RARA-AVIS: Re: Spillane and misogyny

From: Channing ( filmtroll@sbcglobal.net)
Date: 12 Jul 2006

The books of 1947--

It's a little off-topic, but "The Prince Of Foxes" by Shellabarger is still in print, and it's a fine historical romance (not to be confused with romance novels) in the Raphael Sabatini vein. The emphasis is more on the intrigue in the court of Cesare Borgia, than on heroic sword fights. But the writing is good and the historical details are superb.

I'm guessing that anything by Steinbeck and Sinclair Lewis is in print as they are writers that are studied in high school through college.

Someone a while back (I can't find the exact post) asked if there are any good Spillane non-Hammer books.

I read Me Hood (not Mickey's finest title) and it's excellent. It's several related short stories about an ex-con who wants to get REVENGE on the mob! For some reason when Spillane is writing about a criminal hoodlum all of Hammer's flaws (lack of detective acumen, blowing away random guys that cross his path) fly out the window and it's an enjoyable read. I'm surprised Spillane didn't write more Parker-style crime books instead of doing those inane James Bond rip-off books.

As for Spillane's lasting influence, I think when Hollywood is still making TV shows and movies 50 years after your books are written, that's a pretty good test of time. And you can't discount Spillane's influence on post 1940's hardboiled novels (more sex, more blood, more moral ambiguity). I'm not saying it's a positive or negative influence, but the most popular writers spawn imitators and influence other writers.


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