Monday, June 20, 2011

Mickey Spillane

Mickey Spillane is not necessarily noir, but he is hard boiled. I would say he is the quintessential hard-boiled writer. His Mike Hammer is not only tough as nails he eats them. He also peoples his stories with voluptious women and Mike's secretary is no exception. What is interesting is that even though there are all of these gorgeous women in the stories, Mike always has a hands off policy. This could be due in part to his allegience to Velda his secretary; in most of the early novels he is engaged to her. This to me is what adds to the uniqueness of the story; Mike's resistence to temptation. It also gives him a laser like focus on what he is doing, which makes the story straight forward from beginning to end.

What I also like about the stories is that every one of them with the exception of I the Jury contains a government conspiracy that involves communists. This gave Spillane's writing a definate Fascist bent which differentiated it from writers like Dashiell Hammet and Raymond Chandler.  If I had to pick my favorite books I would list them as follows:

One Lonely Night

Kiss Me Deadly

I, the Jury

The Girl Hunters

The Girl Hunters so far is unique because it shows the passage of time and portrays a broken down Mike Hammer and also shows the consequences of the choices he made in past mysteries and stories. As for Kiss Me Deadly, you must see Robert Aldritch's version which he made into a 50's Sci Fi noir that gives you chills.

In the 80's Stacy Keach stared in the series Mike Hammer which was also very good. But if I had to choose I think Ralph Meeker portrayed the best Mike Hammer in Kiss Me Deadly.

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