Sunday, April 29, 2018

The Maltese Falcon

We were recently in The City (San Francisco), walking along Post Street just west of Union Square. At the corner of Post and Hyde is an unassuming apartment building that no one would ever think was significant. Yet the corner apartment on the top floor is where Dashiell Hammett lived in 1929. While there, he wrote The Maltese Falcon.

The upper corner apartment was Dashiell Hammett's during the late 1920s.
There is a plaque on the building commemorating his time living there.
Does a person's home matter in the creation of a classic novel? Certainly the location must have been useful to Hammett in writing a story set in San Francisco. But were there other aspects of the apartment that helped? I'm guessing it's likely that the look and smell and feel of the apartment all informed aspects of the novel.

Either way, it's fun to look up at the apartment and visualize Hammett inside, typing away, pacing, thinking, smoking and drinking (he did lots of the latter two).


  1. You've inspired me. I am going to the library to get The Maltese Falcon. Never read it.... and born and raised in San Francisco!!

    1. I'm pretty sure you will like it! And when you're done reading it, watch the movie again. Good stuff!