Hard-Boiled and Hard Tack

Two adventure stories--a crime classic and an adventure on the high seas--make up our latest Selected Shorts episode.

Dashiell Hammet’s tale, “The Creeping Siamese,” was first published in the pulp fiction magazine Black Mask in 1926, and was revived by actor and director John Shea for an evening of crime stories at the Getty Center in Los Angeles. Hammett is perhaps best known for his liaison with playwright Lillian Hellman, and his 1930 novel, "The Maltese Falcon," which introduced the tough talking private eye Sam Spade. (Actor Humphrey Bogart made Spade famous in the 1941 John Huston film The Maltese Falcon.)

Jack London’s “Make Westing” is our second adventure story, and it takes us into another world entirely. London's tale is of clipper ships making the dangerous passage around Cape Horn before explorers knew of a shorter route through the Panama Canal. Jack London, who lived from 1876 to 1916, wrote of men and animals battling hostile environments; The Call of the Wild, White Fang, and The Sea Wolf have thrilled generations of readers. The reader of this gripping tale is the late Steven Gilborn, who may be best remembered for his part playing Ellen de Generis’s sweet father on the TV series “Ellen.”

The musical interlude in this week's Selected Shorts program is from Adolph Deutsch’s score for “The Maltese Falcon.”  The Selected Shorts theme is Roger Kellaway’s “Come to the Meadow.”

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