Thursday, January 10, 2019

A Rich “Harvest” of Hammetts

It was 58 years ago today, on January 10, 1961, that author Dashiell Hammett passed away as a result of lung cancer at New York City’s Lenox Hill Hospital. To mark that sad occasion, CrimeReads has posted 20 different covers from Red Harvest—the first Continental Op novel, and “one of Hammett’s most political works”—which was originally released by Alfred A. Knopf on February 1, 1929.

Among the fronts on display are two of my favorites, a Spanish edition published in 1979 (shown above), and Permabooks’ 1958 version, featuring a cover illustration by Lou Marchetti (below). I also like (and even own a copy of) the 1961 Permabooks edition CrimeReads editors rank as No. 1, but I have to say, there are other Harry Bennett-painted paperbacks I prefer.

Perhaps only because it wanted to cap its selections at 20, CrimeReads neglected to feature two other versions of Red Harvest: Pan Books’ 1980 version (below, left), and a handsome 1989 paperback edition from Vintage/Black Lizard (below, right).

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