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Spillane, Mickey

Page history last edited by Jon 10 years ago

 

Mickey SpillaneFrank Morrison Spillane (1918-2006), better known as Mickey Spillane, is an American author of crime novels.

 

Spillane was born in Brooklyn, New York, and grew up in a tough neighborhood in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Starting his career writing for slick magazines, after some success, he would turn to pulp magazines and comic books. He was paid twelve dollars apiece for a block of copy and could do as many as fifty blocks of copy a day. During World War II, Spillane trained pilots and flew combat missions for the Air Corps.

 

After the war, Spillane returned to comic books. He also worked as a trampoline performer with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus. He had a short stint as a federal agent during which he helped smash a narcotics ring (he still carries the scars of two bullets and a knife wound to prove it).

 

For a time Spillane was one of the most popular authors in the United States, with seven titles among the ten best-selling American books of the 20th century. His first detective novel was I, the Jury in 1947. He wrote the book in a tent while he built his first house. I, the Jury introduced Spillane's tough detective Mike Hammer. The violence was more overt than it had ever been in a detective story. His books, although considered tame by current standards, had more than their contemporary competitors in terms of sexual episodes. Another series detctive/adventurer was Tiger Mann.

 

In 1965, he married his second wife, Sherri Malinou, a model who posed in the nude for the cover of his 1972 book The Erection Set. The book was also dedicated to her. Spillane died on the 17th of July 2006.

 

Criticism of Spillane's work

 

Literary critics hated Spillane's writing, citing high content of sex and violence. (Ayn Rand, who highly praised Spillane's books, was virtually the only exception to this consensus.) In answer to his critics, Spillane had a few terse comments:

 

Acting

 

Spillane occasionally acted in movies. He had a chance to play himself as a detective in Ring of Fear in 1954. It was directed by screenwriter, James Edward Grant.

 

In the 1963 production The Girl Hunters, Spillane played his creation, Mike Hammer (one of the only occasions in film history in which an author of a popular literary hero has portrayed his own character). It also starred Bond girl Shirley Eaton and actor Lloyd Nolan. He also appeared as a writer who is murdered in the TV series Columbo.

 

Spillane also appeared in a series of beer commercials which parodied his tough-guy image.

 

Bibliography

 

I, the J´╗┐ury (1947)

My Gun is Quick (1950)

Vengeance is Mine (1950)

The Big Kill (1951)

The Long Wait (1951)

One Lonely Night (1952)

Kiss Me Deadly (1952)

The Deep (1961)

The Girl Hunters (1962)

Me Hood! (1963)

Return of the Hood (1964)

The Flier (1964)

Day of the Guns (1964)

Bloody Sunrise (1965)

The Snake (1965)

Killer Mine (1965)

The Twisted Thing (1966)

The Death Dealers (1966)

The Delta Factor (1967)

The by-Pass Control (1967)

The Body Lovers (1967)

The Tough Guys (1969)

Survival Zero (1970)

Delta Factor (1970)

The Erection Set (1972)

The Mickey Spillane Omnibus (1973)

The Last Cop Out (1973)

Vintage Spillane (1974)

Tomorrow I Die (1984)

The Killing Man (1989)

Black Alley (1996)

 

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