When The Maltese Falcon was first published, Dashiell Hammett was little known outside of the small, specific world of crime fiction. This is the book that changed that and brought his name to the attention of reviewers of literary works. For instance, William Curtis, reviewing the book in Town & Country, an upscale leisure publication, admitted, after comparing Hammett to literary figures of the time (including Ernest Hemingway):
I think Mr. Hammett has something quite as definite to say, quite as decided an impetus to give the course of newness in...
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