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The Mike Hammer Collection: Volume I [Paperback]

Mickey Spillane , Max Allan Collins
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 15 2001 Mike Hammer Collection (Book 1)
A Triple-Shot Anthology From the Undisputed Master of Detective Fiction.

In Mickey Spillane's classic detective novels, the action exploded in a bone-crunching catharsis. Men and women didn't make love, they collided. Tough brutes used their fists to drive home a message. Tougher broads used guile. And no one's morals were loftier than the gutter. No apologies. Little redemption. They rendered critics powerless, shocked intellectuals, inspired a new wave of pulp mayhem, and left the public hungry for more.

Given their hot, fever-pitch prose and breathless pacing, Spillane’s Mike Hammer novels quickly became one of the most successful series in publishing history—an innovative, no-holds-barred, ultravisceral explosion of sex and violence that made Hammer a literary legend, and Spillane, one of the bestselling authors of all time. After fifty years, neither has lost their power to sucker punch the reader.

Find out for yourself in this first-time ever omnibus featuring the first three Mike Hammer novels by the living master of the hard-boiled mystery…

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The Mike Hammer Collection: Volume I + The Mike Hammer Collection, Volume II + The Mike Hammer Collection, Volume III
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Mickey Spillane's first three Mike Hammer mysteries I, the Jury; My Gun Is Quick; and Vengeance Is Mine! are collected in The Mike Hammer Collection: Volume 1, with an introduction by Shamus Award-winner Max Allan Collins, who finds "[s]omething the heart of every Spillane novel." Hammer is a foul-mouthed, violent vigilante and a sucker for beautiful damsels in distress, some of whom pull the wool over his eyes. With his trusty, sexy assistant Velda keeping him honest (sort of), he exacts revenge on racketeers, cheats and murderers.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


"Spillane is a master in compelling you to Always turn the pages." —The New York Times

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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3.0 out of 5 stars Hilariously over-the-top, but very readable. July 24 2003
By flask
Mickey Spillane was a unique writer who imbued his hardboiled mystery novels with an over-the-top grittiness that often toed the line between light-hearted pulp fiction and dime-novel trash. His stalwart hero, Mike Hammer, is the personification of the tough guy detective who is tough simply because he probably can't be anything else.
Several of these other reviewers are quite disturbing in their assumptions: Mickey Spillane invented the hard-boiled detective genre with Mike Hammer? How untrue! Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett are the true grandfathers of the hard-boiled detective story and their literary efforts remain timeless. That being said, Spillane is a colorful writer who warrants reading by rabid fans of the genre.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Babes, Blackmail and Murder March 9 2003
Very good treatment of what i would describe as the ultimate in hardboiled fiction. The first three novels of Spillane's anti hero keep one reading late into the night. Each novel better than the last. Nice package.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Spillane Still a crowd pleaser Feb. 22 2003
Mickey Spillane wrote detective novels half a century ago. It's well-known that he was not very well-liked by the literary community. There's a veiled derisive reference to one of his stories in one of the later Philip Marlowe novels. Even after all of this time, Spillane still gets little respect.
This is unfortunate, but this collection goes some way towards fixing that I think. The three books presented here are the first three Spillane wrote, published just after World War II, and Max Alan Collins' thoughtful introduction puts them in context so the reader knows what they're looking at. Basically, if you've seen plot twists or devices in other stories that appear here also, it's a good bet that Spillane invented them, and someone else used them (usually while not crediting Spillane himself).
The three books included in this series are I, the Jury (1947), My Gun is Quick (1950) and Vengeance is Mine (also 1950). All three are variations on the same plot, which apparently is a Spillane hallmark. The main character, Mike Hammer, is somehow involved in a murder, knows the victim, and swears revenge on the killer. He then spends most of the book sorting through clues, talking to witnesses, and getting beaten up. There's then a final scene where Hammer has figured out who the killer is, and confronts said killer. The killers never get arrested: Hammer shoots them, so that there's no trial.
The dialog and situations are very dated, and somewhat hackneyed. My wife read one of these books sometime ago, and her observation is very appropriate. Spillane invented the genre, but he's been imitated so much that the original looks a bit cliched.
That being said there are some really amusing cultural indicators here.
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3.0 out of 5 stars The Pioneer Nov. 30 2001
Would you believe that, although I am past the age of 60, I had never gotten around to reading Mickey Spillane until this attractive collection caught my eye? The Mickster honed his craft writing scripts for Fawcett Comics, and Mike Hammer's first incarnation was as a comic character, Mike Danger, but the first Hammer novel is still quite crude. In I, THE JURY Hammer spends way too much print telling everyone how he is going to gun down the perp who offed his old Army buddy, and do it point blank and in cold blood, and that he can get away with it because he has a license to carry a pistol (?!?). There are also subtly wrong word choices that often reminded me of Edward D. Wood, Jr.'s somewhat similar hard-boiled crime novels. And the identity of the killer is obvious long before the famous ending in which Hammer does shoot the unarmed perp point blank in the gut, because there is only one person situated so as to carry out all the crimes Hammer brings home to the villain.
MY GUN IS QUICK is a far better novel in all respects, better written, better plotted, but still has the defect that the identity of the criminal mastermind Hammer seeks is obvious almost from the first, since again only one character in the book could possibly be the guilty party. It also has Hammer, despite the title, badly outdrawn by the bad guy and blasted down.
Spillane hits his stride in VENGEANCE IS MINE. There's a complex plot, started with a murder committed under the very nose of the passed-out-drunk Hammer, and ending with Hammer gunning down the killer in a sequence that is literally twisted on its side compared to the similar sequence in I, THE JURY.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping mystery anthology Oct. 26 2001
Nowadays Spillane's descriptions of sex and violence may seem a bit less shocking, but his understanding of the mystery genre is remarkable. The only caveat? The book is a bit too pricey for the casual mystery fan; the anthology should have included 5 novels for each volume. Other than that, it's interesting to see how many famous tough guy characters were influenced by Spillane (Is it just me, or is Moneypenny a direct rip-off of Velda?).
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