to Red Harvest because its also set in a small town ruled by corruption and political corruption instead of outright criminal gangs I like how matter factly Hammett explores a social ill like that one This time there is no tough PI looking to bring down the ciminals that own the city, the local law Ned Beaumont is an political henchman, part of the corruption that own the city and he works for a man The Op would bring down in Red Harvest for his crimes In a way its even bleak worldview than in Red Harvest and darker story because the world in the book is full of crooks, political and less political regular crooks I like that in a way because in the real world often they dont pay for their crimes Im not talking about the actual plot of the book but the theme and characters so dont worry about Spoilers.Naturally i prefer The Glass Key over The Maltese Falcon because its essential Hammett story, themes. 655 The Glass Key, Dashiell Hammett 2003 1377. Paul Madvig Was A Cheerfully Corrupt Ward Heeler Who Aspired To Something Better The Daughter Of Senator Ralph Bancroft Henry, The Heiress To A Dynasty Of Political Purebreds Did He Want Her Badly Enough To Commit Murder And If Madvig Was Innocent, Which Of His Dozens Of Enemies Was Doing An Awfully Good Job Of Framing Him Dashiell Hammett S Tour De Force Of Detective Fiction Combines An Airtight Plot, Authentically Venal Characters, And Writing Of Telegraphic Crispness 2 23 If you ve never seen Miller s Crossing , I urge you to without the slightest hesitation do so now The Coen brothers gangster film is not quite up there with The Godfather or Goodfellas , but is a work of genius nevertheless It s a highly stylised tale of a town ruled by the mob and the relationship of the two men at the centre of it Both Gabriel Byrne and Albert Finney are superb indeed, there are no slouches in the entire cast , and the film is packed with fantastic moments which will remain forever in your memory The soundtrack is brilliant too The Coens are variable film makers, but this is one of their Grade A efforts So if you ve never seen it, I order you to please stop reading this now and go out and get yourself a copy You will thank me later.For whatever reason even though I clearly love the film I d never actually read the Dashiell Hammett novel which inspired it Perhaps it was because I didn t know what inspired by actually meant The film isn t a straight adaptation of the book, so is that inspiration obscure and oblique, or is it blatant and obvious The answer is very much the latter They share a similar setting, the relationship between the two central characters, the spark of a mob war, some great dialogue and even all that stuff about the hats You ll understand when you see the film Even if I didn t know that this was the inspiration, I d have spotted it almost immediately anyway.I always dislike reading a book after I ve seen the film, as I normally end up just comparing one to the other, but in this case it was unavoidable However trying to judge it on its own merits, I will say that this is a thrilling read which kept this reader permanently on edge Much like Hammett s Red Harvest , it s frequently difficult to work out which side the lead character is actually on and that of course means anything can happen The ending perhaps isn t as clever or as affecting as it should be, but this is a classy gangster tale with suspense, great scenes and fantastic dialogue and you can t really ask for than that, can you As many reviewers note, Hammett claimed this book was his favorite, and it s easy to see why Structurally it s the most cohesive of his five novels RED HARVEST is great but feels a little serial y, DAIN CURSE is four stories glommed together, and both MALTESE FALCON and THIN MAN have some rather gaping plot holes that you gotta asphalt over to get to the end But GLASS KEY feels coherent and cohesive and let s just add crisp to make an alliterative hat trick Maybe what s most interesting is the way the Ham embeds the serial cliffhangers within the larger plot it s what makes the book feel less improvised than HARVEST On top of this, the characters are shady and fun, in part because Ned Beaumont isn t a PI but a political fixer working a Balti machine boss Read a few books on Hammett and Balti and you ll appreciate how he adapted a lot of real life Democratic frame ups and backstabs into the narrative Some of Ned s dirty tricks will seem almost quaint in this CSI era where crimefighters get so tediously forensic they can track displaced air particles I especially chuckled at the scene where Ned plants a hat in a rival s living room and then plays him like Play Do I also like how the book never gets too specific about ideology We never really see what bossman Paul Madvig s agenda is, other than money and power There are some faults Hammett s women come in two varieties, either doe eyed bambinos or hardened vixens The broad here, Janet Henry, is a wet noodle and makes you long for the snappy patter of Effie Perrine Still, I find Chandler s women interesting they re not so breathy and whiny as Hammett s Though they re better in his stories Plus the whole significance of the title is a red herring Hammett came up with the glass key because his editor at Black Mask was pushing him for a title to publicize his forthcoming serial and then he had to work it into the actual plot And it feels worked in, trust me Still, that hasn t stopped critics from getting all symbolical I especially like when folks go Freudian, as when a guy writes Ned represents a phallic aggression perpetually destroyed by the invasiveness of its masterful gestures because, you know, you stick a key in a hole and sometimes it gets stuck Well, I also thought the significance of the lambs silence was pretty patchy, but you can t call a book The More Buxom, the More Homicidal Or maybe you can. This is on The List Really I mean, I understand why The Maltese Falcon and The Thin Man are on there, because they re great, but as far as I m concerned there was no reason to include this one as well Plainly put, it was dull and confusing It s political thriller than detective novel, so if that s your thing you might like this, but any sort of political intrigue drama generally bores me to death unless it s actually a historical political intrigue There were too many characters introduced too quickly who would then disappear for large sections of the story, making it very difficult to remember who everyone was and why they didn t like each other The leading ladies are boring as hell no smartass Nora Charles or evil Brigid O Shaunessy here just a hysterical gang moll, a dull gangster s daughter, and a duller politician s daughter, and none of them are even mildly scheming or sassy and the detective s romantic interest in one of them doesn t make a damn lick of sense The amateur detective in question is Ned Beaumont, and it s clear that Hammett was going for one of his hard boiled yet charming detective scoundrels, a la Sam Spade or Nick Charles, but the problem is that the charming bad boy is a very sensitive and specific formula, and something was improperly measured when Hammett made Beaumont Rather than being hard boiled, he s just an asshole, and all his quips are smug than funny I never understood his thought process or motivation, much less why everyone kept talking about what a swell guy he was when clearly he was just a crafty douchebag The murder victim that the case centers around never gets to make an appearance in the story we meet him when his body is discovered and so the death Beaumont is investigating never really seems that important, and the twists and turns that the story took left me mostly perplexed because I never knew what was going on in the first place anyway It got to the point where I seriously considered just abandoning the book and reading something else, which is not good I didn t even care who had murdered the guy, because I didn t care about him or any of the people who might have killed him, and I certainly didn t like Beaumont enough to want him to crack the case and get the dame and all that In a word boring Once again, The List has seriously dropped the ball. Dashiell Hammett s heroes are probably best known for their sang froid Take Ned Beaumont of The Glass Key, for instance He will insert himself into any stramash even at the expense of getting himself beaten to a pulp and landing in the hospital And all is to help his politician friend Paul Madvig, who is running for office while trying to evade a number of highly sticky crimes.The messes in this novel multiply, until Beaumont finally finds out who killed the senator s hotheaded son and left his body lying in the street the same senator whose daughter Paul Madvig loved to distraction Fingers point in all directions, but nothing deters Ned It took a while for me to warm up to the story, especially as most of the characters didn t really show their true colors until later But then things get cleaned up lickety split One gang boss is strangled to death by his own hood while Ned looks on The senator is discomfited by the fix in which he finds himself And the two women who love Ned find he doesn t much care for either one of them Hammett is always worth reading, even if this isn t his best book. 1 2I d read The Glass Key years maybe decades ago and I didn t remember any of it I made the mistake of taking this to mean bad I felt justified I remember entire stretches of Red Harvest and The Thin Man The Maltese Falcon doesn t count as it is the novel I ve reread than any other by a wide margin When in a message board review for a different book I grouped The Glass Key among Hammett s lesser works, I was promptly called out on it I couldn t argue I didn t want to argue When than one person has information than you, particularly if it contradicts your position, the correct response is to look into it I finally did.I think the reason my memory lapsed aside from the fact that that s what memories do, given enough time is that the story is built on a couple of unsubstantial cornerstones Ned Beaumont, unlike most Hammett protagonist, is not a private detective What is he, then Well, it is quickly established that he is a gambler Beyond that, his place in this world is murky He seems to be a confidant and advisor to Paul Madvig, the man behind the local power structure But it s not an official position In the opening chapter Beaumont borrows a substantial amount of money from Madvig, who reaches into his pocket without hesitation And then there s the question of where The Glass Key takes place Apparently in a big town or small city somewhere in the northeastern United States it s a day away from New York City by train, the preferred means of long distance transportation in 1931 Considering how much is made of the behind the scene manipulations and politics, you would think the arena would be clearly defined And finally there is a murder of fluctuating consequence It is initially used as a lever to retrieve money from a bookmaker who skipped out with Beaumont s winnings Thereafter it is relegated to one of several points of contention in an upcoming election Only at the conclusion does the solution carry any importance.You have to get deeper into the novel before you realize The Glass Key is actually about this unnamed town and the behind the scenes battle for control of it It s as if Hammett had taken the corruption filled Poisonville of Red Harvest and decided to examine it from the other side But this town is not quite that far gone It is well on the way, however, which is probably why Paul Madvig is often mistakenly referred to as a Crime Boss read gangster by readers Oh, he s a criminal all right but of a powerbroker, a chess master, and, yes, he is completely apathetic to those caught in the gears of his political machine But he never orders murder His opponent in the coming election, Shad O Rory also a behind the scenes operator is much of a racketeer He has no qualms in ordering the severe beating of Ned Beaumont And he is always accompanied by thugs where Paul Madvig walks the streets unattended.The murder instigates all the actions that follow without having any immediate impact on the principals This is mildly surprising because Madvig has aligned himself with a senator also seeking election, and it s his son who is murdered Madvig is also smitten the senator s daughter It is his focus on activities above his station that allows O Rory to make inroads from below The Glass Key follows these skirmishes within the inner workings of this municipality It plays out like a noir movie from the 50s than a 1931 novel Of course, one begot the other And the story does eventually resolve itself with the solution of the murder.I was wrong to consider this a lesser work That it doesn t fit neatly into the rest of the Hammett cannon had allowed it to slip from memory It lacks the layered protagonists of The Maltese Falcon and The Thin Man and the unrelenting pace of Red Harvest What it strives for and achieves is something It s a detailed look at the legal and governmental corruption that had always, for the most part, hovered at the perimeter of Hammett s work The final betrayal in The Glass Key is as close to justice as this particular world is capable of delivering It may represent the last chance this unnamed city has to keep from becoming Poisonville It was all Hammett could do He saw enough real life Poisonvilles in the world around him. Believed to have been the victim of a hold up, Taylor Henry, 26, son of Senator Ralph Bancroft Henry, was found dead in China Street near the corner of Pamela Avenue at a few minutes after 10 o clock last night Chief of Police Frederick M Rainey immediately ordered a wholesale round up of all suspicious characters in the city and issued a statement to the effect that no stone will be left unturned in his effort to apprehend the murderer or murderers at once Published back in 1931 this political crime thriller reads as fresh in 2017 as if it was written in today s climate rife with high stakes corruption, yellow press and sex scandals Many have tried to imitate Hammet s style of narration, his hard edged dialogue and his sharp expositions but very few have succeeded Maybe one of the reasons is that the author had actually lived and did investigative work through those troubled Prohibition years, through the rise of powerful gangsters that controlled whole cities through vice, booze and gambling, that had both the police and the politicians in their back pocket Paul Madvig is the poster boy of such successful crooks self made and ruthless, yet aspiring to become a part of the old aristocracy in town by courting the Senator s beautiful daughter, Janet Henry It all goes pear shaped when the dame s brother is found murdered on the doorstep of Madvig s night club Paul s friend and right hand man, a professional troubleshooter named Ned Beaumont, reluctantly gets involved in the mess, trying to clear Madvig s name and to find out who in a long list of enemies is trying to bring his boss down I ve actually read the book a few months back and didn t take a lot of notes it s the kind of story you want to bookmark wholesale and study in a creative writing workshop The tone is pitch perfect, the plot deviously twisted and Ned Beaumont is one of the best hardboiled leads I have read in the genre in the last years The Glass Key is a classic by any metric one cares to consider Here s a typical sample of what I m talking about Ned Beaumont was tugging at the door knob.The apish man said, Now there, Houdini, and with all his weight behind the blow drove his right fist into Ned Beaumont face.Ned Beaumont was driven back against the wall The back of his head struck the wall first, then his body crashed flat against the wall, and he slid down the wall to the floor.Rosy cheeked Rusty, still holding his cards at the table, said gloomily, but without emotion Jesus, Jeff, you ll croak him Jeff said Him he indicated the man at his feet by kicking him not especially hard on the thigh You can t croak him He s tough He s a tough baby He likes this He bent down, grasped one of the unconscious man s lapels in each hand, and dragged him to his knees Don t you like it, baby he asked and, holding Ned Beaumont up on his knees with one hand, struck his face with the other fist