Re: RARA-AVIS: words

Anders Engwall (
Fri, 17 Sep 1999 08:53:45 +0200

Juri Nummelin:

> I find Spillane rather loathsome author who
> has more racist and fascist attitudes than almost any other writer.

Indeed. When i first read "I, the Jury" I was appalled. Blatant racism, sexism, homophobia and even advocacy of a police state -- I could hardly believe anyone could write such things. And as has been pointed out already, Spillane obviously has/had an enormous sexual hangup. And the hypocricy! It's almost comical the way Hammer spends the novel drooling over virtually every female in the book (nymphos the lot of them, of course), yet when he spots some people entering a strip joint, he sneers "Look at them freaks!" or something to that effect.

> But he
> writes (wrote? I've heard there's no punch anymore) quite well.

I'm not sure about that. I thought "I, the Jury" was clumsily, almost amateurishly, written. Add to that Spillane's absurd attitude to almost everything, and I have to rate it as one of the worst novels I've ever read, regardless of genre. In sense it is fascinating for this very reason; it is interesting to know just how bad literature can be. I must admit, however, that the last few lines are very cool.

The other Spillane novels I've read are pretty bad, too. "Kiss Me, Deadly" is somewhat better than "I, the Jury"; the writing has improved and there is less bigotry, but it is still completely stupid and simply no good. Aldrich's movie is vastly superior. Then there's "Day of the Guns", the first Tiger Mann novel, which I found to be just plain ridicilous.

Is there really such a thing as a good Mickey Spillane novel?

/ Anders

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