Re: RARA-AVIS: Mickey Spillane

From: Patrick King (
Date: 27 Oct 2007

--- Nathan Cain <> wrote:

 Spillane's style is
> often what gets used as
> source material. Did his work seem fresh when it
> originally came out?
************************************ I started reading Spillane when I was about 12. I was already a die-hard Hammett fan and was completely involved reading Ian Fleming's James Bond series. The first Spillane novel I read was The Deep, and I really loved it. It was a crazy comic book. The Deep's first reaction to any problem was to pull out his .38 and shoot someone... frequently in the posterior, which at the time I though was hysterical. I don't know how either Spillane or I really thought anyone could get away page after page with this sort of behavior before a SWAT team came in and hauled him off, but the book was lively. I followed it up with all of the Mike Hammer novels. As an adolescent I found them fairly enjoyable. They're escapist stories that allow the
"hero" to behave in the most satisfying manner, never mind reality or what would really occur if anyone actually did these things. Spillane is Robert E. Howard with a .38 instead of a broadsword.

Today, I try to get back into this stuff and I can't read it at all. It seem silly to the point of stupid. Psychologically for example, The Erection Set seems to be so overtly homo-erotic one wonders what Spillane was really thinking about when he wrote it. The Killing Man, talk about not writing the parts the reader will skip. Someone should have told that to Spillane. Devestating beginning that goes nowhere... and it's a short book! To my mind, Mickey Spillane is not for adult consumption.

Patrick King

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