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

From: Michael Robison (
Date: 25 May 2004

Mario wrote: That would presuppose a very primitive reader. Since the stuff came out long before my time, I cannot say how readers in the fifties reacted. Some critics thought it was primitive and adolescent, though

*********** Spillane's writing style is primitive and adolescent, but Mike Hammer is a spectacular creation, and there is a savage beauty in his stories. The critics who deplore the raw violence and unsophisticated Hammer would do well to check out Homer's ILIAD. Achilles is by turns childishly petulant and ragingly violent. For that matter, a quick look at the heroes in the BIBLE's Genesis wouldn't reveal a lot of nobility there, either.

The critic's demand for a noble knight errant is an arbitrary requirement that has more to do with current fashion than it does with good writing.


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