Announcing our Top 20 Books of 2022

Lillian and Dash: Book summary and reviews of Lillian and Dash by Sam Toperoff

Lillian and Dash

by Sam Toperoff

Lillian and Dash by Sam Toperoff X
Lillian and Dash by Sam Toperoff
Buy This Book

About this book

Book Summary

This exciting novel about Dashiell Hammett (The Maltese Falcon and The Thin Man) and Lillian Hellman (The Children's Hour) reintroduces their larger-than-life personalities and the vicissitudes of their affair that spanned three decades.

Toperoff reimagines the highs and lows of a fast-living, hard-drinking literary couple, and their individual passions, projects, and literary creations. Hammett and Hellman's relationship evolves during major artistic and political epochs - Hollywood's heyday, the New York literary scene, the Spanish Civil War, McCarthyism, and both world wars - and each movement is captured with subjectivity and credible insight. Populated with writers, drinkers, filmmakers, and revolutionaries, Lillian and Dash chronicles the unusual affair of two prominent and headstrong figures.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

"Toperoff locates the private passions in an intense, public and ultimately tragic love story without indulging in glitz or melodrama. " - Kirkus

"Much has been written about these two writers, playwrights, political activists, drunks and lovers, but nothing better than this novel. Toperoff does not pretend to be an earwitness to every private conversation, bit of pillow talk or fight; instead, he weaves a great story out of the public evidence that swirled around both parties." - Shelf Awareness

"Fascinating and engrossing, one of those rare books that would help you through an airplane flight without insulting your intelligence. In a word, it's literature. It also happens to be dark and sexy and, I would think, ripe for the movies." – Tracy Kidder, author of Mountains beyond Mountains and winner of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award for nonfiction

"There is a sentence in Lillian & Dash that, in part, reads, 'Cruelty was in fact precisely what made the erotic obscene.' There is a lot packed in those ten words. What's more, they explain exactly why anything Sam Toperoff writes, I will read." - Cal Fussman, writer at large, Esquire

"This is a novel that reimagines their relationship...with a strong dose of Golden Age romanticism." - LA Times

"I never knew how love like this worked, the kind that jumps the tracks but just keeps barreling onward...'til Sam Toperoff yanked me aboard, sat me next to Dash and Lill and took us hurtling through Hollywood, down Broadway, across two wars, a political witch hunt and mid-20th-century America, spellbound and hell-bound for human truth." - Gary Smith, writer, Sports Illustrated

"[A] wonderful tale, graphic and true as it imagines the reality surrounding Hellman's and Hammett's extraordinary lives. You'll love it and learn from it." - Paul Newlin, author of It Had to Be a Woman and Reaching for September

"Toperoff delivers the historical period with not only credibility, but insight as well. And of course it's a book about writers and writing, and thus the relationships between ego and talent, success and the lure of self-destruction." - Stephen Dunn, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in poetry

This information about Lillian and Dash was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Author Information

Sam Toperoff

Sam Toperoff has published twelve books of fiction and nonfiction including Jimmy Dean Prepares and Queen of Desire, and his stories and articles have appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, Granta, New York Times Magazine, Town & Country, and Sports Illustrated. He lives in France, in a house he built.

More Author Information

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

More Recommendations

Readers Also Browsed . . .

more historical fiction...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Join and Save 20%!

Become a member and
discover exceptional books.

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: I'm the Girl
    I'm the Girl
    by Courtney Summers
    YA author Courtney Summers doesn't believe in shielding her teenage readers from the world's darkest...
  • Book Jacket: They're Going to Love You
    They're Going to Love You
    by Meg Howrey
    Teenage Carlisle lives with her mother in Ohio, but their relationship has never felt particularly ...
  • Book Jacket: The Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen
    The Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen
    by Isaac Blum
    That irreplaceable feeling of everyone knowing your name. The yearning to be anonymous. Parents ...
  • Book Jacket: Now Is Not the Time to Panic
    Now Is Not the Time to Panic
    by Kevin Wilson
    The edge is a shantytown filled with gold seekers. We are fugitives, and the law is skinny with ...

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Our Missing Hearts
    by Celeste Ng

    From the author of Little Fires Everywhere, a new novel about a mother’s unbreakable love in a world consumed by fear.

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

W N, W Not

and be entered to win..

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
The Bell in the Lake
by Lars Mytting
The engrossing epic novel - a #1 bestseller in Norway - of a young woman whose fate plays out against her village's mystical church bells.
Who Said...

There is no worse robber than a bad book.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.