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The Quilty Reader

Lawyer, mother, avid reader. Game host extraordinaire! Partner in crime to Obsidian Black Plague! My bookish weaknesses include classics, fantasy, YA, and agreeing to read more books than is even remotely possible.

The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett

The Thin Man - Dashiell Hammett

So, this one was a bit underwhelming, to be perfectly honest. I wanted to like it, with it's aura of louche 1930's glamour. Unfortunately, I basically disliked all of the characters except for Nick & Nora.


I was especially uncomfortable with Dorry, who was depicted as a hormonally-driven drunken teenager, and Nick's reaction to her tight little body made me more than a little uncomfortable (actually, I'm not sure if she was a teenager). Her brother, Gilbert, was identified as being 18, and I can't remember if Dorothy was older or younger than he was by 2 years - so she was either 16, which is super gross, or she was 20, which is marginally less gross.


With respect to Nick, well, he simply didn't feel real to me. He seemed more like a far cooler version of Dashiell Hammett - a man's man, able to drink tall bottles with a single bound, deflecting bullets with the manliness of his manly chest. Too much wish fulfillment, too little substance.


And Nora. Ah, Nora. Gillian Flynn's Cool Girl, a manic pixie dream dame, Prohibition Edition. She didn't exist except as something for men to ogle over. Even her witty banter was performative. With her red hair and her extreme coolness, I never got a sense of what she would be like in a room by herself. 


The mystery was meh.


The dog was cute, though.


I can totally understand how this book could've made a beloved movie, because it is so character driven, and the flaws that I couldn't ignore would've been much less apparent in film. I might make an effort to track it down and compare it to the source material.


So, I'm not sorry I read it, but I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as I enjoyed The Bride Wore Black.