Red Harvest

Red HarvestEbook Red Harvest Author Dashiell Hammett When The Last Honest Citizen Of Poisonville Was Murdered, The Continental Op Stayed On To Punish The Guilty Even If That Meant Taking On An Entire Town Red Harvest Is Than A Superb Crime Novel It Is A Classic Exploration Of Corruption And Violence In The American Grain. I ll give you three good reasons from least to most why you should read Red Harvest 1 it made possible the fine Leone film A Fistful of Dollars, 2 it inspired the Kurosawa masterpiece Iojimbo which influenced A Fistful of Dollars, and 3 it is an old school hard boiled, hardcore novel, with a detective as tough as Spade, Marlowe and Hammer put together, written in hard as nails prose, and set in a small West Coast city, a city with a heart of stone.The City is Personville, and people call it Poisonville, but not because they are speaking with an accent A few years before the book opens, mining tycoon and city boss Elihu Wilsson called in some thugs and goons to break a mining strike Oh they broke it alright, but now these gangsters with names like Lew Yard, Whispers, Pete the Finn have carved Elihu s little city into fiefdoms, and Boss Wilsson is not the boss any Our detective, the nameless Continental Op employed by the Continental Detective Agency soon begins systematically destroying the rival gangs by sowing lies and discord among them Sure, there is a murder the Op has to solve, but soon, in addition, we have stabbings, ambushes, furtive late night shootings and afternoon gun battles And a good looking but slatternly gold digger too Everything a reader could want.At least you d think so, wouldn t you, and it would be enough for your average hard boiled novel Bu
Originally published in 1929, Red Harvest is a classic crime novel that helped established the hard boiled genre This is most definitely not a polite, parlor mystery where most of the blood is spilled off of the page As the title suggests, this book is filled with mayhem and the bodies are falling left and right.The main protagonist is the Continental Op, who doesn t remotely resemble the genteel Hercule Poirot or any of the other fictional detectives who were so popular in the 1920s The Op is certainly smart and skilled, but he s a squat, overweight man who s than willing to cut whatever corners are necessary in order to achieve what he believes to be the greater good.The Op, who is employed by the Continental Detective Agency in San Francisco, is detailed to the Personville, a mining town known to most as Poisonville The town was, for a long time, under the thumb of Elihu Willsson who owned the Personville Mining Corporation, the local newspapers, and a number of other businesses as well He also controlled all of the politicians of any consequence, up to and including the state governor.During the First World War, Willsson had made whatever deals were necessary with the miners unions to ensure that the company s operations were unimpeded But once the war ended, he determined to break the unions and in doing so, invited in a number of thugs and crooks to assist him The unions were effectively cowed, but the th
Published in 1929, Red Harvest is the first of five classic novels written by Dashiell Hammett, inventor of the hard boiled school of fiction Since there are dozens of reviews already posted here, I will take a different slant, citing how quotes from nineteenth century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche apply to the novel s unnamed main character narrator, a man simply known as Continental Op and the city where the novel is located, Personville aka Poisonville, a dingy mining city of 40,000 squeezed between two Northern California mountains Without music, life would be a mistake There isn t one reference to music in the entire novel Not surprising, since, from the perspective of music and the arts, this grimy berg run by gangsters, bootleggers, crooked cops and gritty thugs could be considered one colossal mistake Of course, I m not entirely serious, but imagining a Personville String Quartet playing an evening of Mozart at the town s public building would be belly laughable Not laughable, that is, for the townspeople, who would probably protest such music by riddling the musicians with bullets after playing the first few bars of their Mozart He who has
Question How to induce a gushing, mind blowing noirgasm Answer Have your amoral, no nonsense, no name main character bust out with slick, cool dripping phrases like I poured out a couple of hookers of gin while She went into the kitchen for another siphon and ice.Friends, if there s a unit of measurement loaded with juicy, quintessential noirness than a hooker of gin, please let me know because I spent my entire happy wad when I read that No offense to fans of Raymond Chandler who I think is terrific , but after The Maltese Falcon and now this gem, Dashiell Hammett has super glued himself atop my pyramid of classic crime noir authors This is noir at its grittiest and most violent with characters that are all shades of shady and murders than Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween and Friday the 13th combined Add to that an ever constant flow of so much booze swilling that the alcohol seems to sweat off the page and you have a dark, gritty and spectacular slice of crime literature Seriously, the only thing getting killed
The review is updated on May 9, 2016.A group read with a bunch of Pantaloonless Buddies.Welcome to Poisonville I mean Personville, population 40,000 The local policemen are very friendly and truly enjoy doing their job The first policeman I saw needed a shave The second had a couple of buttons off his shabby uniform The third stood in the center of the city s main intersection Broadway and Union Street directed traffic, with a cigar in one corner of his mouth After that I stopped checking them up All the people are very eager to help during a murder investigation Who shot him I asked.The grey man scratched the back of his neck and said Somebody with a gun You really cannot get any helpful than this If you ever get in legal trouble, there is always a very competent and affordable lawyer available He s the guy that the joke was wrote about Is he a criminal lawyer Yes, very Of all classic hard boiled novels, this one has a record of having maximum number of dead bodies per p
An operative from the Continental Detective Agency is summoned to Personville a k a Poisonville by a crusading newspaper publisher, but the man is murdered before the Continental Op can meet with him The Op quickly learns that Poisonville has a crime problem that would make Gotham City seem like Topeka by comparison After getting a look at its seedy underbelly the Op browbeats the dead publisher s wealthy father into paying him to clean up the town even though he s a big part of the problem.The Op starts working angles, playing criminals and crooked cops and every corrupt person he runs across against each other Bodies start dropping and warfare between various factions looms as everyone is looking to move up the food chain The Op exploits this in every way he can, but the increasing carnage starts to take a toll on him as he fears that he s becoming as bad as the people he s up against This damned burg s getting to me If I don t get away soon I ll be going blood simple like the natives Hammett was obviously doing something over the top here with a town where murder is seen as the first and best solution to almost every problem While it s got that pulpy kind of story, Hammett was also drawing on his experience as a former Pinkerton agent to paint in some of the detail
664 Red Harvest, Dashiell HammettRed Harvest 1929 is a novel by Dashiell Hammett The story is narrated by The Continental Op, a frequent character in Hammett s fiction, much of which is drawn from his own experiences as an operative of the Pi
I ve always been the dissenting opinion on this one Yeah, it was influential, but since Hammett himself was copying John Carroll Daly s new hardboiled style, maybe we should give him a bit of the credit Cynical and definitely hardboiled, Hammett s Red Harvest is missing the one ingredient which might have made it work for me Raymond Chandler Compare this to Raymond Chandler s first novel, The Big Sleep Both novels have elements cannibalized from their respective pulp stories, both have bodies dropping left and right, and both are terribly convoluted Yet Red Harvest comes off as simply a dark and unpleasant tale of corruption and violence, while The Big Sleep is wildly entertaining, almost dream like There is nowhere to lay the blame except at Hammett s doorstep.Chandler could turn a simple phrase into visual magic Hammett often took a circuitous route, as though in love with his own literary voice In Red Harvest we get all kinds of lengthy descriptive detours which bogs down any narrative pace whatsoever And by narrative pace, I mean the next body dropping It almost feels when you go back and read this one after many years, that this might have been a better tale had Hammett not chosen to insert his Continental Op from the pulps, even though it s a string of Op stori
Discovering pulp fiction now, right now, is a bit like finding a lost treasure You are unearthing something that will entertain, enlighten, amuse, horrify, mangle, jangle, keep you riveted Decades after they were written, these stories still manage to have an edge Harlan CobenI m in heaven Well, maybe not literally but certainly in a literary sense I ve discovered pulp fiction I am excited Deliriously so I ve secured a couple of telephone directory sized compendiums of hardboiled and pulp noir The Black Lizard Big Book of Pulps and The Black Lizard Big Book of Black Mask Stories made great progress in the collection of the Hard Case Crime Series been introduced to my first John D Macdonald Travis McGee novel.ANDthe pi ce de r sistance just read my first Dashiell Hammett novel What a revelation The writers who really have never read pulp fiction are writers the rest of us do not associate with They have poor self esteem They had a troubled home life They are not fun at parties Harlan CobenHell I don t want to be one of those readers either I m confident Had a good upbringing Like fun Like parties Like having fun at parties I want in COUNT ME IN In the 20s, 30s, 40s early 50s, the biggest names in the crime fiction pulp world were all publis
1 2 The reader knows a great deal He has taste and wisdom, or he wouldn t be reading John D MacDonald.I often think about the quote above and how much has changed since JDM wrote those words in the 1974 The wisdom part is still true If nothing else, constant reading grows vocabularies Today s readers, however, have come of age in an environment that in some ways restricts the use of literary intelligence An example of this can be found in the lack of respect often accorded the acknowledged forefathers of the hardboiled detective novel Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler and Ross MacDonald Intelligence alone can and should easily recognize that what is now clich d and overused was once new and original Unfortunately, the modern reader regularly fails make such simple leaps of logic Technology has curtailed such thoughts from even occurring The future is now, in our hands and filling our senses daily, and its byproduct is a blurring of the past Nowadays readers are apt to believe in alien worlds and mystic realms than a reality without cell phones and computers.Chandler comes off the best of the three, which is not surprising considering that at its core his work was about a moral man awash in a sea of immorality It s a universal