Re: Matt Helm
- I've read all but one, which I haven't been able to find a copy of.
I agree the earlier ones were the best, but I enjoyed all of them--
though you're right, Mike, some of the later ones were too long.
Because of the sameness of situations in many of the books--early,
middle, and late--this was not a series I could read one book after
another without a break.
Some editions ran a reviewer's blurb (I forget which reviewer) which
said Helm "makes British secret agent James Bond look like a
powderpuff," and he was right. Someone else described the Bond books
as "Mickey Spillane in gentlemen's clothing," but Bond bore little
resemblance to Mike Hammer, despite the amount of violence in his
adventures. Helm, on the other hand, had a lot in common with the
literate P.I. school. For that matter, his adventures often had him
doing some actual detecting.
As I recall from another blurb, Anthony Boucher liked the series,
The movies? Call me an apostate. I would *love* to see a Helm
movie faithfully adapted from one of the novels and played straight.
But as spoofs of the sexy, gadget-riddled super-spy genre, some of
the Dean Martin films were genuinely funny, albeit hokey and with
effects that were far from special.
The eye-candy in them wasn't half-bad either. (Senta Berger, where
are you now that I need you?)