Tacoma Reads Together 2010– The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett

I’ve previously written about Pierce County’s one community one book program and today I am featuring Tacoma’s 2010 book– The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett.    Like many people I suspect,  I had seen the movie a number of times but had never read the book.   Which is unfortunate,  as Hammett was a wonderful writer who is rightly regarded as one of the finest mystery novelists of all time.    The Maltese Falcon has a spare, staccato tone that makes the characters and the story seem to jump off the page and play out before the reader’s eyes.

While the novel is said to be evocative of 1920’s San Francisco,  it is believed that it was actually downtown Tacoma  (where Hammet was hospitalized for more than a year for tuberculosis during World War I) that  provided his inspiration for the story.   This seems to me to make The Maltese Falcon an excellent choice for the 2010 Tacoma Reads Together program.    Undoubtedly many people will already be familiar with the story from having seen the movie,   and the book provides a wonderful opportunity to get to know the work of a highly regarded author from the not that distant past.    The Maltese Falcon is Highly Recommended.

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