Nick And Nora Charles Are Hammett S Most Enchanting Creations, A Rich, Glamorous Couple Who Solve Homicides In Between Wisecracks And Martinis At Once Knowing And Unabashedly Romantic, The Thin Man Is A Murder Mystery That Doubles As A Sophisticated Comedy Of Manners


10 thoughts on “The Thin Man

  1. says:

    We found a table Nora said She s pretty If you like them like that She grinned at me You got types Only you, darling lanky brunettes with wicked jaws And how about the red head you wandered off with at Quinns last night That s silly, I said She just wanted to show me some French etchings It is almost impossible for me to separate the book from the movies When I decided to reread this classic that spawned six great movies, Nick Charles was of course William Powell, and Nora Charles was of course Myrna Loy Those actors are forever Nick and Nora for me The book is famous for the witty exchanges between Nora and Nick, but the book is somewhat overshadowed by the wonderful repartee between Powell and Loy over the course of the six movies The scintillating, amusing conversations are punctuated by Loy s uptilted nose and impish smile and Powell s infectious grin as he takes pleasure in toying with his wife s state of mind We must not forget the Charles s dog Asta That afternoon I took Asta for a walk, explained to two people that she was a Schnauzer and not a cross between a Scottie and an Irish terrier The dog, Skippy, who was cast in the movie was a Wire Fox Terrier I have a six month old Scottish Terrier, whose name is Astra after the state motto of Kansas, ad astra per aspera Astra in Latin means stars For those who know us and how much we love The Thin Man movies, they always assume that it is also a nod to Astaand they would be right Asta doesn t provide the comic relief in the book that he does in the movie, but he is a presence for most of the book There are usually some light hearted moments with Asta in every movie where they are chasing him around the room trying to retrieve a vital clue from between his jaws or other scenes where he is just doing something terminally adorable that brings a bit lightheartedness to the script Dashiell Hammett based the Charles s off his own tempestuous on again and off again relationship with Lillian Hellman From what I ve read, he definitely must have focused on the sunnier side of the relationship because one of the most enjoyable things about this dynamic couple is their friendly, jocular interactions, highlighted with the rich overtones of how much they admire and like one another Hellman and Hammett fought like Siamese Fighting Fish The fights that Nick and Nora get into are playful, funny, and foreplay that provides Nick with an opportunity to grab Nora and plant a kiss on her that will shake her fillings There really aren t a lot of happy married couples in noir literature Hardboiled mystery writers seem to focus on characters as singular individuals They are usually divorced or single, and if they are married, they certainly aren t happily married Nick and Nora are best together, and as the investigation in the story moves forward, they seem a bit unmoored when they are apart They drink heavily, mirroring the Hellman and Hammett relationship in that aspect She sat on the sofa beside me Now out with it If you skip a single word, I ll I d have to have a drink before I could do any talking She cursed me and brought me a drink Nick doesn t want to investigate crime He is perfectly happy spending his days drinking martinis and looking after Nora s money, but Nora is obsessed with his previous life as a private investigator and certainly has a rosy, unrealistic view of the profession So the way the stories go in the book and the movies is that invariably Nora drags Nick into an investigation He reluctantly agrees to see what he can do, which is to cleverly solve the crime and wrap up the criminals for the bungling cops to haul off to jail In this book, he is investigating the murder of a mistress of the mad scientist Clyde Wynant, and in the course of his investigation, he and Nora have to contend with the whole Wynant clan, each as loony as the next The ex wife Mimi is a real piece of work, a combination of curves and cunning She tries to use both assets on Nick, and needless to say, things get out of hand Tell me something, Nick Tell me the truth when you were wrestling with Mimi, didn t you have an erection Oh, a little She laughed and got up from the floor If you aren t a disgusting old lecher, she said Did she just say erection My, my goodness sakes, Nora Do you kiss Nick with that mouth Why yes, she does If you take a drink every time Nick orders an alcoholic beverage, you will be plowed by the time you get 30 pages into the book or thirty minutes into the movie The heavy drinking in this book and the movies might be than a hint to Dashiell Hammett s own struggle with alcohol It might also be the key to why he stuck with Hellman so long She was a heavy drinker too, and as happens sometimes, couples bond over drinking Their drinking escalates with dual encouragement, and they become caught in a cycle of maladaptive drinking I certainly can feel jealous of Nick and Nora s lifestyle They can leave a city at the drop of the hat and go to any other city in the world Money is not an issue, and time is something they have in abundance They are about as free as two people can ever hope to be Oh, and they are hopelessly, head over heels in love with one another Freedom, plenty of money, and someone who loves us, what could anyone wish for I highly recommend the book and the movies paired with a few vodka martinis shaken not stirred If you wish to see of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit also have a Facebook blogger page at


  2. says:

    I invented a new drinking game based on The Thin Man and tried to give it a test run when I re read it The rules were simple, every time that main character Nick Charles took a drink, I d take one, too However, I had to be taken to the hospital for treatment of extreme alcohol poisoning by the second chapter So don t try that.Nick used to be a private detective in New York, but he left that behind when he married Nora and moved to California to take over the management of the various businesses her father left her Why couldn t Nora run them herself Because this was 1933 so in addition to casual alcoholism being an accepted part of everyday life, the lady folks weren t going to be left in charge of something as important as business Ah, the good ole days Nick and Nora are on a Christmas vacation trip back to New York when Nick bumps into the daughter of an old client of his, Clyde Wynatt Wynatt has gone missing and a woman associated him was murdered so everyone from the family to Wynatt s lawyer to the cops think that Nick is working the case Nick would prefer to just do some drinking, but Nora is intrigued by the idea of watching her husband play detective and other events transpire to pull Nick into reluctantly investigating in between glasses of whiskey.Hammett s The Maltese Falcon and Red Harvest are two of my favorite detective novels as well as being considered classics of the genre This one shows off a bit of his versatility in that it reads as a witty comedy with a dash of murder rather than a hard boiled mystery The banter between Nick and Nora is fun, and his casual remarks about needing a drink with breakfast just to cut the phlegm make for their own kind of anachronistic amusement The mystery is kind of a convoluted mess, but Hammett managed to tie it all together with a resolution that makes sense It s not my favorite book of his, but it s got a dated charm that makes it a fun read 3.65 stars.


  3. says:

    Nick Charles used to work in a private detective agency, got married later, came into good money, and took on a hard and thankless job of managing his investments The beginning of the book finds Nick and his wife Nora in New York It seemed they were drinking happily and heavily in a bar Later it turned out it was just a mild warm up routine for some very serious alcohol consumption We just woke up let s have a drink Having trouble sleeping double scotch is in order A guest came drinks for everybody A guest just finished his drink better finish mine and have another one Coming back from visiting a toilet celebration time If you are waiting for me to start giving an outline of a plot this is exactly what I do The book convinced me being rich is boring All you do is inviting guests to your place the same people, mind you Being rich is also really bad for one s health and hopes of long life as no human liver can withstand this tsunami of strong alcohol consumed by Nick with occasional help from Nora.Drink as he might Nick still ended up being mixed up in a murder case A secretary of an inventor he used to know was killed with inventor himself completely disappearing from the face of the Earth For some reason everybody and their brother decided Nick is the one to solve the mystery Nick certainly did not think so, but after being shot at he decided to nudge the police into thoughtful investigation Between his drinks, obviously People say in the classic movie based on this book the chemistry between the actors playing Nick and Nora totally carried it In the book however the chemistry is quite weak To be fair I found the ex wife of disappeared inventor and their children to be something out of this world all of them The rest of the characters served their roles, but were nothing to write home about The book changed my views I used to think there are only two phases in lives of drunkards 1 Being drunk.2 Suffering from a hangover Nick managed to be perpetually stuck in phase 1 I have not realized it was psychically possible Surely this is when pink elephants pay you a visit Real Life full of great irony Take my case less than a month ago I stated that I have yet to see a boring book written by Dashiell Hammett Now I have to eat my words as this one while not exactly boring, but at least the weakest story from the father of noir mystery So the rating is 3 stars and now my life has a purpose I need to see the movie Let us drink to this Cheers Oops, I think I caught something from Nick Quickly, somebody call AA and book me an appointment for their next meeting


  4. says:

    We didn t come to New York to stay sober The Thin Man is best read with a drink in hand Do you have a drink Do you need a refresher Would you like another Above all else, it is important that you be drinking SeriouslyDRINK My god, a lot of alcohol is consumed in this book It reads as if Ernest Hemingway had taken up crime noir In The Thin Man, Nick Charles, private detective, has hung up his hat Nora, his wife, kinda wishes he hadn t She likes wrapping her head around a good mystery Well, a good one comes along in the form of murder for money, and Charles old friends are all wrapped up in it The plot unfolds essentially in three places at the Charles , at their friends , and at a speakeasyeach place being as well stocked with liquor as the next Other than drinking, they don t do much of anything And they don t really go anywhere, unless it s someplace to drink They hang around and tie one on while they try to figure out whodunnit The writing is solid, the plot feels sound, the characters are a little dramatic don t get me started on the women these dames is batty , but once all that s in motion, the book as a whole feels static And then Hammett pulled a MelvilleAt least Herman Melville was writing a novel about whales when he inserted that non fiction book sized treatise on the whale species Yes, it took the reader right out of the story for a damn long time, but subjects were related Hammett goes into great detail in a long passage on the Packer cannibal case of 1873 74 Was it necessary Intrinsic to the plot Or was it tossed in for its shock value A bit of sensationalism to spice up a book that was getting a tad boring Either way, the aside is overlong by a LONG SHOT.Dashiell Hammett, author of The Maltese Falcon pretty much invented this genre, so perhaps I should lay off But I m not always one to treat revered things precious likejust the stuff that s precious to meso I m docking this a star for Hammett s ol slight of hand writer s trick Otherwise it s not a bad little book.


  5. says:

    An inventor goes missing and his mistress winds up dead Former detective Nick Charles wants nothing to do with the case but keeps getting drawn in With his plucky wife Nora, can Nick get things sorted out so he can get back to his drinking The Thin Man was not at all like I expected After reading the exploits of Sam Spade and the Continental Op, I expected of the same The Thin Man is much humorous than Hammett s earlier works and I found myself liking it quite a bit.Nick Charles, former detective, is quite a character He s smart, sharp witted, and he likes the sauce He s such a raging alcoholic that Matthew Scudder and Nick Stefanos once staged an intervention for him BEFORE they got off the sauce Nick, we like week long benders as much as the next guy but you might have a problem His wife, Nora, sticks by her man, even if he probably smells like a distillery most of the time due to all the alcohol he consumes The one liners each of them fire off are infinitely interesting than the plot I m pretty sure the plot is only here for Nick and Nora to bounce lines around and give them something to do between drinks.The writing is top notch for the era as well As always, once I forgave Hammett for not being Raymond Chandler, it was off to the races Quotable lines abound Nora How do you feel Nick Terrible I must ve gone to bed sober Nick Don t you think maybe a drink would help you to sleep Nora No, thanks Nick Maybe it would if I took one The plot was suitably serpentine and the interplay between Nick and Nora kept me engaged throughout The rapid fire dialogue was by far my favorite part of the book Didn t Nick and Nora s dynamic in The Thin Man inspire J.D Robb s In Death series It s a shame Hammett didn t write Nick and Nora books Four stars.


  6. says:

    The Thin Man, Dashiell HammettThe Thin Man 1934 is a murder mystery that doubles as a sophisticated comedy of manners Nick and Nora Charles are Hammett s most enchanting creations, a rich, glamorous couple who solve homicides in between wisecracks and martinis At once knowing and unabashedly romantic 2001 1372 244 9789644890635 1389 20 1391 286 9786005021264 1396 286 9786007876077


  7. says:

    The Thin Man is a sort of noir comic by one of the greats of noir crime history, Dashiell Hammett, who is best known for creating Sam Spade in The Maltese Falcon But The Thin Man was also a well known and much read series, and maybe still is This one features the lush drinking duo Nick and Nora Charles and opens very much like a screwball comedy The movie version is a classic, and maybe better than the book in some ways Nora How do you feel Nick Terrible I must ve gone to bed sober Hammett is most famous for being just so damned clever, and especially with dialogue He keeps the jokes coming, and it is entertaining Now if you like your noir truly scary and brutal, read Jim Thompson or Richard Stark s Parker series No laughs, but lots of terrific writing And better stories This one is light hearted, and he doesn t really care much about the story, so I am not even going to talk about it The novel could be plotted in this way Part One Nick and Nora drink heavily and tell jokes about how Nick got out of the detective business to marry rich Nora, and so on.Part two They solve a crime featuring the dizzy blond are there ever dizzy brunettes Sure, but the blonds are the ones that have the most fun, apparently She sets the standard for a beautiful babe who is a chronic liar throughout I already can hardly remember what happens or how they solve it, but there is some brutality, since it is noir, but Part Three Nick and Nora begin drinking like a fish, as they say, again.Reminded me of the days when loveable drunks were a regular feature in literature and tv such as Crazy Guggenheim on Red Skelton Dudley Moore in 10.https www.youtube.com watch v 9qHA9Finally Hammett is a terrific writer of dialogue.A clip from the movie, which I recommend to read after the biook.https www.youtube.com watch v bSThE3.5 5 for creating the screwball detective duo Nick and Nora and the goofy girl and the dialogue and 2 stars for the story, which is sort of not what Hammett seemed to care about here Ah, give me a drink, I had fun, I ll round up to 4.


  8. says:

    What I learned from this book in no particular order 1 A speakeasy is the proper place for a man to wait for his wife to finish her shopping.2 A Schnauzer is NOT a cross between a Scottie and an Irish terrier.3 I hit Nora with my left hand, knocking her down across the room If a bad guy points a gun at you and your wife, the standard operating procedure is to knock her out to prevent her from becoming hysterical over such a potentially distressing situation 4 Women do not really mind being knocked out for such reasons by their loving spouses She would mildly protest, but would quickly forget it over a few drinks.5 Feminine brain storms cause hysteria in women Italians and other foreigners are also prone to hysterics.6 A Scotch and soda is a panacea for insomnia, and taken first thing in the morning before breakfast, would keep you awake during the day Having up to 5 or 6 drinks a day would not keep you from being a brilliant dick.7 Policemen s liquor is no good Never partake of any, even though it s terribly tempting.8 A dame with hair on her chest is admirable 9 Women s intuition is not to be belittled, even though they are prone to hysterics.10 Flirtatious banter, directed at any receptive female, would get a man out of any number of tight situations Other Random ObservationsNumber of dead bodies 3 Number of alcoholic drink consumed by the protagonist 21Number of cute canine interludes 8Number of un PC racial epithet 1Number of incident of spousal abuse by the protagonist 1BUT SERIOUSLY,I expected this to be a shining example of the 1930 s noir screwball comedy, starring an amusing, bantering couple, hard drinkin tough guys and smoky eyed femme fatales It certainly delivers some of these elements in generous portions However, the banter is only mildly amusing, and the twist ending is achieved through the concealment of certain crucial facts from the reader not my preferred kind of mystery writing There is some social commentary, although nothing overt, considering that Hammett was a Communist and a perfectly adequate, if rather bland, description of the seedier underbelly of Prohibition era New York City Raymond Chandler, with his vivid similes, deliciously quotable dialogue and atmospheric evocation of LA seems to be the superior noir writer.


  9. says:

    This Christmas you are invited to a party of hard liquor, witty repartee and murder in the company of Nick and Nora Charles A hardboiled crime comedy might seem like an oddball choice for a winter holiday read, but Dashiell Hammett manages to mix together not only killer martinis, but also a succesful marriage between the mean and dirty Prohibition Era gumshoe detective and the British slick and sophisticated whodunits of Agatha Christie or Dorothy Sayers Spiced up with some of that enchanting 1930 s screwball comedy.Nick Charles is a former private detective who gave up on his profession after marrying rich socialite Nora He s now returning for the Holiday Season to New York, where he plans to play the stockmarket like a boss, enjoy the nightlife and be pleasantly drunk from the moment he wakes after noon preferably to the moment he goes to sleep preferably in the early morning hours Nora and their pet dog Asta are willing partners in the plan, their apartment door always open to old friends and former enemies of Nick and the cocktail glasses are never empty.Pretty soon, these old friends are all pressuring Nick, some at gunpoint, to investigate the dissapearance of one of his former clients the thin man from the title Clyde Wynant is an elderly, cranky and eccentric inventor who managed to alienate all his relations and business partners, providing an exceedingly large list of suspects his secretary mistress, his former wife, his young and alluring daughter, his morbid teenage son, his ex wife s new husband, his lawyer, a disgruntled former business asociate, his mistress gangster boyfriend, an ex convict that now runs a speakeasy, a police informer also interested in the secretary, and so on Some of them turn up dead as the investigation unfolds Nick does his best to try to stay out of it, but Nora is thrilled by the dangerous aspects of her husbands former lifestyle The denouement is closer to Hercule Poirot than to Sam Spade, but very satisfying, despite the fact that I was already aware of the identity of the criminal after watching the movie several times.The dialogue is lively and often caustic, with the easy banter between Nick and Nora nicely balancing the less savoury aspects of the suspects venal actions The novel is actually painted in darker shades, boiled harder and cynical than its famous movie adaptation The exuberance of the detective couple actually serves to deepen the black shadows cast by the characters fighting over the Wynant fortune There s a world of crooks and liars, sharks and femmes fatales outside the Nick and Nora penthouse apartment, reminding us that Hammett is rightly famous for less comedic offerings I don t like crooks And if I did like em, I wouldn t like crooks that are stool pigeons And if I did like crooks that are stool pigeons, I still wouldn t like you is just one of the memorable quotes in the novel I had , but my phone decided to lose them and all my bookmarks unexpectedly As a conclusion, if I would be asked to choose between the two versions, I would pick the movie as my favorite William Powell and Myrna Loy are perfect in their roles as Nick and Nora, often improvising much funnier repartees and moments of physical comedy than those found in the source material And the dog playing Asta merits an Oscar of her own The supporting cast is excellent, the black and white cinematography crisp and elegant I really don t see the need for a remake, despite being a fan of Johnny Depp.The final remark of Nick at the end of the case All this excitement has put us behind in our drinking Cheers And a Merry Christmas to all Goodreaders.


  10. says:

    Honestly I think the awesomeness of Nick and Nora Charles got built up a little too much for me before I read this, because I was expecting 200 pages of nonstop witty banter between the two, and was mildly disappointed Sure, Nick is funny in a dry sarcastic way, and Nora is the sassy drunken aunt you never knew you always wanted, but their banter and witticisms only caused the occasional chuckle But lucky for me, the book has a lot going for it than just the banter It s a fun, classic 30 s mystery full of crazy dames and shooting and goons and coppers, and the characters drink so much it made my liver hurt just reading about it Like The Maltese Falcon, it got to a point where I had to just accept that I had no idea what any of the characters were talking about and try to go with the flow until someone explained everything at the end They mystery itself it includes a string of murders and a suspiciously absent man was engrossing, although I guessed the big twist a few pages before it happened Having looked up the movie version of The Thin Man on IMDB, I ve added it to my Netflix queue and intend to make a comparison as soon as possible if the IMDB quotes are any indication, the movie version looks much funnier than the book Stand by for further information as soon as I watch it PS I just noticed one of the options at the bottom of the review box, next to the spoiler button Does this book follow a few characters or many Who the fuck cares, Goodreads If I think it s that important, I ll mention it in the actual review Jesus UPDATE, AFTER WATCHING THE FILM VERSION I m now putting this on my The Movie Is Better shelf, because as I predicted, the movie is much funnier William Powell and Myrna Loy are darling as Nick and Nora, Mimi is appropriately crazy although in the movie there s never any doubt about whether she killed Julia, because we actually see her find the body , Gilbert is adorable, and Nora has an absolutely fabulous collection of outfits Watch the movie, and read the book only if you re really curious about the little changes they made in the screenplay.