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The Goliath Bone (Mike Hammer Novels) Hardcover – October 13, 2008


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Product Details

  • Series: Mike Hammer Novels
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 1 edition (October 13, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 015101454X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0151014545
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,668,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Tough guy PI Mike Hammer fighting terrorists in post-9/11 Manhattan? That's the improbable scenario developed by Hammer's creator, who introduced him in 1947's I, the Jury, and completed after Spillane's death in 2006 by Collins. Despite his advanced age, Hammer still carries an old army .45 and follows his own path to justice regardless of the opposition. In this last case, Hammer providentially rescues two young grad students from an assassin, discovers that they found and possess a giant human femur unearthed during a dig in the plain of Elah, where David slew Goliath, and undertakes to protect them and the bone from those who will do anything to acquire the treasure. Much of the jargon is vintage, as is the indomitable Hammer as he strives to protect the kids and prevent the Goliath bone from setting off the next big war. While not on a par with early Spillane classics, this is a fitting capstone to Hammer's career. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

PRAISE FOR MICKEY SPILLANE

"Mike Hammer is an icon of our culture."—The New York Times

"A superb writer. Spillane is one of the century’s bestselling authors."—The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) PRAISE FOR MAX ALLAN COLLINS

"Max Allan Collins is the closest thing we have to a 21st century Mickey Spillane."—ThisWeek (Ohio)

"Collins’ witty, hardboiled prose would make Raymond Chandler proud."—Entertainment Weekly

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Customer Reviews

A much better title for this novel would have been "Goliath!" instead of the just okay "The Goliath Bone".
Joseph P. Menta, Jr.
Mike Hammer has always been a tough guy but now he is more of a caricature of himself than the hard boiled PI that he used to be.
Strv 74
This novel has all the elements readers of the Mike Hammer series have come to expect from Mickey Spillane.
Joseph J. Truncale

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Craig Clarke VINE VOICE on January 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover
"Do we need an attorney, Mr. Hammer?"
"No," I said. "You need me."

Mike Hammer is back! Twelve years after his last appearance in print (1996's Black Alley), America's best-selling private detective adapts to a post-9/11 world, complete with Islamic terrorists on his tail.

The Goliath Bone is the 14th in the long-running series that has spanned over 60 years. Mickey Spillane was never what you would call a prolific writer. Probably because he didn't write because he had to write: he only wrote when he needed money. Thus, for there to be years, even decades, between books was not unexpected. In fact, the 12 years since the last entry doesn't seem quite so long when you consider the nearly 20 that passed between #11 (Survival ... Zero!, 1970) and #12 (The Killing Man, 1989).

A little backstory: After Spillane's death in 2006, his friend and sometime collaborator Max Allan Collins (still the most vocal supporter of Spillane's influence on the crime genre) was given the task of finishing some of the incomplete works found in Spillane's files, with the most excitement focusing on a handful of unfinished Mike Hammer novels.

Though a standalone novel called Dead Street was published by Hard Case Crime under Spillane's sole byline, a Mike Hammer novel called The Goliath Bone was actually closer to completion when Spillane died. The job required Collins to do a combination of editing and writing throughout, getting his fingerprints, so to speak, all over the book.

Therefore, Collins's influence is felt throughout The Goliath Bone, where in Dead Street it was mainly in the final three chapters.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Joseph P. Menta, Jr. VINE VOICE on March 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Where's the showmanship? A much better title for this novel would have been "Goliath!" instead of the just okay "The Goliath Bone". And that's really the problem with the novel, too: it's just okay. Not horrible by any means, but not great, either. Sequences at the beginning and end are laced with the trademark Mike Hammer suspense and violence (though the book's final sequence hinges on a million-to-one-shot piece of luck instead of Hammer's skill), but the middle section kind of meanders.

Did co-writer Max Allan Collins (who finished this book working from Mr. Spillane's notes and unfinished manuscript) resist sharpening things up with his own plotting contributions, preferring instead to give us a book that was as much of a purely Spillane story as possible? Perhaps. And, if so, maybe that was the right thing to do.

Other quick pros and cons? The pros include a couple of sexy scenes and lots of Mr. Hammer's general appreciation of the fairer sex ("respectful leering" is a good way to describe it). There's a nice sense of place as Mr. Hammer moves around New York City during the course of the case. And I liked the fascinating discussions between Hammer and Homicide Chief Pat Chambers about life in a post 9/11 world. Cons? Besides some of the slow pacing, there's way too much discussion of how old Hammer, Velda, and Pat are, how they aren't what they used to be, etc. It's gratifying that Spillane and Collins don't want to ignore the fact that Hammer has been at the game since the 1940's, but it became hard to suspend disbelief when we were constantly reminded that Hammer should be in a wheelchair by now!

Final verdict? In the end, if you like Mickey Spillane and Mike Hammer, there's no reason not to pick this up. Temper your expectations and you'll likely find "The Goliath Bone" entertaining enough.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By C L on October 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you are an old Mike Hammer fan, this book is worth reading for nostalgia's sake, but that's the only reason. That mean, tough, lone warrior of the early books is gone. Here, he is an old man and complaining about it. The story is thin and slow. The action, such as it is, is mild until the very end. Obviously, Spillane was writing for his fans and putting Hammer to bed as a hero. I wish he had kept him young and smart and tough to the end. Oh, well. If you are not a Mike Hammer fan already, you will not become one with this book.
If you want to find the real Hammer, read "One Lonely Night."
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Phillips on December 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I discovered Mike Hammer just recently. I read Mickey Spillane's "Dead Street" and wanted to read more from this legendary writer. So I picked up "The Mike Hammer Collection Vol.1."

In the days of old Mike Hammer was a hyper masculine warrior. He was the face and shadow of justice for the oppressed and the vindicator for the wronged. In "The Goliath Bone" Mike hammer seems more like he should be riding a rocking chair and sipping Ensure.

Mike starts out playing the guardian angel role but soon assigns those duties to some one else. Once he starts investigating the whole thing just simmers. Things never reach a good hard boil. Hammer just seems to coast through letting everybody else do ninety-percent of the work.

This book does have moments of joy. However, each one seems countered by a moment of languid dialogue or absurdity. As a huge fan of the early Mike Hammer books it was interesting to see how Hammer would age. However, it was disappointing to see he had turned in to grandpa.
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