REVIEW: “The Parthian Shot” by Dashiell Hammett

Review of Dashiell Hammett, “The Parthian Shot”, in Abandoned Places, edited by George R. Galuschak and Chris Cornell (Shohola Press, 2018): 275 — Purchase here. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman. (Read the review of the anthology.)

I’m not sure if I should confess the following ignorance of not, but fears of what random people on the internet think of me have never really plagued me much, so: I’d never heard of Dashiell Hammett before reading this piece of flash fic, now nearly 100 years old.

It’s hard to evaluate a story that’s only a paragraph, but as a parent myself, I can sympathise with Paulette, and admire her courage as she does what probably every parent considers doing at least once during their tenure.

But I am not sure why this story is in this anthology. It is the final story in the collection, one which I would expect would cap it off, solidify the experience, that it would match well the way in which the collection opened. But while it is a good little story, it lacks an abandoned place. It just doesn’t seem to fit with the rest of the collection (that I’ve read so far).

(Originally published in Smart Shot, 1922)