31 October 2010

80. The Snake

The Snake - Mickey Spillane

A quick romp through solving a crime with an over confident lawman.

Mike Hammer is his name. With a name like that would you expect anything but over-confidence? To tell you the truth, that is exactly what I expected when I picked this book up. I did not think it would be outstanding writing or an intricate plot. I expected a "wham bam thank you maam" kind of book. That is exactly what this is.

It was called pulp-fiction back when it was written. I hear Spillane and Hemingway had a few arguments about if these books were worth publishing. Spillane didn't claim to be a great author. In fact, he even said once "I am a commercial writer, not an author."

Some other Spillane quotes:
"Authors want their names down in history; I want to keep the smoke coming out of the chimney."

"Hemingway hated me. I sold 200 million books, and he didn't. Of course most of mine sold for 25 cents, but still... you look at all this stuff with a grain of salt."

"If the public likes you, you're good."

"Now I'm not an author, I'm a writer, that's all I am."

"Nobody reads a mystery to get to the middle. They read it to get to the end. If it's a letdown, they won't buy anymore. The first page sells that book. The last page sells your next book."

"My work may be garbage, but it's good garbage."

 and my favorite:  "I have no fans. You know what I got? Customers. And customers are your friends."

So, when I read this book from a perspective that Spillane is writing it to make a buck rather than write the best book...then this is outstanding. It makes me want to read "I, The Jury" and "Kiss Me, Deadly". I will find them both and follow Mike Hammer through those ridiculous, never gonna happen, no way in the world scenarios that he kept getting into and out of a million times.  :-)

I couldn't help but think if the old Dragnet TV show. This guy was like that, but cockier.

It was fun. I will give it a rating of good, but it is a different kind of good. It is good because the expectation was not to find another Vonnegut type of writing.

No comments:

Post a Comment