The Big Read Blog (Archive)

Hardboiled Fiction, Defined.

Washington, DC

Photo of Dashiell Hammett courtesy of Josephine Hammett.

Many argue over whether Dashiell Hammett or Ernest Hemingway first developed the sparse, crisp style that?s been associated with their writing.  Though no one knows the answer, one thing?s for sure---The Maltese Falcon is the quintessential model of ?hardboiled fiction.? In this clip, we?ll hear a montage of voices, including crime fiction writers Joe Gores and Adrian McKinty, critic David Kipen, author Diane Johnson, and, kicking things off, Hammett?s granddaughter, Julie Rivett. The music you hear in the background is from the soundtrack to the modern film noir thriller, Brick.



To hear the entire The Maltese Falcon Big Read audio guide, featuring readings by NPR commentator and writer, Scott Simon, please visit The Big Read website.


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