Dashiell Hammett (1894-1961), the author of Lost Stories, was one of the world's most popular and influential writers. Famous as the best-selling creator of Sam Spade, The Maltese Falcon, and The Thin Man, Hammett was also a Pinkerton's detective, an advertising man, a soldier in the U.S. Army during both World Wars, an Academy Award-nominated screenwriter, a political activist, and a short story writer.
In addition to Hammett's 21 tales in Lost Stories, the book Discovering The Maltese Falcon and Sam Spade includes "Seven Pages," a Hammett story unavailable anywhere else.
Raymond Chandler: "Hammett was the ace performer . . . He did over and over again what only the best writers ever do at all."
Tony Hillerman: "If not the greatest, Dashiell Hammett is certainly the most important American mystery writer of the twentieth century."
Jean-Patrick Manchette: "The best novelist in the world since 1920."
James Ellroy: "Great crime fiction started with Hammett."
George Pelecanos: "Hammett was breaking new ground in every book he wrote."
P.D. James: "The influence of his books has been profound and far-reaching . . . not just in crime fiction, but in mainstream fiction, on radio, television, and particularly in film."
Dorothy Parker, The New Yorker: "Dashiell Hammett is as American as a sawed-off shotgun . . . he is so hard-boiled you could roll him on the White House lawn."
Gertrude Stein: "Hammett is one of the best contemporary writers."
Vanity Fair: "The smartest, liveliest, and most literate detective story writer in America."
Anthony Boucher, New York Times Book Review: "It is impossible to overstate the importance of Dashiell Hammett to the American detective story (or, I believe, to American literature.)"
Ellery Queen: "The most important modern originator in the mystery field, giving us the first 100 per cent American, the first truly native, detective story, thus founding a school whose influence was, is, and will continue to be colossal, not only among mystery writers but among all writers."
Kenneth Rexroth: "It is from Chandler and Hammett and Hemingway that the best modern fiction derives."
Ross Macdonald: "Hammett was the first American writer to use the detective story for the purposes of a major novelist, to present a vision, blazing if disenchanted, of our lives. As a stylist he ranked among the best of his time, directly behind Hemingway and Fitzgerald. As a novelist of realistic intrigue with deep understated poetic and symbolic overtones, he was unsurpassed in his own or any time."
Sinclair Lewis: "Hammett is undoubtedly the best of American detective story writers."
Colin Dexter: "Chandler called him 'the master,' didn't he? And I can see what Chandler means."
Joe Gores: "Hammett's fiction has affected almost all subsequent American writers' work, whether they know it or not. . . . To me, it is readily apparent that Hammett was one of the most influential writers of the twentieth century, period."
Selected books written by Dashiell Hammett
- Blood Money, written 1926-1927, first published as a book in 1943.
- Red Harvest, 1929.
- The Dain Curse, 1930.
- The Maltese Falcon, 1930.
- The Dain Curse, 1931.
- The Thin Man, 1934.
Short story collections:
- Nightmare Town, 1999.
- Crime Stories and Other Writings, 2001.
- Lost Stories, 2005.
- The Battle of the Aleutians, 1943.
- Selected Letters of Dashiell Hammett, 2001.