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The Mike Hammer Collection: Volume I Paperback – Jun 1 2001
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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 personal...at 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 TimesSee all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
After reading these early works, I was amazed with my total enjoyment of each mystery. The prose improved with each subsequent work. The stories were woven with fantastic charm, wit, and style that can only be attributed to Mickey Spillane. His being a part of the World War II generation added to his distinct writing background/style.
I loved his continuing characters of Mike Hammer (Private Detective), his secretary Velda, and Police Chief, Pat Chambers. I am now "hooked" on Spillane's Mike Hammer novels and cannot wait to read more. BRAVO!!! What fun and exciting reading. Mickey Spillane is an important part of American Pop fiction.
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.
Most recent customer reviews
The "Good Old Days"...when a 'Nickel' went a very long way.!Published 11 months ago by RICHARD MCCORMACK
A great collection of the first three Mike Hammer novels. My first time reading Spillane, and I thoroughly enjoyed each story. I'm already on Volume II.Published 21 months ago by Shawn Evans
Here's food for thought: Mickey Spillane, known for the high sex and violence content of his stories, is a long-time Jehovah's Witness. Read morePublished on July 15 2004 by Peter Reeve
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. Read morePublished on March 8 2003 by Dr. Freeman
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? Read morePublished on Oct. 26 2001 by Steven Mecca
In this first installment of "The Mike Hammer Collection", Mickey Spillane's hero leads us through a trio of fast-paced, hard-hitting and thoroughly enjoyable stories. Read morePublished on Sept. 17 2001
This is Mickey Spillane at his very best! This master of mystery grabs the reader and doesn't let go. No writers today can weave stories in the way Spillane does. Read morePublished on Aug. 8 2001 by Avid reader