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July 18, 2006 12:48 AM   Subscribe

posted by matteo at 12:52 AM on July 18, 2006

Max Allan Collins, mentioned in the "comic book writer" link, is the author of Road To Perdition and a whole slew of other stuff and is also the hugest Mickey Spillane fan in the world. He wrote a book about the guy called "One Lonely Knight: Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer." Not sure whether it's still in print. I haven't read it, but in other venues, Collins argued vociferously that Spillane was one of America's great mystery writers and deserved a place in the hall of fame alongside Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler.
posted by Clay201 at 1:06 AM on July 18, 2006

Of course, "Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler" deserve a place under Ross MacDonald. ;)

Seriously, Spillane was a helluva writer and anyone who tries to tell you differently hasn't really read him. You might disagree with his biases (in fact, I'd be disappointed if you didn't), but give im credit as a craftsman.
posted by RavinDave at 1:21 AM on July 18, 2006

posted by Faint of Butt at 2:47 AM on July 18, 2006

just blazed through a double edition of day of the guns/death dealers (tiger mann stories) in a day at the end of june.

"relentless sex and violence!" as a tagline/blurb on the back of his books: well who could refuse that?
posted by juv3nal at 3:11 AM on July 18, 2006

I'm looking for, but not finding, reference to an incident where Spillane broke the jaw of a journalist who asked him if there wasn't too much violence in his books. Anybody?
posted by StickyCarpet at 3:17 AM on July 18, 2006

posted by unrepentanthippie at 4:05 AM on July 18, 2006

The Girl Hunters is worth sitting through, but only for Spillane's performance. While you wouldn't call him an actor, he's very believable as Mike Hammer.

He was also decent in that Columbo episode where he gets killed by Jack Cassidy.
posted by barjo at 4:40 AM on July 18, 2006

posted by SmileyChewtrain at 4:52 AM on July 18, 2006

Interestingly, Mickey Spillane has something in common with Donald Rumsfeld: Both were instructor pilots in their respective services -- Spillane in the US Army Air Corps (the forerunner of the USAF) in World War II, Rumsfeld in the US Navy in S-2 ASW aircraft. (Hmmm, whom would I rather have chewing me out for rookie airedale mistakes? Decisions, decisions...)

Also, Spillane lived and AFAIK died in one of my favorite places in South Carolina: Murrells Inlet, a wonderful place to be if (a) you don't mind coping with humidity and insects and (b) you have a hurricane evacuation plan in place.
posted by pax digita at 4:57 AM on July 18, 2006


I learned to appretiate reading partially on pulp fiction novels. My dad had hundreds of them. I spent many afternoons devouring a Tiger Mann story or other pulp fiction novels. For some reason he didn't have any Mike Hammer stories. I've read a couple of more modern pulp fictions but none of them had the same appeal. My dad sometimes buys a stack of books based on the combination of "look, they're science fiction" or "look, they're crime novels" and "they were on sale four for a dollar at Big V". I think that rather than trying to write something that's appealing to men on a base level they try to write something that's like the old pulp fictions and it just doesn't work.

Pulp fiction novels are kind of the male equivalent of a romance novel. Instead of all that girly crap in romance novels you have manly things like swilling whiskey, womanizing and weapons.

/me drains a fifth of whiskey in memory.
posted by substrate at 5:03 AM on July 18, 2006

posted by trip and a half at 5:51 AM on July 18, 2006

posted by bashos_frog at 6:15 AM on July 18, 2006

"On most women, flesh was flesh. But on her it was an invitation to dine."

Probably misquoting the fuck outta that.

posted by dobbs at 6:21 AM on July 18, 2006

"I, the Buried."

posted by Alvy Ampersand at 6:22 AM on July 18, 2006

Robert Aldrich's "Kiss Me Deadly" being my favorite all-time noir film (and one of my all time favorite films), it wasn't long until I had 15 or so Spillane books on my shelf. And read them all. Well, except for a few, which will now (along with my Philip K. Dick super secret rainy day reserve) be saved for those moments when I need a "new" Spillane. Heck, even those ones he wrote in the 90's, "The Killing Man" and "Black Alley," were pretty good! He didn't seem to alter his style too terribly much from the good ol' pulp days.
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 6:35 AM on July 18, 2006

Somehow, a period just doesn't seem like the way to honor a hard-boiled mystery writer...

posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:43 AM on July 18, 2006

posted by cass at 6:50 AM on July 18, 2006

I've always thought I, The Jury was a helluva title for a book.
posted by tommasz at 7:08 AM on July 18, 2006

cues up Harlem Nocturne
posted by hortense at 9:09 AM on July 18, 2006

posted by Smedleyman at 11:10 AM on July 18, 2006


For one of Ayn Rand's favorites...

(heh heh)
posted by sighmoan at 11:44 AM on July 18, 2006

This is a bit embarrassing, but I never could get into Spillane. God knows I love the movies made from his stuff (which I guess he didn't). And I love, love, love, Chandler and Cain and Hammett.

But Spillane's prose always made me wince. I don't know what the writerly equivalent of 'chewing up the scenery' is, but that's what it always felt like. There always felt like this weird contradiction between the tight-lipped tough guys in his books and his own florid prose.

But hey, I've only tried a couple and they weren't the ones that got made into movies, so maybe I should try again.
posted by lumpenprole at 11:49 PM on July 18, 2006

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