12/12/07 11:55 pm - Mystery, Magic, and More
drcpunk's dad was getting rid of books a few weeks ago, so I came home with the first three volumes of Knuth's Art... and a bunch of Daschell Hammett novels. Guess which I got through first.
Ok, not really hard, though I cracked Algorithms before Hammett.
The Thin Man was the first I read, and it was very nice and sweet -- though unbeknownst to me, a bit atypical for Hammet.
Next came three Continental Op works -- (I'm still working my way through the third) -- Red Harvest, The Big Knockover, and Continental Op. The first is easily the least typical -- Red Harvest may begin and end with a mystery, but between it's all character study, caper, and very nasty plot. Knockover, by contrast, has some very nice stories (and it's worth noting, for those who don't know, that I don't usually read detective fiction), with good dialogue, but by and large, nothing near that level. The title story of Knockover is a cut above most of the rest, though -- and the first story of Op The King Business, gets us back to some of the fun in Red Harvest of just watching the "Op" work without much mystery to worry about (oddly enough, those two tales are the only ones where the Op has a romance. But I think that distinction is merely a symptom). Good stuff, regardless. (a bit later, I've read through Corkscrew, which has some similarities to Red Harvest (also, a girl), though the western bit weakens it somewhat).
Meanwhile, we saw Beowulf 3D (which I, forewarned, enjoyed as what it was rather than disliking it for not being what it's not) and Enchanted, which is exquisite; predictable in the right ways, with a nice sharp commentary/comment on gender roles and on the fairy tales. I doubt they will, but I'm curious what they'd do with a sequel.