The Maltese Falcon

  • by Dashiell Hammett
  • Narrated by Eric Meyers
  • 7 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon, first serialized in a magazine in 1930, is best known through the iconic Humphrey Bogart film of 1941. But it was the book that created the classic "noir" genre with its tough private detective threading his cool way between the criminals and the law. Sam Spade, the private eye solving the mystery of the Maltese statuette, was the template for Philip Marlowe and a host of others. But they come no more shrewd and cunning with Hammett peppering the text with one-liners. Not even Bogart bettered the original. An idiomatic new recording from Eric Meyers.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Outstanding American classic!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Absolutely! Not only are the writings of Dashiell Hammett some of the seminal novels (and short stories) in the beginnings of the great American detective genre (more action-oriented than the somewhat cerebral British mysteries), The Maltese Falcon is a classic in it's own right!

Beyond that, it is difficult to find words that adequately praise the amazing narration of Eric Meyers. He brought such depth of character to each voice he portrayed, especially that of one man named Gutman. (AKA "Fatman" in the book). However, he was amazingly good with each person (though not surprisingly, better with the male voices.)


What other book might you compare The Maltese Falcon to and why?

I think Dashiell Hammett is to American detective fiction as Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers or Ngaio Marsh (for instance) are to British mysteries.


What does Eric Meyers bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He brought this to a spectacular level of performance that would be hard to top. This book is classic as read, in movie form, and I now think as narrated by Eric Meyers!


Any additional comments?

What more could be said about this book that has not already been written by thousands of others over the years? If you love mysteries, The Maltese Falcon, written in 1930, deserves a read, simply for the experience of being grounded in the origins of the whole American detective novel. Beyond that, it is a very good mystery in it's own right. But if for no other reason, please treat yourself to a listen by a narrator who is just perfect for this book and these characters!

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- Kathi

Classic: But Has Feel of Class Assignment

Hammett shocked readers. He won't today. So stripped of that support, Falcon's now a slow period piece. The legendary snappy dialogue's also lost its snap over the years, copied and tightened as it's been by so many who've mastered this genre since Sam Spade was invented. Hammett invented pacing that goosed along the plot. And yet, even there his followers have learned to crank up the pace to warp speed.

It was interesting to return to the firm of Archer & Spade, but it was more like a class assignment... Something for study perhaps. Something to appreciate for its contributions.

I read Falcon when I was young. I like that memory more than this revisit. Hmmmm... Maybe you can't go home again, eh?
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- Ted

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-21-2011
  • Publisher: Naxos AudioBooks