Thirtieth Anniversary Tour
by Don Herron
Otto Penzler, USA Today
"Don Herron, who has been conducting these tours since 1977, is a man who knows his stuff. Visit the buildings where the great hard-boiled novelist wrote, as well as the locales of many scenes from those works, especially the iconic Maltese Falcon. If you like American private-eye fiction, [the tour] is the stuff that dreams are made of."
"Hammett fans, whether or not they have taken the Dashiell Hammett walking tour that Herron has been conducting in San Francisco since 1977, will welcome this 30th anniversay edition of the guidebook. Herron has a deep reservoir of knowledge of the life of the father of the hard-boiled detective genre, as suggested by the biographical essay that constitutes part one. Part two lays out the itinerary of Herron's tours, including Burritt Street, where a plaque commemorates the first murder in The Maltese Falcon-that of Sam Spade's partner, Miles Archer. . . . Admirers of Herron's biography of the cult crime writer, Willeford (1997), will be interested to learn that he met Willeford, whom he had never heard of before, when Willeford took the tour in 1984. Illustrated with maps and photos throughout, this volume will appeal not just to students of Hammett but to anyone curious about the relation between a writer's life and his work."
Mike Rogers, Library Journal
"Don Herron updates his original volume with a new preface by Hammett's daughter Jo and an intro by best-selling mystery writer Charles Willeford. More than just a book of maps (although there are eight) this offers a Hammett biography, a timeline of his San Francisco residences, 60 photos and illustrations, walking and driving maps, details on 40 sites connected with the author and his works, an annotated bibliography, and an index. Quite a thorough and fun package. For fans, no trip to San Francisco is complete without a copy of Herron's Dashiell Hammett Tour. Recommended."
Mark Coggins, The Rap Sheet:
"Reading the 30th anniversary edition of this book is like taking in a highlights reel of all the great conversations [Herron] has had over the three-decade life of his four-hour tour. For not only do you get a guide to all the known Hammett residences and many of the San Francisco locations mentioned or implied in The Maltese Falcon and other Hammett fiction, but you are also given an excellent pocket biography of Sam Spade's creator, lots of interesting back story on the investigations undertaken by Herron, Fritz Leiber, Bill Arney, and Joe Gores to locate San Francisco's Hammett heritage sites--including a discussion of the present-day controversy that still surrounds a few of those selections--and a heartfelt introduction by the novelist's surviving daughter, Jo Hammett, that grounds the whole book. Yes, she tells you in effect, you are really reading about my father and the life that he and I led in San Francisco in the 1920s.
As with all of the books in the Ace Performer Collection, The Dashiell Hammett Tour is handsome and lushly produced, which is particularly appreciated in a guidebook featuring so many photographs, maps, illustrations, and street indices. And the 30th anniversary edition marks the first time Herron's book has appeared in hardcover.
If you are a Hammett fan, this work belongs on your bookshelf, even if you have a previous edition. If you've not read Hammett, then you should pick up a copy of The Maltese Falcon and Don Herron's book and follow along. The Dashiell Hammett Tour is the treasure map to Sam Spade's adventure with the black bird."
Read Mark Coggins' complete review.
Thomas Burchfield,The Red Room
"Don Herron has been leading the most notable of San Francisco walking tours, the Dashiell Hammett Tour, since 1977. Along the way, he's published literary criticism, literature guides, and other nonfiction work. Arguably, his most famous book is The Dashiell Hammett Tour, which first appeared in 1979, and now appears in hardcover for the first time in a beautifully designed thirtieth anniversary edition by Vince Emery Productions."
"Even if you never plan to visit San Francisco, if you're a Hammett fan (and if you're not, you should be), you should own this book. It offers a look at Hammett and his world that you just can't get from a biography or critical study of his work."
Midwest Book Review
"The Dashiell Hammett Tour is a must-have for any fan of Hammett's work."
Jon L. Breen, Mystery Scene
"This is a must addition to the Hammett shelf."
"A delightful, informative, and capsulated biography of Dashiell Hammett, and a walking tour or auto tour of San Francisco."
San Francisco Examiner
"Hammett shows San Francisco at its most glamorous, dangerous, and intriguing. The City is full of Hammett landmarks, and if you want to see them all, take The Dashiell Hammett Tour."
New York Times
"A hard-boiled stroll through the world of the American private eye."
San Francisco Chronicle
"It's fun, fascinating, and fully illustrated with photos of appropriate sites. A gas."
"Done well, with a loving attention to detail. Don Herron has put this tour together and it's a winner."
Los Angeles Times
"Friendly, witty, articulate, theatrical, and thoroughly immersed in Hammett arcana."
"If you can't go to San Francisco, you can till take the tour vicariously by purchasing The Dashiell Hammett Tour. It contains photos, maps, bibliography, and the best capsule biography of Hammett I have ever read."
Peninsula Times Tribune
"Sparkling, delightful and obviously essential to anyone concerned with San Francisco's literary history."
Wilson Library Bulletin
"Highly recommended to libraries with special interest in San Francisco or Hammett or mystery fiction generally."
"If you like Hammett, you'll love this book."
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The Dashiell Hammett Tour is the fourth title in The Ace Performer Collection, a new series of books by and about Dashiell Hammett, crowned "the ace performer" by his disciple Raymond Chandler.
8 maps, 2 illustrations, 60 photographs; 224 pages. Trade hardcover edition publication date March 16, 2009, $19.95 U.S./$24.95 Canada, Hardcover ISBN 978-0-9725898-7-1 SOLD OUT
Paperback ISBN 978-0-9825650-0-1 SOLD OUT.