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Publisher's Summary

The definitive masterpiece of the hard-boiled detective genre, The Maltese Falcon first appeared in the pages of Black Mask magazine in 1929 and was almost immediately acknowledged as not only a great crime novel but an enduring masterpiece of American fiction. 

Tough, cynical PI Sam Spade - a man who, as his creator explained, is "able to take care of himself in any situation, able to get the best of anybody he comes in contact with" - is hired by the story's irresistible femme fatale, Brigid O'Shaughnessy, to locate the client's sister by tailing her companion. Spade's partner, Miles Archer, takes on the assignment, and quickly both he and the man he was shadowing are murdered. As Spade pursues the mystery of his partner's death, he is drawn into a circle of colorful characters - all of them after a legendary statuette of a falcon fashioned long ago for King Charles of Spain. 

Made of gold and encrusted with jewels, the falcon is worth a fortune. Missing for centuries, it resurfaced in Paris in 1911, covered in black enamel to disguise its value, and then disappeared again until it was traced to Constantinople - and now, it would seem, to Spade's own backyard.

©2018 Dashiell Hammett (P)2018 Blackstone Publishing

What listeners say about The Maltese Falcon

Average Customer Ratings
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Narrator makes a classic noir story dull

Who could take a classic story and make me not want to finish it? This narrator has the enthusiasm of a wet mop.

5 people found this helpful

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How it’s done

Maybe a couple of scenes were a tad overwritten but the pace, action and story qualified this as a one-session listen. Great characters and a fast moving story makes this one of the greatest noir novels of all time.

4 people found this helpful

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Not as good as I would have expected

I'll lead off with the fact that I have never seen the movie. That said, knowing that this book was made into the quintessential film noir I may have set higher expectations than I should have. The book is very good. I think perhaps I was expecting more mystery, akin to The Thin Man, than the raw, blue-collar detective work that fills this book.

3 people found this helpful

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Well read in the style of the genre

Outstanding book, presented in a classic style.

I highly recommend if you are a fan of the movie, or have not seen the movie.

2 people found this helpful

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A classic

I’ve heard about this book and this author for a long time and of course I saw the movie. This was exactly what I expected.....even a little more hard boiled.

2 people found this helpful

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Too drawn out?

I felt that some sections of the book just went on and on. The story was ok, this was perhaps my first detective book, and probably the last; not my cup of tea.

The narration though, was excellent. Probably the one thing that drew me in to the book was the narrator.

1 person found this helpful

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Hard to Screw up Dashiell Hammett but this does it

Oh Dear God, the drudgery. The words droning and lugubrious come to mind. Soooo Slowwww and the narrator was about as animated as a stone. His female voices were terrible and most of the rest were as well. Couldn't do it. What a butchery of such a great novel.

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Classic Hammett

A master of description. Every twitch every furrow. No interior dialogue.

Robertson Dean the reader was good but not great in particular with the secondary characters.

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Classic

Easy to follow crime story with interesting characters and a spectacular vocal performance. Classic American novel in a very digestible package.

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Classic

The best work of detective fiction ever. Totally engaging from the get go. Emotional, engaging, conflicted, dangerous, and breathtaking. Sam Spade, Miles Archer, Brigid Shaunessy, Gutman, Joel Cairo, Vilmer, Effie are all still alive and well. Sad, heroic. Well written, well narrated.

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  • Brian L.
  • 02-18-20

classic

enjoyed listening to this classic detective story, so different from today's private eye tales so enjoy

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kathryn
  • 01-13-22

Not my usual genre, but still a great read.

I downloaded this after a recommendation, I had no idea at the time that it had been made into an Oscar nominated film(!) but it was clear early on why it was.

We don't see a lot of this kind of detective drama these days, but it is very alluring and this was an excellent book that I got through very quickly.

A classic.

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  • Combat Wombat
  • 10-06-21

brilliant story murdered by performance

these are fantastic stories and some audio productions are 100 PERCENT. sadly this actor made it sound like a badly read shopping list.

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  • Charlie Watson
  • 09-13-21

So well known, I thought it must be good

Stupid, unlikely story read OK until the reader tried women or gay voices, when it was pathetic. I mean, sounded pathetic. Why not get a woman in to read women’s voices?

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-28-21

Someone check Mr Hammett’s pulse

I think I’ve heard more energy and enthusiasm at a funeral. Someone check Mr Hammett’s pulse to see if he’s still with us as he seemed to be drifting away as he was reading this.

I loved the film and the story but I just couldn’t get through this monotonous reading of the book. There’s almost no change in tone to express suspense or action, and he barely changes his voice with character dialogue.

I found myself really switching off of this audio book and almost falling asleep!

If you don’t mind his narration like I did you’ll enjoy the book if you’re enthusiastic about mysteries.

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  • S
  • 08-18-21

Terrific

Thoroughly recommended. 5 stars great story well read. And at least as good as the movie

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  • Notally_Not_A_Robot
  • 08-18-21

A true Noir drama, with all the good AND bad.

The narration is great. The story is okay. It jumps very much from one topic to the next without really stringing them together.

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  • Miss Bojana Zizek
  • 08-07-21

a classic. totally compulsive read

narrator is as good as Jeff Harding who in my humble opinion is one of the best out there!

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  • Rodger
  • 05-07-21

Don't delay

amazing work specifically coming in with the bias of having seen the movie adaptation and more so having read other source material for film adaptations this proved more valuable in that it gave insights onto to strengths and weakness of adaptation and the genre itself amongst other insight into genre tropes and other subtleties like insight into the writers subconscious intelligence and influences.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-30-20

Great listen

Loved it, great characters, good plot and wonderfully narrated. Shame there's not more books here

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  • Mark Henwood
  • 09-26-21

Classic

Listened to it over a few days - thoroughly enjoyed this classic crime novel with all it's twists and turns