The Glass Key

  • by Dashiell Hammett
  • Narrated by Stephen R. Thorne
  • 6 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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. A one-time detective and a master of deft understatement, Dashiell Hammett - author of The Maltese Falcon - virtually invented the hard-boiled crime novel.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Pacing Quick & Plot was Goldilocks

I loved it. I thought Hammett was amazing before, but the Glass Key just solidified it. Definitely his tightest, most coherent novel. The characters were sharp, the pacing was quick, the plot was Goldilocks. No wonder the Coen brothers couldn't get enough.
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- Darwin8u

Uneventful and humourless

I had read various stories by Dashiell Hammett before and found him crisp, humourless in a deadpan way, and quick-paced. I don't know what it was - maybe the hard-boiled crime novel is paling on me - but I found this novel surprisingly bland. There is not noticeable humour in it, which surprised me for Hammett, and I did not get any real sense as to who Nick Beaumont - the main character - is, or why he deserved to be telling this story. I had a much better sense of Paul Madviig, the person Beaumont describes himself as the one to whom he is hanger-on. Maybe this is realism; I myself found it unevenly to the point of boring, And again, as a fan of Hammett, I am surprised at the accolades this novel garners, which is why I picked it to listen to.

Also, I did not think the narrator was an especially skilled reader, which is why I wish there were a way of previewing books on Audible.
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- David M. Sullivan

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-09-2011
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.