Re: RARA-AVIS: Mickey Spillane

From: Patrick King (
Date: 28 Oct 2007

I recognize this. On the other hand, Ian Fleming, who should know, said that in order to write this kind of fiction, one had to have an adolescent mind. I think the popularity of Spillane's work speaks to the adolescent minds of the buying public. I also doubt that if someone wrote like that today, they'd experience the same success. My generation, known as the baby boom generation, out numbered our parents 3 to 1. At that time we were the largest generation of teens in history. I may be wrong, but I suspect the sales of Spillane's 60s novels owe their success to kids like me buying them, rather than an adult audience. His popularity at that time is unquestioned. I loved them as a kid. As an adult, I can't make it through a first chapter without smirking at the absurdity and putting the book down. Edgar Rice Burroughs I can still read because ERB is based on suspension of belief. Spillane is realistically gritty, but patently absurd. For me, the work doesn't hold up.

Patrick King
--- Michael Robison <> wrote:

> Patrick King wrote:
> To my mind, Mickey Spillane is not for adult
> consumption.
> ******************
> His I, The Jury became a world record bestselling
> novel. I just mentioned that a few days ago but I
> figure it's worth repeating. So whether we like him
> or not, his writing stands as a major American
> phenomenon. It is possible that his work will lose
> its original appeal and become nothing more than
> period pieces. Nevertheless, in the time that he
> wrote, he struck a powerful chord with his audience.
> miker
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