Expanded and revised, this 30th-anniversary edition guides readers over the fog-shrouded hills stalked by Sam Spade, the Continental Op, and other legendary characters created by San Francisco's most famous mystery writer, Dashiell Hammett. Detailing locations of interest, including all of Hammett's known residences and the majority of settings from The Maltese Falcon, this guidebook contains maps, self-guided tours, and photographs of Hammett-related locations from both then and now. A new preface by Jo Hammett, the detective writer's daughter and Edgar Award–nominated writer, is also included.
The Dashiell Hammett Tour The Ace Performer Collection Author: Don Herron Other: Jo Hammett Other: Charles Willeford Edition: 30th Anniversary Table of Contents PREFACE Back Where I Might Have Been by Jo Hammett . . . 1 INTRODUCTION Hammett’s San Francisco: On the Trail of Sam Spade by Charles Willeford . . . 7 PARTONE Dashiell Hammett: A Brief Biography . . . 13 Timeline of Hammett’s San Francisco Residences . . . 60 PARTTWO The Dashiell Hammett Tour . . . 61 Overall Map . . . 62 Walking Map #1 . . . 64 Driving Map #1 . . . 65 1. 200 Larkin: Hammett’s Reading Room . . . 62 2. Civic Center Park: Kids’ Playground . . . 68 3. City Hall: Politics and Murder . . . 71 4. 580 McAllister: Whosis Kid Gundown . . . 72 5. Redwood Alley: Unexpected Palm Tree . . . 77 6. 408 Turk: TB Flare-Up . . . 78 7. 620 Eddy: Blackmasking . . . 79 The Puzzle of the City Streets . . . 85 8. Blanco’s: Dain Curse Cuisine . . . 87 9. 811 Geary: Stalking Sam Spade . . . 91 10. 891 Post: Sam’s Place . . . 93 The Puzzle of Spade and the Falcon . . . 100 Walking Map #2 . . . 104 Driving Map #2 . . . 105 11. 1309 Hyde: Big Knockover . . . 103 12. 1155 Leavenworth: Writer at Last . . . 109 13. 1201 California: Brigid’s Place . . . 113 The Puzzle of the Blocked Writer . . . 117 14. Dashiell Hammett Street: Street Cred . . . 120 15. 20 Monroe: Ad Man . . . 121 16. Stockton Tunnel: Death by Night . . . 122 17. Burritt Street: Crime Scene . . . 126 The Puzzle of the Billboard and the Brick . . . 129 18. 111 Sutter: Spade & Archer . . . 131 Walking Map #3 . . . 136 Driving Map #3 . . . 137 19. Sir Francis Drake Hotel: Gunsel and Gutman . . . 138 20. St. Francis Hotel: Fatty Arbuckle . . . 139 21. Geary Theatre: Pound of Flesh . . . 144 22. Clift Hotel: Sherlock Slept Here . . . 145 23. Bellevue Hotel: Cairo’s Place . . . 146 24. Floyd Thursby’s Apartment: Dead Gangster . . . 150 25. 120 Ellis: Tying the Knot . . . 151 26. 114 Powell: Wife to Be . . . 151 27. Samuels Street Clock: Diamond Days . . . 155 28. 870 Market: Pinkerton’s Man . . . 156 The Puzzle of the Jobs and the Years . . . 161 29. John’s Grill: Chop House . . . 165 30. Off-Tour Hammett Sites . . . 170 Other Hammett Sites Map . . . 171 A. Pickwick Hotel: Black Bird Hideaway . . . 170 B. Old Mint: Big Knockover Inspiration? . . . 172 C. Remedial Loan: Brigid Hocks Her Jewels . . . 172 D. Julius Castle: Spade’s Other Lunchspot . . . 173 E. Waverly Place and Spofford Alley: Chinatown Action . . . 173 F. Portsmouth Square: Stevenson Monument . . . 174 G & H. Ferry Building and Pier 35: On the Waterfront . . . 174 I. Holly Circle: Big Flora’s Hideout . . . 174 AFTERWORD Notes from Thirty Years Up and Down the Mean Streets . . . 175 Sources: Annotated Bibliography . . . 185 Index of Streets and Addresses . . . 201 Index . . . 203 About the Writers . . . 211 Description Expanded and revised, this 30th-anniversary edition guides readers over the fog-shrouded hills stalked by Sam Spade, the Continental Op, and other legendary characters created by San Francisco’s most famous mystery writer, Dashiell Hammett. Detailing locations of interest, including all of Hammett’s known residences and the majority of settings from The Maltese Falcon, this guidebook contains maps, self-guided tours, and photographs of Hammett-related locations from both then and now. A new preface by Jo Hammett, the detective writer’s daughter and Edgar Award–nominated writer, is also included. Excerpt PART ONEDashiell Hammett: A Brief BiographySamuel Dashiell Hammett was born May 27, 1894, in St. Mary’s County, Maryland, and died January 10, 1961, in the city of New York. In those sixty-six years he became a revolutionary force in popular fiction in this country, the seminal twentieth-century mystery writer, pioneering an authentic American style for the tale of crime and murder. And it was while living in San Francisco that Hammett reinvented the form, creating the modern hard-boiled detective story in a series of furnished rooms from the Tenderloin to Nob Hill.Hammett came to San Francisco in June 1921. Before he left in October 1929, he had written most of his fiction, including the landmark novels Red Harvest and The Maltese Falcon, as well as The Big Knockover, The Dain Curse, and the beginning of The Glass Key. All but two handfuls of his more than one hundred short stories were created in his apartments in Eddy, Turk, Hyde, Monroe, and Post Streets. More than half his fiction takes place in The City. His characters Sam Spade—blond, slope-shouldered, Satan-faced—and the Continental Op—a nameless short fat detective—gumshoed grooves in the foggy streets of Frisco. And Nick and Nora Charles, visiting in New York when the thin man is murdered, were also residents here.Hammett’s San Francisco stands as one of the great literary treatments of a city, and has been compared to Joyce’s Dublin and Dickens’ London for its evocation of time and place—that 1920s San Francisco when nightfog cloaked the hills and a host of sinister customers were afoot. In the Continental Op tales the unnamed operative for the Continental Detective Agency goes into every neighborhood and encounters every level of society, from bankers with wandering daughters in their Pacific Heights mansions to cheap gunmen dwelling in barren rooms in Tenderloin hotels, doing their drinking in North Beach speakeasies.With The Maltese Falcon Hammett created a plot as glamorous as San Francisco herself, adding new luster and legend to The City. Sam Spade in snap- brim hat and trench coat, stalking through the fog, is as firm a part of San Francisco’s lore as the 1906 earthquake and fire are of her history. No other novel has excited so much interest here, or sent so many people scurrying over the hills, shadowing Spade’s movements in his search for the fabulous figurine of a mysterious black bird.BORN INTO A WORKING class family, the son of Richard Thomas Hammett and Annie Bond Dashiell, Hammett was raised with his brother and sister in the cities of Philadelphia and Baltimore. Frequently down on their luck, they lived in Baltimore for several years off and on in 212 North Stricker Street, a house rented by Hammett’s maternal grandmother. Whenever they got more income, they would rent a separate apartment for themselves, but invariably they came back to North Stricker.When Hammett turned fourteen his father became too sick to work. It was expected, and it was necessary, that Hammett as the oldest son quit Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, the high school where he had enrolled on September 14, 1908, to get a job and help support the family until his father became well enough to take up the slack as the major breadwinner. He withdrew from classes February 9, 1909. Once he went to work, Hammett did not return to high school.... Author Bio Don Herron Don Herron is the author of The Dark Barbarian, The Literary World of San Francisco, and Willeford. He has led the Dashiell Hammett Tour in San Francisco since 1977. He lives in San Francisco. Jo Hammett Jo Hammett is the author of the Edgar award-nominated biography Dashiell Hammett: A Daughter Remembers. She served as the editorial advisor for Selected Letters of Dashiell Hammett. She lives in Los Angeles. Charles Willeford Charles Willeford is the author of 16 novels, including the best-selling Hoke Moseley hardboiled detective series. He was literary critic for The Miami Herald and taught at the University of Miami. He died in 1988. Reviews "Hammett fans will welcome this guidebook. Illustrated with maps and photos throughout, [it] will appeal to anyone curious about the relation between a writer's life and his work." "Thorough and fun . . . For fans, no trip to San Francisco is complete without a copy of Herron's Dashiell Hammett Tour. Recommended." "Friendly, witty, articulate, theatrical, and thoroughly immersed in Hammett arcane.” “It’s fun, fascinating, and fully illustrated with photos of appropriate sites. A gas.” “A hard-boiled stroll through the world of the American Private Eye.” "Combines Herron's encyclopedic knowledge . . . with a rapid-fire dispensation of history, anecdotes, and passages from books, all delivered in a tone and manner befitting a pulp story by Hammett himself." "If you like Hammett, you’ll love this book.” “If you can’t go to San Francisco, you can till take the tour vicariously by purchasing The Dashiell Hammett Tour. It contains photos, maps, bibliography, and the best capsule biography of Hammett I have ever read.” “Sparkling, delightful and obviously essential to anyone concerned with San Francisco’s literary history.”
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