Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Mickey Spillane is Dead.

"How c-could you?" she gasped.
I only had a moment before talking to a corpse, but I got it in.
"It was easy," I said.

Mickey Spillane is dead.

I started to write a real hardboiled obit, but my heart wasn't in it. I read a few of Spillane's books and found his prose about as subtle as Mike Hammer's name. I was more taken by Chandler and Hammett and Cain, guys who created characters without the swagger. I don't care much for swagger. Never have.

But what do I know?

Spillane got the job done and clocked in with a great career. His books sold in the millions, made into dozens of movies, the best being Kiss Me Deadly, and a couple decent TV shows. You got to respect that.

It was Stacy Keach in the last series, made in '84, that I remember best. Told with a bit of class right from the opening theme, Earle Hagen's Harlem Nocturne.

Mickey Spillane is dead.

Hardboiled would not be the same without him, and that's not a bad legacy.

Ciao, Mickey. Don't forget your hat.

Update: The Divine Ms. Weinman, of course, has all the links to all the bloggy goodness re: Spillane. Check it out here.


Anonymous said...

"Spillane is like eating takeout fried chicken: so much fun to consume, but you can feel those lowlife grease-induced zits rising before you've finished the first drumstick," Sally Eckhoff wrote in the liberal weekly The Village Voice.


Unknown said...

..amazing what you can accomplish if you have an Irish bartender for a father!

Slainte, David!