cover image Return of the Thin Man

Return of the Thin Man

Dashiell Hammett, read by Peter Ganim, Nicola Barber, Scott Brick, and a full cast. HighBridge Audio, six CDs, 7.25 hrs., $34.95 ISBN 978-1-61174-909-0

Legendary novelist Dashiell Hammett’s 1934 crime classic, The Thin Man, was the basis for several very popular films featuring hard-drinking, retired private detective Nick Charles and his lovely socialite wife Nora. Fans of the novel and movies will no doubt relish the chance to listen to the author’s novella-length scenarios for the book’s first two sequels, After the Thin Man and Another Thin Man. But they may be a little disappointed with this audio edition. Narrators Peter Ganim and Nicola Barber do capture the charming, boozy banter of Nick and Nora—but the on-screen portrayal of the duo by William Powell and Myrna Loya is so familiar, so distinctive, and so perfect that performing the material again (regardless of quality) seems a dubious endeavor. Scott Brick’s narration—crisp, properly hardboiled, and highly energized—creates a subtle, pleasing atmosphere for the proceedings. Acting as a sort of audio host, he compliments the actors with an on-point rat-a-tat delivery. A Mysterious Press hardcover. (Oct.)