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One Lonely Night

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  • Patrick O
    If anyone reads my blog regularly, they might have learned by now that I have no great love for Mickey Spillane. I despised his book I, The Jury- one of the
    Message 1 of 26 , Oct 10, 2013
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      If anyone reads my blog regularly, they might have learned by now that I have no great love for Mickey Spillane. I despised his book I, The Jury - one of the few books I've read which left me utterly disgusted. But for some reason, I decided to read another Spillane novel... and much to my surprise, I ended up loving this one. (If anyone's suspecting an elaborate gimmick with a sarcastic/ironic fake positive review, you can dispel that notion right now.) My full review of ONE LONELY NIGHT is at the link below:

      <http://at-scene-of-crime.blogspot.ca/2013/10/too-tough-to-die.html>
    • curt evans
      Wow, I’d say I loathed the ending of this one pretty much as much as I did the one in I, the Jury. Curt From: Patrick O Sent: Thursday, October 10, 2013
      Message 2 of 26 , Oct 10, 2013
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        Wow, I’d say I loathed the ending of this one pretty much as much as I did the one in I, the Jury.

        Curt
         
        From: Patrick O
        Sent: Thursday, October 10, 2013 10:32 PM
        Subject: [GAdetection] One Lonely Night
         
         

        If anyone reads my blog regularly, they might have learned by now that I have no great love for Mickey Spillane. I despised his book I, The Jury - one of the few books I've read which left me utterly disgusted. But for some reason, I decided to read another Spillane novel... and much to my surprise, I ended up loving this one. (If anyone's suspecting an elaborate gimmick with a sarcastic/ironic fake positive review, you can dispel that notion right now.) My full review of ONE LONELY NIGHT is at the link below:
         
        <http://at-scene-of-crime.blogspot.ca/2013/10/too-tough-to-die.html>
      • Patrick O
        Curt, I d say horrified fascination captures my reaction to this ending. Hammer goes all-out in full psycho mode, but he finally understands why he does what
        Message 3 of 26 , Oct 11, 2013
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          Curt, I'd say "horrified fascination" captures my reaction to this ending. Hammer goes all-out in full psycho mode, but he finally understands why he does what he does and he glorifies in it. Watching him go commando (literally) and kill those damn Commies made for a strangely exhilarating action scene, and because of the introspection that's been going on throughout the book, I understood his actions a lot more; although the violence was still hard to stomach, I understood its purpose more and appreciated it to some degree. Trust me, it still feels weird to heap praise upon Spillane!


          On Friday, October 11, 2013 1:43:57 AM, curt evans <praed_street@...> wrote:
           
          Wow, I’d say I loathed the ending of this one pretty much as much as I did the one in I, the Jury.

          Curt
           
          From: Patrick O
          Sent: Thursday, October 10, 2013 10:32 PM
          Subject: [GAdetection] One Lonely Night
           
           
          If anyone reads my blog regularly, they might have learned by now that I have no great love for Mickey Spillane. I despised his book I, The Jury - one of the few books I've read which left me utterly disgusted. But for some reason, I decided to read another Spillane novel... and much to my surprise, I ended up loving this one. (If anyone's suspecting an elaborate gimmick with a sarcastic/ironic fake positive review, you can dispel that notion right now.) My full review of ONE LONELY NIGHT is at the link below:
           
          <http://at-scene-of-crime.blogspot.ca/2013/10/too-tough-to-die.html>


        • dgreene23529
          I may have said this before, but there is a rough poetry to Spillane, especially his descriptions of the city. ... Curt, I d say horrified fascination
          Message 4 of 26 , Oct 11, 2013
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            I may have said this before, but there is a rough poetry to Spillane, especially his descriptions of the city.  



            ---In gadetection@yahoogroups.com, <go_leafs_nation@...> wrote:

            Curt, I'd say "horrified fascination" captures my reaction to this ending. Hammer goes all-out in full psycho mode, but he finally understands why he does what he does and he glorifies in it. Watching him go commando (literally) and kill those damn Commies made for a strangely exhilarating action scene, and because of the introspection that's been going on throughout the book, I understood his actions a lot more; although the violence was still hard to stomach, I understood its purpose more and appreciated it to some degree. Trust me, it still feels weird to heap praise upon Spillane!


            On Friday, October 11, 2013 1:43:57 AM, curt evans <praed_street@...> wrote:
             
            Wow, I’d say I loathed the ending of this one pretty much as much as I did the one in I, the Jury.

            Curt
             
            From: Patrick O
            Sent: Thursday, October 10, 2013 10:32 PM
            Subject: [GAdetection] One Lonely Night
             
             
            If anyone reads my blog regularly, they might have learned by now that I have no great love for Mickey Spillane. I despised his book I, The Jury - one of the few books I've read which left me utterly disgusted. But for some reason, I decided to read another Spillane novel... and much to my surprise, I ended up loving this one. (If anyone's suspecting an elaborate gimmick with a sarcastic/ironic fake positive review, you can dispel that notion right now.) My full review of ONE LONELY NIGHT is at the link below:
             
            <http://at-scene-of-crime.blogspot.ca/2013/10/too-tough-to-die.html>


          • S. T. Karnick
            I ve read only one Spillane book, I, the Jury, and I thought it excellent. (I found that the countless negative criticisms I had read of the book were
            Message 5 of 26 , Oct 11, 2013
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              I've read only one Spillane book, <i>I, the Jury,</i> and I thought it excellent. (I found that the countless negative criticisms I had read of the book were quite easily refuted by an actual reading of it.) I'm glad to see, Patrick, that in the present case you are, as always, honest and open-minded in your judgments.

              Best,

              Sam Karnick

              --- In GAdetection@yahoogroups.com, Patrick O <go_leafs_nation@...> wrote:
              >
              > If anyone reads my blog regularly, they might have learned by now that I have no great love for Mickey Spillane. I despised his book I, The Jury- one of the few books I've read which left me utterly disgusted. But for some reason, I decided to read another Spillane novel... and much to my surprise, I ended up loving this one. (If anyone's suspecting an elaborate gimmick with a sarcastic/ironic fake positive review, you can dispel that notion right now.) My full review of ONE LONELY NIGHT is at the link below:
              >
              >
              > <http://at-scene-of-crime.blogspot.ca/2013/10/too-tough-to-die.html>
              >
            • Xavier Lechard
              ... especially his descriptions of the city. The opening paragraph of THE KILLING MAN is marvelous. The guy had issues but he could write. Friendly, Xavier
              Message 6 of 26 , Oct 11, 2013
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                Doug wrote:

                >I may have said this before, but there is a rough poetry to Spillane, especially his >descriptions of the city.

                The opening paragraph of THE KILLING MAN is marvelous. The guy had issues but he could write.

                Friendly,
                Xavier


              • Allan Griffith
                ... I ve read a couple of the Mike Hammer books and I enjoyed them. Spillane is one of those authors who is most hated by people who ve never read him but just
                Message 7 of 26 , Oct 12, 2013
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                  On 12 October 2013 02:06, <crippenlandru@...> wrote:


                  I may have said this before, but there is a rough poetry to Spillane, especially his descriptions of the city.  


                  I've read a couple of the Mike Hammer books and I enjoyed them. Spillane is one of those authors who is most hated by people who've never read him but just hate the idea of him.

                  One of the oddest thing about Mike Hammer is that the best screen portrayal of him was by Spillane himself, in THE GIRL HUNTERS (1963). Spillane also gave quite a good performance in the very underrated RING OF FEAR (1954), playing a crime writer named Mickey Spillane.

                  Al
                • curt evans
                  I’ve read him and just don’t like the sadism (and I don’t see just what else one can call it). His hero seems to get way too much enjoyment out of
                  Message 8 of 26 , Oct 12, 2013
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                    I’ve read him and just don’t like the sadism (and I don’t see just what else one can call it).  His hero seems to get way too much enjoyment out of killing people.  Woolrich had characters like that too, but they paid in the end.  The Mickster really struck a chord after WW2, however.
                     
                    I feel the same way about many of the modern serial killer novels, which seem to revel in torture descriptions.
                     
                    Curt
                     
                    Sent: Saturday, October 12, 2013 3:24 PM
                    Subject: Re: Re: [GAdetection] One Lonely Night
                     
                     

                    On 12 October 2013 02:06, <crippenlandru@...> wrote:


                    I may have said this before, but there is a rough poetry to Spillane, especially his descriptions of the city.  

                     
                    I've read a couple of the Mike Hammer books and I enjoyed them. Spillane is one of those authors who is most hated by people who've never read him but just hate the idea of him.
                     
                    One of the oddest thing about Mike Hammer is that the best screen portrayal of him was by Spillane himself, in THE GIRL HUNTERS (1963). Spillane also gave quite a good performance in the very underrated RING OF FEAR (1954), playing a crime writer named Mickey Spillane.
                     
                    Al
                  • Patrick O
                    Curt, I completely understand you. Hammer is a sadistic man, and that s why I hated I, THE JURY so much when I read it two years ago. Hammer doesn t just act
                    Message 9 of 26 , Oct 12, 2013
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                      Curt, I completely understand you. Hammer is a sadistic man, and that's why I hated I, THE JURY so much when I read it two years ago. Hammer doesn't just act violently, he *loves* to act violently. (Meanwhile, master thief Parker is ruthless and amoral, but he doesn't *enjoy* murder: he considers it more of a tedious, albeit occasional, necessity.) ONE LONELY NIGHT really opened my eyes up to *why* Hammer does what he does, though, and it helps me appreciate why Spillane was so big in a post-war world.

                      Also, the biggest surprise of the Mickey Spillane books, for me, has been the fact that they are honest-to-goodness detective stories. Spillane gives you all the clues you need to solve the case alongside Mike Hammer. Although I confess I found them *easy* to solve, it's still a puzzle.

                      These books won't appeal to everyone, but they just might catch you off guard like this one did me.


                      On Saturday, October 12, 2013 4:32:05 PM, curt evans <praed_street@...> wrote:
                       
                      I’ve read him and just don’t like the sadism (and I don’t see just what else one can call it).  His hero seems to get way too much enjoyment out of killing people.  Woolrich had characters like that too, but they paid in the end.  The Mickster really struck a chord after WW2, however.
                       
                      I feel the same way about many of the modern serial killer novels, which seem to revel in torture descriptions.
                       
                      Curt
                       
                      Sent: Saturday, October 12, 2013 3:24 PM
                      Subject: Re: Re: [GAdetection] One Lonely Night
                       
                       
                      On 12 October 2013 02:06, <crippenlandru@...> wrote:


                      I may have said this before, but there is a rough poetry to Spillane, especially his descriptions of the city.  
                       
                      I've read a couple of the Mike Hammer books and I enjoyed them. Spillane is one of those authors who is most hated by people who've never read him but just hate the idea of him.
                       
                      One of the oddest thing about Mike Hammer is that the best screen portrayal of him was by Spillane himself, in THE GIRL HUNTERS (1963). Spillane also gave quite a good performance in the very underrated RING OF FEAR (1954), playing a crime writer named Mickey Spillane.
                       
                      Al


                    • Allan Griffith
                      ... I agree entirely on modern serial killer novels but the difference with Spillane s work is that there is a moral dimension. Modern readers might not
                      Message 10 of 26 , Oct 12, 2013
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                        On 13 October 2013 07:32, curt evans <praed_street@...> wrote:


                        I’ve read him and just don’t like the sadism (and I don’t see just what else one can call it).  His hero seems to get way too much enjoyment out of killing people.  Woolrich had characters like that too, but they paid in the end.  The Mickster really struck a chord after WW2, however.
                         
                        I feel the same way about many of the modern serial killer novels, which seem to revel in torture descriptions.
                         
                        Curt

                        I agree entirely on modern serial killer novels but the difference with Spillane's work is that there is a moral dimension. Modern readers might not approve of Hammer's moral code but he does have one. In fact the thing that will probably present modern readers with their biggest problem is the very fact that that Hammer does have a moral code.

                        Moral codes of any kind are unfashionable today. That's one of the things I dislike most about modern crime fiction (and modern fiction in general). Without a moral code the violence in today's fiction is mere nihilism. It's sadism for sadism's sake.

                        Al
                      • curt evans
                        HammerÆs code is righteous vengeance, but he gets too much enjoyment out of killing for me. In one case itÆs lovingly described manual strangulation. Blagh.
                        Message 11 of 26 , Oct 12, 2013
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                          Hammer’s code is righteous vengeance, but he gets too much enjoyment out of killing for me.  In one case it’s lovingly described manual strangulation. Blagh.
                           
                          Curt
                           
                          Sent: Saturday, October 12, 2013 10:12 PM
                          Subject: Re: [GAdetection] One Lonely Night
                           
                           

                          On 13 October 2013 07:32, curt evans <praed_street@...> wrote:


                          I’ve read him and just don’t like the sadism (and I don’t see just what else one can call it).  His hero seems to get way too much enjoyment out of killing people.  Woolrich had characters like that too, but they paid in the end.  The Mickster really struck a chord after WW2, however.
                           
                          I feel the same way about many of the modern serial killer novels, which seem to revel in torture descriptions.
                           
                          Curt
                           
                          I agree entirely on modern serial killer novels but the difference with Spillane's work is that there is a moral dimension. Modern readers might not approve of Hammer's moral code but he does have one. In fact the thing that will probably present modern readers with their biggest problem is the very fact that that Hammer does have a moral code.

                          Moral codes of any kind are unfashionable today. That's one of the things I dislike most about modern crime fiction (and modern fiction in general). Without a moral code the violence in today's fiction is mere nihilism. It's sadism for sadism's sake.

                          Al
                        • Bob Houk
                          For a guy who loves murder mysteries*, I m a very squeamish person. I hate excessive violence in any medium (and my definition of excessive is a lot lower
                          Message 12 of 26 , Oct 12, 2013
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                            For a guy who loves murder mysteries*, I'm a very squeamish person. I hate excessive violence in any medium (and my definition of 'excessive' is a lot lower than most folks'). I very nearly walked out on the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan (I'm glad I didn't). 

                            I've never read a Spillane book, so it's unfair for me to judge, but I've heard enough about him to be fairly certain I'd dislike him, and there are plenty of other more likely prospects in my TBR pile, so I doubt I'll give him a try.

                            * As an aside, I see many terms used for our shared interest. I think 'murder mystery' is an antiquated term, but it's the one I've always used.

                            To: GAdetection@yahoogroups.com
                            From: praed_street@...
                            Date: Sun, 13 Oct 2013 00:43:38 -0500
                            Subject: Re: [GAdetection] One Lonely Night

                             

                            Hammer’s code is righteous vengeance, but he gets too much enjoyment out of killing for me.  In one case it’s lovingly described manual strangulation. Blagh.
                             
                            Curt
                             
                            Sent: Saturday, October 12, 2013 10:12 PM
                            Subject: Re: [GAdetection] One Lonely Night
                             
                             

                            On 13 October 2013 07:32, curt evans <praed_street@...> wrote:


                            I’ve read him and just don’t like the sadism (and I don’t see just what else one can call it).  His hero seems to get way too much enjoyment out of killing people.  Woolrich had characters like that too, but they paid in the end.  The Mickster really struck a chord after WW2, however.
                             
                            I feel the same way about many of the modern serial killer novels, which seem to revel in torture descriptions.
                             
                            Curt
                             
                            I agree entirely on modern serial killer novels but the difference with Spillane's work is that there is a moral dimension. Modern readers might not approve of Hammer's moral code but he does have one. In fact the thing that will probably present modern readers with their biggest problem is the very fact that that Hammer does have a moral code.

                            Moral codes of any kind are unfashionable today. That's one of the things I dislike most about modern crime fiction (and modern fiction in general). Without a moral code the violence in today's fiction is mere nihilism. It's sadism for sadism's sake.

                            Al

                          • Allan Griffith
                            ... Yep, same here. Most modern crime novels and most modern movies are much too violent for me. I think the level of violence in popular culture is very
                            Message 13 of 26 , Oct 13, 2013
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                              On 13 October 2013 17:17, Bob Houk <bobhouk@...> wrote:


                              For a guy who loves murder mysteries*, I'm a very squeamish person.

                              Yep, same here. Most modern crime novels and most modern movies are much too violent for me. I think the level of violence in popular culture is very unhealthy. It's one of the things that makes me despair for the future of our civilisation.

                              Al
                            • Jeffrey Marks
                              Al Anthony Boucher (who was Spillane s contemporary) also did not like the Mike Hammer books for their sadist elements and the way that the women in the books
                              Message 14 of 26 , Oct 13, 2013
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                                Al

                                Anthony Boucher (who was Spillane's contemporary) also did not like the Mike Hammer books for their sadist elements and the way that the women in the books were treated. Spillane was one of the very few authors that Boucher actively spoke out against. It offended his belief system. This is not a now vs. then issue.

                                --
                                Jeffrey Marks
                                www.jeffreymarks.com
                                Check out my website for news about my books and marketing tips of the month
                                Atomic Renaissance: Women Mystery Writers of the 1940s/1950s
                                Who Was That Lady? Craig Rice: The Queen of the Screwball Mystery
                                Anthony Boucher: A Biobibliography -- 2009 Anthony winner
                              • Ronald Smyth
                                Much better to stick with the classics like Hamlet, Beowulf or Oedipus Rex. No violence there. Or quietly read your Bible. Maybe the story of Yael, wife of
                                Message 15 of 26 , Oct 13, 2013
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                                  Much better to stick with the classics like Hamlet, Beowulf or Oedipus Rex. No violence there. Or quietly read your Bible. Maybe the story of Yael, wife of Heber the Kenite or perhaps David and Jonathon. As you can gather, my basic belief is that human nature has not changed. Whether that is good or bad.
                                   
                                  Ron Smyth 

                                  From: Allan Griffith <dfordoom@...>
                                  To: GAdetection@yahoogroups.com
                                  Sent: Sunday, October 13, 2013 3:51:30 AM
                                  Subject: Re: [GAdetection] One Lonely Night
                                   
                                  On 13 October 2013 17:17, Bob Houk <bobhouk@...> wrote:
                                  For a guy who loves murder mysteries*, I'm a very squeamish person.

                                  Yep, same here. Most modern crime novels and most modern movies are much too violent for me. I think the level of violence in popular culture is very unhealthy. It's one of the things that makes me despair for the future of our civilisation.

                                  Al
                                • lesblatt
                                  Hear hear. Add me to the list of those made squeamish by the excessive violence in too many of today s books and movies, usually at excessive length. That s my
                                  Message 16 of 26 , Oct 14, 2013
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                                    Hear hear. Add me to the list of those made squeamish by the excessive violence in too many of today's books and movies, usually at excessive length. That's my own personal observation - if others enjoy that sort of thing, that's fine. I'm not going to subject myself to it, that's all.
                                  • Allan Griffith
                                    ... Lord knows what Boucher would have thought of the modern serial killer brand of crime fiction, a genre that takes the treatment of women to lows that
                                    Message 17 of 26 , Oct 15, 2013
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                                      On 13 October 2013 23:03, Jeffrey Marks <jeffrmarks@...> wrote:



                                      Anthony Boucher (who was Spillane's contemporary) also did not like the Mike Hammer books for their sadist elements and the way that the women in the books were treated. Spillane was one of the very few authors that Boucher actively spoke out against. It offended his belief system. This is not a now vs. then issue.

                                      Lord knows what Boucher would have thought of the modern serial killer brand of crime fiction, a genre that takes the treatment of women to lows that no-one in the 50s would ever have predicted. 

                                      At the time Spillane was considered to be extreme; today he would be considered hopelessly tame. I think it is very much a now vs. then issue. 

                                      Al
                                    • Allan Griffith
                                      ... Human nature hasn t changed. That s why Sophocles and Shakespeare can still be read today. Human culture has changed a good deal though. The traditional
                                      Message 18 of 26 , Oct 15, 2013
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                                        On 14 October 2013 03:39, Ronald Smyth <ronsmyth2005@...> wrote:


                                        Much better to stick with the classics like Hamlet, Beowulf or Oedipus Rex. No violence there. Or quietly read your Bible. Maybe the story of Yael, wife of Heber the Kenite or perhaps David and Jonathon. As you can gather, my basic belief is that human nature has not changed. Whether that is good or bad.

                                        Human nature hasn't changed. That's why Sophocles and Shakespeare can still be read today.

                                        Human culture has changed a good deal though. 

                                        The traditional view would have been that "high" art focuses on human nature while popular art focuses on human culture, although of course with considerable overlaps.

                                        Human culture has changed radically in the west over the past century. Mostly the changes have not been for the better. The fact that so much popular art wallows in degradation and violence is probably both a symptom of the decline and a cause. The rot started to set in considerably earlier than most people realise and oddly enough it was "high art" that led the march to the gutter. When people started to take authors like Henry Miller and artists like Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock seriously it should have been obvious that our civilisation was in a good deal of trouble.

                                        Al
                                      • Enrique F Bird
                                        Friends, But in time, Boucher came to acknowledge there was merit in Spillane. Surprisingly, I like early Mike Hammer a lot. He does get the reader involved,
                                        Message 19 of 26 , Oct 15, 2013
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                                          Friends,

                                           

                                          But in time, Boucher came to acknowledge there was merit in Spillane.

                                           

                                          Surprisingly, I like early Mike Hammer a lot. He does get the reader involved, and, as pointed out repeatedly, he does plot and play farr.  Some here will hate this, but I love “I, the Jury” and its concluding 2 sentences.

                                           

                                          A couple of personal notes on Spillane and Hammer:

                                           

                                          1-      I myself have coined a somewhat inaccurate phrase regarding Hammer and Bulldog Drummond and James Bond: James Bond is Bulldog Drummond mikehammerized. Incidentally, I like all 3 with all their defects.

                                          2-      A historical, sequential, evolutionary list of a classical detective novel theme: Bentley’s “Trent’s Last Case”; Mason’s “The House of the Arrow” and Philpott;s “The Red Redmaynes”; Spillane’s “I, the Jury”; Grafton’s “A is for Alibi” and Collins first Ms. Tree story line in comic book form. Saying anything more is spoiling it.

                                           

                                          Best regards,

                                          Enrique F. Bird

                                           

                                          From: GAdetection@yahoogroups.com [mailto:GAdetection@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Allan Griffith
                                          Sent: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 3:12 AM
                                          To: GAdetection@yahoogroups.com
                                          Subject: Re: [GAdetection] Re: One Lonely Night

                                           

                                           

                                          On 13 October 2013 23:03, Jeffrey Marks <jeffrmarks@...> wrote:

                                           

                                           

                                          Anthony Boucher (who was Spillane's contemporary) also did not like the Mike Hammer books for their sadist elements and the way that the women in the books were treated. Spillane was one of the very few authors that Boucher actively spoke out against. It offended his belief system. This is not a now vs. then issue.

                                           

                                          Lord knows what Boucher would have thought of the modern serial killer brand of crime fiction, a genre that takes the treatment of women to lows that no-one in the 50s would ever have predicted. 

                                           

                                          At the time Spillane was considered to be extreme; today he would be considered hopelessly tame. I think it is very much a now vs. then issue. 

                                           

                                          Al

                                        • Ronald Smyth
                                          I certainly won t argue that culture hasn t changed although it seems to me to be rather in the nature of cycles. Although one hopes for at least some sort of
                                          Message 20 of 26 , Oct 15, 2013
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                                            I certainly won't argue that culture hasn't changed although it seems to me to be rather in the nature of cycles. Although one hopes for at least some sort of actual progress. Mind you, I think about ninety per cent of everything is crap but the ten per cent that isn't makes things worth the effort. Of course people don't agree on which ten percent is the worthwhile part. Shakespeare wrote popular art which was only elevated to high art over the course of  a few generations and may fall out of favour again as the culture changes.
                                             
                                            Ron Smyth



                                            From: Allan Griffith <dfordoom@...>
                                            To: GAdetection@yahoogroups.com
                                            Sent: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 3:31:31 AM
                                            Subject: Re: [GAdetection] One Lonely Night
                                             
                                            Human culture has changed a good deal though. 

                                            The traditional view would have been that "high" art focuses on human nature while popular art focuses on human culture, although of course with considerable overlaps.

                                            Human culture has changed radically in the west over the past century. Mostly the changes have not been for the better. The fact that so much popular art wallows in degradation and violence is probably both a symptom of the decline and a cause. The rot started to set in considerably earlier than most people realise and oddly enough it was "high art" that led the march to the gutter. When people started to take authors like Henry Miller and artists like Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock seriously it should have been obvious that our civilisation was in a good deal of trouble.

                                            Al
                                          • Henrique Valle
                                            Just a few loose remarks on Spillane. Certainly Mickey Spillane s books don t lack a moral code. But a moral code is not a good thing in itself. There are good
                                            Message 21 of 26 , Oct 15, 2013
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                                              Just a few loose remarks on Spillane.

                                              Certainly Mickey Spillane's books don't lack a moral code. But a moral code is not a good thing in itself. There are good and rotten moral codes. In spite of popular belief, the nazis were not moral nihilists or even relativists. Quite the reverse, they obeyed a fixed and absolute idea of was morally good. The problem was they were wrong. I believe Spillane's moral code was also wrong (although Anthony Boucher ironically suggested they could have been used as textbooks for the Gestapo, I am not implying Spillane's ideology is comparable to nazism). However, I can understand that a libertarian individualist or someone that has experienced a communist regime sympathises with his worldview. This is to say this issue seems to be mainly ideological and not literary.

                                              I actually think the early Spillane books were actually well written in a purely stylistic sense (I've read the first five Mike Hammers). However, this does not mean I think they are good books. In fact, plots are basic, characterization is appaling (modern critics complaining that characters in Agatha Christie's books are cardboard should read Spillane) and the political agenda is pushed through with the subtelty of a sledgehammer. I can appreciate books with underlying moral codes and political agendas I don't agree with, but I will pass when these are expressed with the sophistication of a mediocre comic book (a feature Spillane has in common with many present-day, radically different writers). In later books the prose seems to have gone downhill, too (the Tiger Mann books border on the ridiculous).

                                              Henrique


                                              From: Ronald Smyth <ronsmyth2005@...>
                                              To: "GAdetection@yahoogroups.com" <GAdetection@yahoogroups.com>
                                              Sent: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 4:41 PM
                                              Subject: Re: [GAdetection] One Lonely Night

                                               
                                              I certainly won't argue that culture hasn't changed although it seems to me to be rather in the nature of cycles. Although one hopes for at least some sort of actual progress. Mind you, I think about ninety per cent of everything is crap but the ten per cent that isn't makes things worth the effort. Of course people don't agree on which ten percent is the worthwhile part. Shakespeare wrote popular art which was only elevated to high art over the course of  a few generations and may fall out of favour again as the culture changes.
                                               
                                              Ron Smyth



                                              From: Allan Griffith <dfordoom@...>
                                              To: GAdetection@yahoogroups.com
                                              Sent: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 3:31:31 AM
                                              Subject: Re: [GAdetection] One Lonely Night
                                               
                                              Human culture has changed a good deal though. 

                                              The traditional view would have been that "high" art focuses on human nature while popular art focuses on human culture, although of course with considerable overlaps.

                                              Human culture has changed radically in the west over the past century. Mostly the changes have not been for the better. The fact that so much popular art wallows in degradation and violence is probably both a symptom of the decline and a cause. The rot started to set in considerably earlier than most people realise and oddly enough it was "high art" that led the march to the gutter. When people started to take authors like Henry Miller and artists like Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock seriously it should have been obvious that our civilisation was in a good deal of trouble.

                                              Al


                                            • Henrique Valle
                                              Xavier, although I haven t read The Killing Man I agree with you Spillane could write, but even in his early books he was somewhat uneven. I wonder if you
                                              Message 22 of 26 , Oct 16, 2013
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                                                Xavier, although I haven't read The Killing Man I agree with you Spillane could write, but even in his early books he was somewhat uneven. I wonder if you have read him in French? He was very well treated by his French translators, the translations being usually more polished than the originals (some of the violence was also tamed). In fact, this may have helped the fact that France is probably the country in which Spillane has the highest degree of literary credibility!

                                                Henrique



                                                From: Xavier Lechard <lechardxavier@...>
                                                To: GAdetection@yahoogroups.com
                                                Sent: Friday, October 11, 2013 6:08 PM
                                                Subject: Re: Re: [GAdetection] One Lonely Night

                                                 
                                                Doug wrote:

                                                >I may have said this before, but there is a rough poetry to Spillane, especially his >descriptions of the city.

                                                The opening paragraph of THE KILLING MAN is marvelous. The guy had issues but he could write.

                                                Friendly,
                                                Xavier




                                              • Allan Griffith
                                                ... It s often forgotten that villains don t see themselves as villains, They either see themselves as victims or they see themselves as heroes. But I m
                                                Message 23 of 26 , Oct 16, 2013
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                                                  On 16 October 2013 09:53, Henrique Valle <vallehenrique@...> wrote:


                                                  Just a few loose remarks on Spillane.

                                                  Certainly Mickey Spillane's books don't lack a moral code. But a moral code is not a good thing in itself. There are good and rotten moral codes. In spite of popular belief, the nazis were not moral nihilists or even relativists. Quite the reverse, they obeyed a fixed and absolute idea of was morally good.

                                                  It's often forgotten that villains don't see themselves as villains, They either see themselves as victims or they see themselves as heroes. But I'm inclined to think that the ideology of the Nazis was pretty incoherent. It was a mishmash of socialism, belief in a golden age of German civilisation, sentimental ideas about nature and pure opportunism. But then much can be said about all the other left-wing totalitarian regimes of the 20th century, all of which combined naive idealism, opportunism and pure gangsterism.

                                                  The Nazis and the Soviets and Maoists may have had an ideological code but I'm not sure that's the same thing as a moral code.

                                                  In some ways Spillane is a tiny reminiscent of Jacobean drama which also put a huge emphasis on revenge and was in fact on the whole more violent than Spillane.

                                                  I have no great problems with Spillane's moral code but any discussion on Spillane is bound to get bogged down in politics. When discussing Spillane it's best to try to stick to discussing how well his books succeeded in what they set out to achieve. I find them energetic and entertaining.

                                                  Al
                                                • Allan Griffith
                                                  ... I d love to believe that there is some sort of progress, that it a a case of three steps forward and two steps backwards.That may even have been true in
                                                  Message 24 of 26 , Oct 16, 2013
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                                                    On 16 October 2013 02:41, Ronald Smyth <ronsmyth2005@...> wrote:


                                                    I certainly won't argue that culture hasn't changed although it seems to me to be rather in the nature of cycles. Although one hopes for at least some sort of actual progress.

                                                    I'd love to believe that there is some sort of progress, that it'a a case of three steps forward and two steps backwards.That may even have been true in some periods of history. Over the last century I think it's been more a case of two steps forward and three steps backwards.

                                                    Al
                                                  • Xavier Lechard
                                                    ... could write, but even in his early books he was somewhat uneven. I wonder if you have read him in French? He was very well treated by his French
                                                    Message 25 of 26 , Oct 16, 2013
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                                                      Henrique wrote:

                                                      >Xavier, although I haven't read The Killing Man I agree with you Spillane could >write, but even in his early books he was somewhat uneven. I wonder if you have >read him in French? He was very well treated by his French translators, the >translations being usually more polished than the originals (some of the violence >was also tamed). In fact, this may have helped the fact that France is probably >the country in which Spillane has the highest degree of literary credibility!

                                                      I'm well-aware of French translators's propensity to "improve" on the original text, so I checked it on Amazon.com and I found it as good in English as it was in French. I copy-paste it from Wikiquote:

                                                      "Some days hang over Manhattan like a huge pair of unseen pincers, slowly squeezing the city until you can hardly breathe. A low growl of thunder echoed up the cavern of Fifth Avenue and I looked up to where the sky started at the seventy-first floor of the Empire State Building. I could smell the rain. It was the kind that hung above the orderly piles of concrete until it was soaked with dust and debris and when it came down it wasn't rain at all but the sweat of the city."

                                                      Friendly,
                                                      Xavier
                                                    • Henrique Valle
                                                      Yes, that s good! It sounds more like Chandler than early Spillane. Considering this is from 1989, my judgement about the decline of his prose may be
                                                      Message 26 of 26 , Oct 16, 2013
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                                                        Yes, that's good! It sounds more like Chandler than early Spillane. Considering this is from 1989, my judgement about the decline of his prose may be insufficiently grounded.
                                                        I was thinking about Spillane's French translations in general and not of this specific paragraph, though. French critics and readers always tended to consider him a major writer, even when he was derided in the US, so I wonder if this had anything to do with the translations.
                                                        Henrique



                                                        From: Xavier Lechard <lechardxavier@...>
                                                        To: GAdetection@yahoogroups.com
                                                        Sent: Wednesday, October 16, 2013 7:06 PM
                                                        Subject: Re: Re: [GAdetection] One Lonely Night

                                                         
                                                        Henrique wrote:

                                                        >Xavier, although I haven't read The Killing Man I agree with you Spillane could >write, but even in his early books he was somewhat uneven. I wonder if you have >read him in French? He was very well treated by his French translators, the >translations being usually more polished than the originals (some of the violence >was also tamed). In fact, this may have helped the fact that France is probably >the country in which Spillane has the highest degree of literary credibility!

                                                        I'm well-aware of French translators's propensity to "improve" on the original text, so I checked it on Amazon.com and I found it as good in English as it was in French. I copy-paste it from Wikiquote:

                                                        "Some days hang over Manhattan like a huge pair of unseen pincers, slowly squeezing the city until you can hardly breathe. A low growl of thunder echoed up the cavern of Fifth Avenue and I looked up to where the sky started at the seventy-first floor of the Empire State Building. I could smell the rain. It was the kind that hung above the orderly piles of concrete until it was soaked with dust and debris and when it came down it wasn't rain at all but the sweat of the city."

                                                        Friendly,
                                                        Xavier


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