Spillane: King of Pulp Fiction (Hardcover)

Spillane: King of Pulp Fiction By Max Allan Collins, James L. Traylor Cover Image
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An Edgar Award Nominee

The first-ever biography of the most popular and most influential pulp writer of all time, written by the collaborator who knew him best

There has never been a full-length biography of Mickey Spillane, the most popular and influential mystery writer of his era—until now.

Beginning in 1947 with I, the Jury, and continuing with his next six novels, Spillane quickly amassed a readership in the tens of millions, becoming the bestselling novelist in the history of American publishing. Surrounded by controversy for the overt violence and suggestive sexual content of his iconic Mike Hammer private eye novels, Spillane was loathed by critics but beloved by his readers.

There is, however, more to Spillane’s life than the books. He also starred as Hammer in a movie, was a circus performer, worked with the FBI in capturing a notorious criminal, and starred in Miller Light beer commercials that were so popular they ran for a quarter of a century.

Max Allan Collins became Spillane’s friend and collaborator, continuing the Mike Hammer series for years after the author's death, building upon unfinished manuscripts the writer left behind. Now, with co-author James Traylor, Collins has produced the first comprehensive and authoritative profile of the Mystery Writers of America Grand Master. It is a must-read for any fan of the author—or of the generations of crime writers that were influenced by his work.

About the Author

MAX ALLAN COLLINS (b. 1948, Muscatine, Iowa) was named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America in 2017. He is the author of the Shamus Award–winning Nathan Heller historical detective novels and the innovative Quarry series, recently adapted for TV by Cinemax. Road to Perdition, his graphic novel (with artist Richard Piers Rayner), became an Academy Award-winning film starring Tom Hanks. His other comics work includes the Dick Tracy comic strip (1977–1993), Batman, and his own Ms. Tree and Wild Dog (both co-created with artist Terry Beatty).

Praise For…

There's a kind of power about Mickey Spillane that no other writer can imitate.

The king of hard boiled crime fiction.

Spillane is a legend of the blood-soaked whodunit, a pioneer of tough guy ethics and New Age vengeance.

Spillane almost single-handedly created the market for 'pocket books' in the late 1940s, and he was one of the first authors media-savvy enough to promote himself as a character.
— Eddie Muller, host of Noir Alley

A full-dress biography of the most polarizing practitioner of 20th-century crime fiction…. Fans who’ve been waiting for a life of Spillane will gobble this up.
— Kirkus

Illuminating … This definitive work is indispensable for any fan of the revolutionary Spillane and his two-fisted novels.
— Publishers Weekly STARRED REVIEW

A knockout biography … A thoroughly engrossing life story and an indispensable account of the rise of paperback publishing.

An engaging, capacious and largely celebratory account, presenting the writer, his works and their multimedia adaptations as worthy of serious consideration.
— Wall Street Journal

A superbly written and exhaustive portrayal of the life of a writer who changed the mystery genre in the last half of the 20th century…. There is so much here to sink your teeth into and enjoy. Great biographies must capture the individual portrayed—his spirit, his accomplishments, and the times in which he lived and worked. SPILLANE does all of this so expertly that it reads almost as well as a Spillane novel.
— BookReporter

[Collins and Traylor] are strong and persuasive advocates of Spillane's novels. Few readers will be able to resist sampling Spillane's work after reading this engaging and definitive biography of the surprisingly affable tough-guy writer.
— Shelf Awareness

No one will produce a more thorough and entertaining biography.
— Times Literary Supplement

Much imitated, Spillane changed the crime genre and the culture—or maybe culture just caught up with Mickey. Either way, this is a must-read book.
— Videoscope
Product Details
ISBN: 9781613163795
ISBN-10: 1613163797
Publisher: Mysterious Press
Publication Date: February 7th, 2023
Pages: 400
Language: English