Pub Rants

A Very Nice Literary Agent Indulges in Polite Rants About Queries, Writers, and the Publishing Industry

One Book, One Denver

STATUS: Another late night but I’m finally getting caught up after vacation.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? DANCING IN THE DARK by Bruce Springsteen

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the launch party for One Book, One Denver hosted by Denver Mayor Hickenlooper. One of the fun aspects of being involved in Denver’s literary scene is that I get invited to interesting events.

So the launch party is the big reveal that happens before the press releases are officially out and about. I personally had no inkling as to what book they were going to choose for the city-wide book club.

And I have to say, I was a little surprised and here it is.


When I chatted with some of the committee members, they mentioned that they were really looking for a fun but literary book that all kinds of readers could get behind. Makes sense to me.

So what do you think about the choice?

For my part, it’s certainly one of my favorite movies. Nick & Nora and their very brainy sidekick/family dog, Asta, solve the crime and save the day.

Heck, I think the book is worth reading just to watch the movie again. And if you aren’t into classics, this just might be the film to win you over (with its 4 Oscars and all).


13 Responses

  1. Kathleen said:

    I think it is a great choice! I can just read that book again and again. I toyed with the idea of trying to turn it into a graphic novel, actually. I think it could be really cool.

    My other thought was that it is such a New York book, that it surprises me a little to be picked by the city of Denver!

  2. Aerin said:

    I think we Denverites are trying to hold on to the image we put forth at the DNC – a lot of people were surprised by how hip a place Denver is. (Do people still say “hip”? Am I showing my age?)

    I confess, I haven’t read this nor seen the movie, so in the spirit of civic solidarity, I am off to do both!

  3. JES said:

    Outstanding choice, for Denver or anywhere else for that matter. If you can tie it to a city-wide film fest, so much the better!

    However, I will confess to being just a tiny bit distracted by knowing you have a mayor — or anyone you know — named Hickenlooper.

  4. December/Stacia said:

    If you remember Asta, you can solve just about any crossword puzzle in the world. For some reason crossword puzzle writers seem to adore using “Nick and Nora’s dog” as a clue.

    Just a fun little tip. 🙂

    Love Hammett, love the book, love the movies.

  5. E. Christopherson said:

    We all know what an influence Hammett had on detective fiction–he’s the influence, really–but what is sometimes forgotten is he was a great stylist too and funny as hell!

  6. Belvoir said:

    May I just say, I love the cover, I’d buy it in a moment in a bookstore. The image of the man lighting his smoke – I used/borrowed it in a digital illustration for a magazine in 1995. Struck a chord, there.

  7. Evangeline said:

    I am a HUGE fan of the Thin Man series. William Powell is devastatingly handsome, and Myrna Loy is so charming and witty. I’m such a fan, I’ve put a wire-haired terrier into my WIP (which, incidentally, is historically accurate, as King Edward VII’s Caesar sparked a craze for the god breed).

  8. kennedysmyth said:

    I love the book, too, but I’m not sure it has the kind of universal appeal you need for a “one book, one city” choice. Nick Charles isn’t quite as charming in the novel as he is in the movies, and the tone is quite different. I wonder if some members of the selection committee had seen the movie and never read the book.
    I’d have gone for Chandler, myself.

  9. Anonymous said:

    I loved the movie and the book. The book is not as comedic as the movie, it’s more gritty and hard-boiled. Nora has less influence on the plot. I read this book in a day. Loved it. Dashiell Hammett is a master. His sentences are easy, precise, and perfect. I learned a great deal reading his style.

  10. Criss said:

    (OK, so I’m a little behind on my blog reading… sorry for the late comment.)

    Dashiell Hammett (or his estate, I guess it would have to be) must have some sort of shady deal going on… here in little Irving, Texas, we’re reading The Maltese Falcon as our city-wide (public-library-sponsored) “Big Read” event.

    Coincidence?

    I think not…

    *puts on her fedora and walks out of the room*

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