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The Mike Hammer Collection: Volume I Paperback – June 1, 2001

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The Mike Hammer Collection: Volume I + The Mike Hammer Collection, Volume 2: One Lonely Night, The Big Kill, Kiss Me Deadly + The Mike Hammer Collection, Volume III (Obsidian Mystery)
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Product Details

  • Series: Mike Hammer Collection (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: NAL (June 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451203526
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451203526
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #78,004 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Mickey Spillane's first three Mike Hammer mysteries I, the Jury; My Gun Is Quick; and Vengeance Is Mine! are collected in The Mike Hammer Collection: Volume 1, with an introduction by Shamus Award-winner Max Allan Collins, who finds "[s]omething the heart of every Spillane novel." Hammer is a foul-mouthed, violent vigilante and a sucker for beautiful damsels in distress, some of whom pull the wool over his eyes. With his trusty, sexy assistant Velda keeping him honest (sort of), he exacts revenge on racketeers, cheats and murderers.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


"Spillane is a master in compelling you to Always turn the pages."—The New York Times

Customer Reviews

A great collection here and my first introduction to Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer.
Patrick Sullivan
Spillane's books can be found at used bookstores or online for cheap, but buy these new collections and see how fast you can read three books at a time.
John J. Gormly
I really enjoyed these books, and I would recommend them to anyone interested in detective novels, and noir fiction.
David W. Nicholas

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 53 people found the following review helpful By David W. Nicholas on February 22, 2003
Format: Paperback
Mickey Spillane wrote detective novels half a century ago. It's well-known that he was not very well-liked by the literary community. There's a veiled derisive reference to one of his stories in one of the later Philip Marlowe novels. Even after all of this time, Spillane still gets little respect.
This is unfortunate, but this collection goes some way towards fixing that I think. The three books presented here are the first three Spillane wrote, published just after World War II, and Max Alan Collins' thoughtful introduction puts them in context so the reader knows what they're looking at. Basically, if you've seen plot twists or devices in other stories that appear here also, it's a good bet that Spillane invented them, and someone else used them (usually while not crediting Spillane himself).
The three books included in this series are I, the Jury (1947), My Gun is Quick (1950) and Vengeance is Mine (also 1950). All three are variations on the same plot, which apparently is a Spillane hallmark. The main character, Mike Hammer, is somehow involved in a murder, knows the victim, and swears revenge on the killer. He then spends most of the book sorting through clues, talking to witnesses, and getting beaten up. There's then a final scene where Hammer has figured out who the killer is, and confronts said killer. The killers never get arrested: Hammer shoots them, so that there's no trial.
The dialog and situations are very dated, and somewhat hackneyed. My wife read one of these books sometime ago, and her observation is very appropriate. Spillane invented the genre, but he's been imitated so much that the original looks a bit cliched.
That being said there are some really amusing cultural indicators here.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Robert McDowell on March 24, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Back in the day when I was teaching university literature courses, I would annually shock some English department colleagues by suggesting to students that Raymond Chandler was a better writer than F. Scott Fitzgerald. I smile to think of their reactions today if I were teaching a course in American literature, in which I would spend serious time reading and discussing Mickey Spillane and his unforgettable character, Mike Hammer.

Spillane was never a trickster or sensationalist. He was a hard worker and a born storyteller who knew more about pacing and dialogue than most writers will ever know. He got readers to pay attention and turn the page, and he left the always wanting more. Even today, I dream of another new Hammer novel or two turning up somewhere in the dusty bottom drawer of a roll-top desk.

But even if they don't, I'll revisit Spillane/Hammer every few years, probably for the rest of my life. So many books are made for one reading, and that's it. Not these. Spillane succeeded in creating an iconic American character, a deeply flawed rebel with an unbreakable will and unwavering sense of what is right and good in life. The author and his main character were always true to themselves, and we're the beneficiaries of that truth.

Staying with these two is not tough to do; it's easy!

--Robert McDowell, The Poetry Mentor ([...] author of POETRY AS SPIRITUAL PRACTICE, July 15th, 2008, from Free Press.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Rory Coker on November 30, 2001
Format: Paperback
Would you believe that, although I am past the age of 60, I had never gotten around to reading Mickey Spillane until this attractive collection caught my eye? The Mickster honed his craft writing scripts for Fawcett Comics, and Mike Hammer's first incarnation was as a comic character, Mike Danger, but the first Hammer novel is still quite crude. In I, THE JURY Hammer spends way too much print telling everyone how he is going to gun down the perp who offed his old Army buddy, and do it point blank and in cold blood, and that he can get away with it because he has a license to carry a pistol (?!?). There are also subtly wrong word choices that often reminded me of Edward D. Wood, Jr.'s somewhat similar hard-boiled crime novels. And the identity of the killer is obvious long before the famous ending in which Hammer does shoot the unarmed perp point blank in the gut, because there is only one person situated so as to carry out all the crimes Hammer brings home to the villain.
MY GUN IS QUICK is a far better novel in all respects, better written, better plotted, but still has the defect that the identity of the criminal mastermind Hammer seeks is obvious almost from the first, since again only one character in the book could possibly be the guilty party. It also has Hammer, despite the title, badly outdrawn by the bad guy and blasted down.
Spillane hits his stride in VENGEANCE IS MINE. There's a complex plot, started with a murder committed under the very nose of the passed-out-drunk Hammer, and ending with Hammer gunning down the killer in a sequence that is literally twisted on its side compared to the similar sequence in I, THE JURY.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on September 27, 2006
Format: Paperback
"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.

--from I, The Jury, by Mickey Spillane

Mickey Spillane, 88, died of cancer July 17, 2006 in Murrells Inlet, S.C.. Perhaps one of the world's most famous mystery writers, he specialized in hard-hitting, fast paced novels of revenge, featuring tough as nails protagonists such as his most famous creation, Mike Hammer.

Born Frank Morrison Spillane on March 9, 1918, in Brooklyn, N.Y., he grew up in Elizabeth, NJ. Spillane told of how he concocted ghost stories as a child to distract those intent on giving him a beating. He had sold his first short story to a pulp magazine by his high school graduation in 1935.

He briefly attended college in Kansas and considered studying law before a friend got him a job writing and editing comic books in Manhattan. He served in the Army Air Forces during World War II.

Spillane had a very practical reason for writing his first novel, I the Jury (1947). He and his first wife had purchased several acres of land in Newburgh, N.Y., and he needed the money to build a house on it.

If there ever was a novel that tapped into the American Zeitgeist, it had to be I, the Jury. Written in nine days, the best-seller introduced Spillane's hard-nosed series hero Mike Hammer, whose tough-talking machismo perfectly suited the needs of the postwar "male action" market. Though originally published in hardcover, Spillane's Hammer novels led to the creation of the paperback original when Fawcett, his distributor, established the Gold Medal imprint to satisfy the demand for fiction in the Spillane mold.

A truly iconic character, Hammer is more vigilante than PI.
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More About the Author

Mickey Spillane (1918-2006) sold hundreds of millions of books. He introduced iconic detective Mike Hammer to readers in 1947 with I, THE JURY, and was named a Mystery Writers of America Grand Master in 1995.

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The Mike Hammer Collection: Volume I
This item: The Mike Hammer Collection: Volume I
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