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Kiss Her Goodbye: An Otto Penzler Book (Mike Hammer Novels) Hardcover – May 25, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
What no one (at least of the literati) EVER said about him, in life, or after his passing, was that he was a good writer. Well, maybe he wasn't. But he was certainly one of the most influential writers of his generation.
All due credit to the influences of Hammett and Chandler, but, for every "hard-boiled" writer in their tradition, there are 5 in the Spillane tradition. Moreover, while Hammett was a frail consumptive reliving his past, and Chandler was an Anglophile snob, Spillane LIVED his Mike Hammer persona pretty much until his death in 2006 at age 88.
And, he had a hard core of believers who treasured his writing even when the mass market had, mostly, turned to other, more "modern" writers.
One of those was/is Max Allan Collins, no slouch himself in the writing department. Collins' passionate championing of Spillane was more than just lip service and so, when Spillane knew his time was almost up, he asked that Collins take on some of his unfinished works and continue the tradition.
"Kiss Her Goodbye" is the third work that Collins has taken on, after "The Goliath Bone" and "The Big Bang", and like its predecessors, this latest, which, for those who need to know the plot... never Spillane's strongest point... concerns Mike Hammer coming back to New York (after the events of "...Bang") and getting involved in the "suicide" of an old friend that, "just doesn't feel right".Read more ›
So it's great to see Mike still around even after his creator's death. But alas, we can't really call this good writing. That's not to say that one won't enjoy it though. Don't look for credibility and you won't be disappointed. And don't try to keep count of the dead bodies in this.
I will say that this is inspiring me to look up the old Mike Hammers and re-read them.
Hammer was always a bit too self-righteous for my taste, too given to seeing himself as an avenging instrument of justice and too frequently indulging in rants against the many categories of people he believes the world would be better off without. Although it's been years since I last read a Hammer novel, the latest installment depicts a somewhat more introspective Mike Hammer than the one I remember. I wouldn't say he's mellowed; he doesn't kill anyone until about two-thirds of the way through the novel but the body count rises dramatically as the novel nears its end (particularly when Hammer tells us he "passed the grease gun across a sea of faces and turned them scarlet and screaming"). Still, Hammer engages in less moralizing than he did in some of the earlier novels and his misogynistic opinions are a bit more muted (both of those changes are improvements, in my view). Plots in a few Hammer novels seem like an excuse for Hammer to go on a rampage, dispensing street justice with his .44.Read more ›
And boy, does he. Without a doubt, Kiss Her Goodbye is my favorite so far of the new Mike Hammer novels written by Spillane and Collins . In the introduction Collins explains that he wrote the book by combining, shaping, and expanding two of Spillane's partial manuscripts from the 1970s. The result is very impressive.
This one begins with Mike Hammer in Florida recuperating from wounds received in a shootout with some New York mob boys. His old friend Pat Chambers calls to let Hammer know that another old friend, an ex-cop Hammer considered his mentor during his own short time on the NYPD, has apparently committed suicide. Hammer heads north for the funeral, but in his gut he doesn't believe that his friend killed himself. Shortly after the funeral a young woman's body is discovered close enough to the funeral home to make Mike wonder if there may be some connection to what he feels is a faked suicide. As Hammer investigates he finds more questions than answers and begins to realize that there is some much larger game afoot behind the two deaths.
I think Collins made a wise decision to leave this book set in the time period it was intended for rather than updating it. Hammer plows his way through the 1970s, visiting a celebrity hotspot Disco molded after Studio 54 and fitting in about as well as you would expect. I grew up in the 70s, which may be one reason I like this book as much as I do.
Kiss Her Goodbye is interesting in that early on Hammer isn't quite the self confident mayhem machine readers are familiar with.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Kiss Her GoodBye by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins.
The introduction to this Mike Hammer mystery was straight to the point. Read more
If you like Mike Hammer, and who doesn't, you will love this. I am so happy that Mickey Spillane's writing is living on. Read morePublished on May 14, 2014 by Makeshift Patriot
Excellent reading - I just love Mickey Spillane - it keeps you in suspence - I have read most of Mickey Spillane's booksPublished on January 21, 2014 by Karen Cestra
This was my very first Mickey Spillane novel. Before this, I was vaguely aware of the name but wasn't sure if Hammer was the writer or Spillane was the detective. Read morePublished on November 29, 2013 by Dave Wilde
Only a telephone call from his best friend, police captain Pat Chambers, could bring Mike Hammer back to New York. There was simply nothing for him there anymore. Read morePublished on March 11, 2013 by Craig Clarke