Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Real Cool Killers

From: Michael Robison (
Date: 17 Jul 2007

Channing wrote:

Spillane's hatred is aimed at Commies and the mafia. Himes saves his venom for hypocritical religious types. There is always a con-man using false religion to bilk the poor citizens of Harlem.

Social commentary plays a larger part in the Himes' books.

************** In mentioning the many similarities between Himes's Real Cool Killers and Spillane's early Hammer novels, I didn't mean to imply that they were identical.

Nevertheless, I disagree with your statement above. First, I've only read the first three Hammer novels, and if I recall correctly, none of them involved significant Commie or mafia connections. Also, a religious con didn't play a big part in Real Cool Killers. The anger of the main protagonists appears to be aimed at the same type of people in the The Real Cool Killers and the first three Hammer novels, major criminals using violence to solve problems.

And I haven't a clue how you fail to see social commentary in Spillane's work. I could write a book on that.

Like you, I enjoy both writers.


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