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Between the pages, Past
A Mystery Column
By Dennis Collins

Mickey Spillane

It seems hard to believe that it’s almost six years since the literary world lost the giant known as Mickey Spillane. I grew up on his novels and his style has always inspired me. There was never anything fancy about his writing but his words had a way of reaching out from the pages and grabbing you.

The critics never liked him, said he was crude and unsophisticated. But Mickey said that he wasn’t writing to please critics. He put it this way, “…there are more salted peanuts sold than caviar… If the public likes you, you’re good.” The fact that he has sold over two hundred and twenty-five million copies of his books adds some credibility to the argument.

He was born in Brooklyn, NY on March 9, 1918. His father was an Irish bartender. After high school he briefly attended college but opted for the circus life as a trampoline performer with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. He enrolled in the service the day after the Pearl Harbor attack and went on to become a fighter pilot and eventually a flight instructor. At the end of the war he wanted to get married and needed money for a new house. And so he decided to write a book. Nineteen days later he had “I, the Jury” in his hand. The book sold six and a half million copies, introduced Mike Hammer to the world and launched an absolutely legendary career. Mickey Spillane wrote at least twenty-nine novels including some for young adults. Many of his books were made into movies, some of which featured Mickey himself as Mike Hammer. His work also found its way into a television series.

A little know fact about Mickey Spillane is that, in spite of his hard edged writing, he spent his life as a devout Jehova’s Witness.

He died on July17, 2006.

Mike Hammer
Vol 1
Mike Hammer
Vol 2
Mike Hammer
Vol 3

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