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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) Audiobook, by Joseph Gores
3.44 out of 53.44 out of 53.44 out of 53.44 out of 53.44 out of 5 3.44 (32 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Joseph Gores Narrator: Scott Brick Publisher: Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2009 ISBN:
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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!

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 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 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 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 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. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rob | 1/20/2014

    " A great idea well executed. When I saw this on the shelf at Borders&Noble (?), I couldn't believe I hadn't already heard about it. As a pretty avid noir crime reader, this was a real find. Gores has written a prequel to The Maltese Falcon, coming up with some great back-story on the relationship between Sam Spade and Miles Archer, his unfortunate partner (i.e., murdered inside the first 50 pages of Maltese Falcon). As far as I can tell, he stays pretty faithful to the characters and writing style of the original masterpiece. Of course, it'll make you wanna read The Maltese Falcon again...which I'm doing now. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Terry | 1/14/2014

    " I love the works of Dashiell Hammett and I liked the earlier books of Joe Gores, but I hit a wall on this one and almost gave it up early on. I stuck with it and became a little more engaged as the book progressed. The plotting is a lot like Hammett, but the writing is arch and self-conscious -- and I found myself editing constantly, which is not a good way to enjoy a novel. Gores just tries too hard -- or maybe I'd be disappointed if I go back and read Hammett again. He also tries too hard to get very specific San Francisco locations into the book. Sometimes that's fun (if you're familiar with the place). Sometimes it's just an irrelevant distraction. Maybe a map would help. Gores also goes out of his way to describe characters as they appear (he is obsessed with the shape of faces), but since most do not reappear, this, too, seems a distraction. In short, Joe Gores is no Dashiell Hammett.... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erin | 1/12/2014

    " i know. why do so many writers feel an urge to write a prequel or sequel to somebody else's great work of literature? but still, i picked this book up. it may have been the cover that drew my eye... noir to the last detail. and gores does a great job with it. first, he's able to write in the mood of the great hammett. while that means i still don't know whether or not gores is a good writer, it did enable me to really enjoy this story. its sprawling -- covers over a decade in the life of sam spade, but i never felt lost. and man, the maltese falcon really must have been written for humphrey bogart, because i was able to easily picture him in this story from start to finish -- that actually really helped me jump into the plot. and second, its just a good tale of morals and intrigue and dirty human nature. it may have actually scored a 5 if this weren't a prequel to somebody else's work. i just don't think you should get full credit for that. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Eoin | 1/9/2014

    " I wanted to like this book and noticed I was defending it to myself. The descriptions were all unnecessarily "almost" or "just under", the Bay Area geography required outside knowledge, and the characters were barely enough to function for the plot. Fun, though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeremy Brooks | 1/6/2014

    " I really enjoyed this one. It has the dark and gritty feel of a Hammett novel, and the descriptions of old San Francisco are very enjoyable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Landismom | 1/4/2014

    " Better than I thought it would be. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kearn | 12/23/2013

    " This was a nice prequel to the Maltese Falcon but I am not sure he captured the style of Hammett's writing style. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jeannie | 12/6/2013

    " Book club assignment. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 David | 12/3/2013

    " Almost certainly unnecessary, but not half bad. Lots of detail yet light on mood. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Steve | 11/24/2013

    " As a Hammett fan I approached this book with caution but I loved it. The tone captures Hammett's perfectly, Gores is an excellent plotter and having the book end (spoiler alert!) with the first paragraph of "The Maltese Falcon" hit the nail right on the head. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cheri | 11/19/2013

    " I Recommend this book. Maltese Falcon is one of personal favorites so I had to read this. Gores does a good job of developing the characters that Hammett did not. I won't say that it flows seamlessly into Maltese Falcon but it is a good book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gary Lange | 10/22/2013

    " Great read, especially if you love the Maltese Falcon! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Dan | 8/23/2013

    " An attempt to write a film noir. Failed. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kelly | 4/12/2013

    " Ah, how I'd missed hardboiled detective novels! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 9/3/2012

    " Was a surprisingly good prequel to the Maltese Falcon filling in the details from A Man Called Spade short story to the now infamous Maltese Falcon. I also impressed by the amount of research Gores had to pour over to get it historically correct as well as the feel of the old San Fran. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Peter | 4/10/2012

    " A really impressive imitation of Hammett's style. I didn't expect to like this book and wound up enjoying it a good deal. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joan | 3/12/2012

    " If you love Dashiell Hammett and are looking for background information on the Maltese Falcon, this is the book for you. The mood, atmosphere and language are spot on to Hammett's style. Mr. Gore hit this right on. Enjoy.... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jane Shaffer | 7/25/2011

    " Fairly well-executed prequel to Hammett's "The Maltese Falcon," with the distinct exception of the overuse of the phrase "He/she hitched his/her hip over the corner of the desk." However, the story was cleverly crafted, giving the reader a believable look at Sam Spade's earlier life and work. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Glenys Parslow | 7/23/2011

    " Great re-creation of the genre. Loved the ending. Must re-visit The Maltese Falcon now, if I can find a copy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jo Marie | 6/24/2011

    " I liked this maybe a little better than the first time I read it, but I still don't think it's great. I agree that having recently read Devil's garden made it more interesting. I'm looking forward to re-reading The Maltese falcon to see how well Gores captured Sam Spade. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pam | 2/25/2011

    " "This was just so darn fun! I could really picture Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade throughout the whole book and I had a blast reading it." "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jo Marie | 1/7/2011

    " I liked this maybe a little better than the first time I read it, but I still don't think it's great. I agree that having recently read Devil's garden made it more interesting. I'm looking forward to re-reading The Maltese falcon to see how well Gores captured Sam Spade. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary | 10/25/2010

    " Hmmmm. I don't know. I did hear Humphrey Bogart speaking the lines in my head. It felt very anachronistic, and somehow the parts I liked the best were the descriptions of old San Francisco, Marin, et cetera. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Dan | 9/5/2010

    " An attempt to write a film noir. Failed. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cody | 9/2/2010

    " 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. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joan | 7/27/2010

    " If you love Dashiell Hammett and are looking for background information on the Maltese Falcon, this is the book for you. The mood, atmosphere and language are spot on to Hammett's style. Mr. Gore hit this right on. Enjoy.... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Linda | 7/27/2010

    " Never got past the hyphenated words, nor stopped noticing time defined as "just shy of" this o'clock, or that-many years. Perhaps this is like Hammett, and thus confirms again that I prefer Chandler. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Steve | 5/12/2010

    " As a Hammett fan I approached this book with caution but I loved it. The tone captures Hammett's perfectly, Gores is an excellent plotter and having the book end (spoiler alert!) with the first paragraph of "The Maltese Falcon" hit the nail right on the head. "

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