Mickey Spillane passed away Monday. I don’t know how I began reading his novels, but once I started, I could not stop. I’ve never read a book that kept me turning pages like his. And his writing created a world and genre that exist very vividly in my mind. Tough is defined in those books. If you have not read one of them, I highly recommend them. You have doubtless seen many old detective movies. These books put you inÂ his headÂ and introduce you to a New York sleaze and filth you always thought must exist. Doubtless these books fueled many an artist. I will never forget lines like “I pulled my heap to the curb.” The dames he discribes and I imagine are only closely realized in Vargas paintings. A classic. A series of classics.
“I snapped the side of the rod across his jaw and laid the flesh open to the bone, I pounded his teeth back into his mouth with the end of the barrel … and I took my own damn time about kicking him in the face. He smashed into the door and lay there bubbling. So I kicked him again and he stopped bubbling.”
“There wasn’t any kitten-softness about her now. She was big and she was lovely, with the kind of curves that made you want to turn around and have another look. The lush fullness of her lips had tightened into the faintest kind of snarl and her eyes were the carnivorous eyes you could expect to see in the jungle watching you from behind a clump of bushes.”