ABOUT THE BOOK
She came, as in the book, Mickey Spillane
That Saturday night dark masquerade
Had filled his friend with lead, the same, sweetheart
But then, as nothing happens quite the same
Investigation is the game
He had to check her story right away-he dead
-Jon and Vangelis, Friends of Mr. Cairo, 1981
In this tribute to classic Hollywood film and literature of the 30s and 40s, Jon and Vangelis mention Mickey Spillane in the opening line. The ten-minute ode to Hollywood classics then goes on to incorporate snippets of dialogue and references from The Maltese Falcon, and film greats Humphrey Bogart, Jimmy Stewart, and Peter Lorre. That Spillane led the way is just one indicator of the importance of his role as a crime novelist and how profoundly he influenced the development of the gritty film-noir crime genre in Hollywood.
Although many in the current generation of readers may not be familiar with his name, Mickey Spillane was a well-known author of crime novels, most featuring detective Mike Hammer. He has written some 35 novels which have sold more than 225 million copies around the world. In 1980, Spillane had seven out of the top best-selling fiction books in the U.S. His books were new in the field of crime fiction, taking readers on a journey that explored the detective story while incorporating a level of violence and sex that was previously unknown, although relatively tame by today's standards.
MEET THE AUTHOR
Debbie J. is an experienced writer and a member of the Hyperink Team, which works hard to bring you high-quality, engaging, fun content. Happy reading!
EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK
Like a number of other highly successful authors, Spillane started out writing comic book stories for Superman, Batman, and Captain Marvel. He had originally intended Mike Hammer to be a comic book character, Mike Danger, which he hoped would spin off into a Mike Danger series. With the publication of his first novel, I the Jury, in 1947 Spillane became a novelist. Even he was surprised at this career path; he wrote the book in only 19 days because he needed the money.
I, the Jurywas made into a movie in 1953 with Biff Elliot as Mike Hammer, and grossed over a million dollars. It was remade a little more than 30 years later in 1984, with Armand Assante playing Hammer and Barbara Carrera as psychiatrist Dr. Charlotte Manning.
Spillane began writing during a time when World War II had just ended and Americans and the world were coping with the aftermath. Economics, factories, and the population were growing, along with a new sense of social and cultural change. Organized crime, police corruption, racism, and drug use were all topics that were gaining awareness in the American psyche. Spillane took the tough, gritty approach, creating novels that were brutally honest and direct, 'like a bullet out of a gun.'
He didn't mince words when it came to topics like sex, violence, and Communism. Even though critics were shocked at times, the public was ready for Spillane's straightforward and non-whitewashed style.
Most of his books were in paperback, the original pulp fiction format, and were relatively short by today's standards. He constructed his novels on his old manual Smith Corona typewriter and claimed that he wrote without revisions. Many consider his prose, although simple and straightforward, to be a clean and seamless form of poetry. German painter Markus LuPertz says his own work is highly influenced by Spillane, and he calls Spillane one of the major poets of the 20th century.