Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Mickey Spillane

From: Patrick King (
Date: 29 Oct 2007

I still wonder whether his success was driven by the same group of consumers who made the Beatles the band with the most #1 records of all time. Today, Spillane's books are in print because he's become an icon. People like us read them because we're studying a specific genre and he's a major part of it. On the other hand, does anyone here over the age of 30 still think that Spillane's books are well-written or good reads? Can you actually read I, THE JURY or MY GUN IS QUICK all the way through and feel satisfied? I have to say, I get impatient with the sillyness and move on to more sophisticated fare. Frederick Forsyth, for example.

Patrick King
--- JIM DOHERTY <> wrote:

> Al,
> 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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