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Download Spade & Archer: The Prequel to The Maltese Falcon Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Spade & Archer: The Prequel to The Maltese Falcon (Unabridged), by Joseph Gores
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (492 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Joseph Gores Narrator: Scott Bric Publisher: Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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When Sam Spade gets drawn into the Maltese Falcon case, we know what to expect: straight talk, hard questions, no favors, and no way for anyone to get underneath the protective shell he wears like a second skin. We know that his late partner, Miles Archer, was a son of a bitch; that Spade is sleeping with Archer's wife, Iva; that his tomboyish secretary, Effie Perine, is the only innocent in his life. What we don't know is how Spade became who he is. Spade & Archer completes the picture.

1921: Spade sets up his own agency in San Francisco and clients quickly start coming through the door. The next seven years will see him dealing with booze runners, waterfront thugs, stowaways, banking swindlers, gold smugglers, bumbling cops, and the illegitimate daughter of Sun Yat-sen; with murder, other men's mistresses, and long-missing money. He'll bring in Archer as a partner, though it was Archer who stole his girl while he was fighting in World War I. He'll tangle with a villain who never loses his desire to make Spade pay big for ruining what should've been the perfect crime. And he'll fall in love - though it won't turn out for the best. It never does with dames.

Spade & Archer is a gritty, pitch-perfect, hard-boiled novel - the work of a master mystery writer - destined to become a classic in its own right. Download and start listening now!


Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Tony | 2/11/2014

    " If you like Hammett, you'll like Gores. He does a great job of writing the book Hammett could have written -- in Hammett's voice. He also spins a great yarn and does a great job of evoking 1920s San Francisco. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Cody | 2/6/2014

    " Listened to the audiobook from Audible. Loved it. The sense of SF in the 1920's was great and the dialog with fantastic. Highly recommended to any fan of Hammett. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Kurt | 2/2/2014

    " This book isn't terrible, and Gores clearly loves Dashiell Hammett, the Maltese Falcon, and San Francisco of the 1920s, but Gores' prequel is mostly valuable for showcasing how phenomenally talented Dashiell Hammett was. There are many things to like about this story, which covers seven years of Sam Spade's life, ending with a scene that overlaps an early scene of Hammett's classic. The action is very much in keeping with Hammett's style, in which bad things happen to people, but mostly off-screen, and sex is treated the same way. The pacing is also well-done, as the three major sections of this book each fly by briskly without wasting too much time on superfluous activity. I also like the idea of a shadowy villain who haunts Hammett's life for seven years, leaving the detective weary and jaded when the Maltese Falcon enters his life. The characters are treated with love, as the reader gets a bit of an explanation of why Effie Perine rolls Spade's cigarettes for him, why Spade has such prickly interactions with the local police in his most famous case, and why Spade began his affair with Iva Archer that added such an intriguing layer to his character in his original appearance. Unfortunately, this book isn't very good on its own. I appreciate that Gores did a lot of research on old San Francisco, but it surfaces in awkward ways throughout the novel - for example, two characters will be having a conversation by a public pool, and they will trade trivia bits that show them to be intimately familiar with its dimensions, history, and engineering. It shoves the reader out of the story, and I think it's the sign of Gores' lack of confidence - characters are saying that a particular island is seven miles from Fisherman's Wharf, but they mean, "Please, please, Hammett fans, I promise I did my homework when I tackled this project, please don't hate me!" There are also some odd recurring phrases - did Hammett use the term "hooked his hip over/onto the corner of her desk," because Gores uses it no fewer than six times, and I lost the train of the narrative trying to figure out why Gores would overuse such a silly phrase. I also think that Gores can't quite pay homage to Hammett's wit and his knack for cruel but creative character descriptions. Also, when the reader can slip past the shadow of Hammett's original work, then dive below the cluttered shield of too much research, the stories underneath are fairly lifeless pulp. I admire the pulp stories of the 1920s and 1930s that never got the attention that Hammett and Chandler drew, but they lacked a certain vitality that set those two masters above their peers. Reading this prequel reminds me of how hard it is to write a noir story that is also great literature, and while it works as a love letter to Dashiell Hammett and Sam Spade, it doesn't work as a story that Hammett himself might have written, and I don't really recommend this book to anyone but the most hardcore of Hammett fans. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jeff | 1/27/2014

    " Loved it. Just finished it last night. What a fun read. Couldn't help but read the Spade dialog in the voice of Bogart. Watching The Maltese Falcon now to complete the double-feature. "

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