Saturday, March 9, 2024

A Look Back At Mickey Spillane, The King Of Pulp

Today is crime writer Mickey Spillane's birthday. He was born on March 9, 1918, and he died on July 17, 2006. He was 88.

Mickey Spillane's I, the Jury was one of the first crime thrillers I read as a boy, and I thought it was terrific.

The novel was tough, violent and sexy. I loved the book's wild ending. I thought it was a cool book.

I went on to read better crime novels and thrillers, like the works of Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Ian Fleming, Eric Ambler and others, but I remember fondly Spillane's I, the Jury like one remembers his first girlfriend.

I love Spillane's "fuck you" attitude regarding critics. Despite the terrible reviews he received during his life, he sold millions of copies of his books. He wrote unabashedly for money, and he said his books were the chewing gum of American literature.

He was unabashedly conservative and unpretentious. He called his readers "customers" and said he was a writer not an author. He later became as famous for his TV beer commercials as he was for his crime novels.

Last year Max Collins and James L. Traylor wrote a fine biography of the late writer, called Spillane: The King of Pulp Fiction.” 

The biography covers Spillane’s fascinating life, from his upbringing and service as a pilot in World War II to his progression from comic book writer to best-selling crime novelist. 

I wrote two On Crime columns for the Washington Times on the biography. 

You can read my Washington Times On Crime columns on the Mickey Spillane biography via the below links:

Paul Davis On Crime: My Washington Times 'On Crime' Column on 'Spillane: The King Of Pulp Fiction'

Paul Davis On Crime: A Look Back At Mickey Spillane: My Washington Times On Crime Column, Part Two, On 'Spillane: King Of Pulp Fiction' 

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