RARA-AVIS: Re: Mickey Spillane

From: JIM DOHERTY ( jimdohertyjr@yahoo.com)
Date: 28 Oct 2007


Re your comment below:

"What's perhaps more remarkable than the big sales of
'I, The Jury' is that fact that seven of Spillane's novels are listed as selling over 5,000, 000 copies."

In the '50's, of the ten best-selling novels ever publsihed (at least since records had been kept), seven were by Spillane. He'd only written seven novels by that time.

At some literary gathering, one incensed intellectual couldn't resist commenting to Spillane about how this success was proof of the debased standards of the Great Unwashed.

"What a terrible comment on the tastes of the general public," he said, "that of the the ten best-selling novels ever published, seven were written by you."

"Just be glad I didn't write three more," Spillane retorted.

As for the Corelli factor, Spillane already HAS lasted. I THE JURY was written more than six decades ago, and is still in print.

A few weeks after his death, his widow got a royalty check from Germany for $50,000. I think it was for MY GUN IS QUICK. A $50,000 royalty, from one country, for a book that's over a half-century old. How many of us would feel we'd been major successes if we got only half that, from the whole damned world, and never a cent more, for something we'd just written.

You may not like him, but nobody stays on top that long without having something on the ball.


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