Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Bonus FFB for Wednesday: A Long Time Dead -- Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins

Yes, I know I'm cheating again.  This is practically a new book, but somehow I overlooked it.  When I found out about it, I ordered a copy at once.

The subtitle is A Mike Hammer Casebook, so you know it's a collection of short stories.  As usual in these collaborative works, Collins' informative and entertaining introduction tells you about the fragments and incomplete stories he worked with to bring them into print.  Most of them appeared in The Strand, and several of them are award winners.  

All the stories feature Mike Hammer, and they're arranged more or less chronologically from the earliest written to the most recent.  A couple of the stories are horror stories, "Skin" and "Grave Matter."  The latter story wouldn't be out of place in one of the Shudder Pulps of the '30s.  One of my favorites is "It's in the Book," and not just because I loved the Johnny Standley recording when I was a kid.  I like bibliomysteries, and this is a good one.  The theme running through most of the book is revenge.  Most often it's Hammer who's after it, and of course he sometimes administers his own rough justice.  In a good many of the stories, someone wants to kill Hammer, either for revenge or other reasons.  Fat chance that they'll succeed.

I've always liked Hammer at the shorter lengths, and these stories were a lot of fun to read, at least for me.  I know some of the readers of the blog still haven't been converted to Hammer.  They know who they are.  The fans should get a huge kick from these entertaining tales.  I sure did.

Table of Contents:
Introduction: The Long and the Short of It
The Big Switch
A Long Time Dead
Grave Matter
So Long, Chief
A Dangerous Cat
It's in the Book
About the Authors


August West said...

"I laughed and laughed while I put the second clip in the gun. I went around the room and kicked them over on their backs, and if they had faces left I made sure they didn't." - from ONE LONELY NIGHT

It's un-American not to love stuff like this.

George said...

A LONG TIME DEAD sounds great! I'm ordering a copy NOW!

Don Coffin said...

Well, you sold me on it...

Peter Collinson said...

Yeah, August. Those guys kidnapped Velda, hung her by her wrists and beat on her.
They're lucky Hammer didn't treat 'em even worse.