Wednesday, May 30, 2012

New Books: Mickey Spillane on Screen

From Mcfarland Publishing

Ed here: I spent the long weekend reading this magnificent book and I'm still not finished with it. That's how packed it is with articles, interviews, overviews and information about every aspect of Mickey Spillane's impact on movies, TV, radio, comic books and the publishing industry. He alone created the market for paperback originals. He alone defined the blue collar rage of the men who cam back from the big war. He alone spawned the second wave of private eye fiction following the Hammett-Chandler era. Collins and Traylor pack this book with fascinating stories and incidents about the men and women in front of and behind the cameras and microphones and drawing boards. This is much more than a simple history of Spillane (though the biography here is filled with things about him I never knew). It is also a decade by decade history of the culture Spillane operated in. And it's all as readable as a novel--say a Mickey Spillane novel. :) This book is a flat out treasure.

Here'a quote from Max from Boing Boing:

"I grew up reading Mickey Spillane novels and, years later, was lucky enough to get to know the man behind Mike Hammer. Mickey and I did a number of projects together -- co-editing anthologies, creating the comic book Mike Danger, plus my documentary, "Mike Hammer's Mickey Spillane" (1999 -- available on the Criterion DVD/Blu-ray of the great film noir, Kiss Me Deadly).

"About a week before his passing, Mickey called to ask a favor. He was very ill and knew it. He was working on what would be the last Mike Hammer novel, chronologically -- The Goliath Bone, Mike taking on terrorists in post-9/11 Manhattan.

"Mickey had been working hard on Goliath Bonebut was afraid he wouldn't have time to finish it. If need be, would I step in? Then a few days later, he asked his wife Jane to turn over any unfinished material from his several offices to me, saying, "Max will know what to do.""

---------About the Book

In the mid-20th century, Mickey Spillane was the sensation of not just mystery fiction but publishing itself. The level of sex and violence in his Mike Hammer thrillers (starting with I, The Jury in 1947) broke down long-held taboos and engendered a near hysterical critical backlash. Nonetheless, Spillane’s influence has been felt--reflections of Hammer are visible in nearly every subsequent tough guy of fiction and film, including James Bond, Dirty Harry, Shaft, Billy Jack, and Jack Bauer. Spillane’s fiction came to the screen in a series of films that include Kiss Me Deadly (1955) and The Girl Hunters (1963) with the author himself playing his private eye. These films, and television series starring Darren McGavin and Stacy Keach respectively, are examined in a lively, knowledgeable fashion by Spillane experts. Included are cast and crew listings, brief biographical entries on key persons, and a lengthy interview with Spillane.

------------About the Author

Max Allan Collins has earned an unprecedented 16 Private Eye Writers of America "Shamus" nominations, winning for his Nathan Heller novels True Detective (1983) and Stolen Away (1991), receiving the PWA life achievement award in 2007. He is the author of the graphic novel Road to Perdition and has directed four feature films and two documentaries. He lives in Muscatine, Iowa. James L. Traylor grew up reading the paperback adventures of Perry Mason, Ellery Queen, and Mike Hammer. His articles have appeared in The Armchair Detective, The Mystery FANcier, Clues, Hardboiled, The Strand and The Oxford Companion to Crime and Mystery Writing (1999). He lives in Meansville, Georgia.

No comments: