Re: RARA-AVIS: Mike Hammer's strength and heroism

From: Mark Sullivan (
Date: 17 May 2004

MrT wrote:

"Hammer is far from being the only unlikable protagonist of hardboiled and noir fiction. The name Patricia Highsmith should bring up all sorts of unlikable main characters (does she have *any* likable ones?)."

Or Jim Thompson, or James M Cain, etc. However, they intended their protagonists to be unlikable, or at least unsympathetic. Do you really think Spillane intends Hammer to be unsympathetic? I see a big difference between the presentation of the psychopathic acts of Lou Ford and Mike Hammer, for instance. I think we are supposed to feel that the ends justify Hammer's psychopathic means. I think Spillane intends us to cheer Hammer on.


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