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The Mike Hammer Collection: Volume I (Mike Hammer #1-3)

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  1,421 ratings  ·  41 reviews
A Triple-Shot Anthology Fromthe Undisputed Master of Detective Fiction.In Mickey Spillane's classic detective novels, the action exploded in a bone-crunching catharsis. Men and women didn't make love, they collided. Tough brutes used their fists to drive home a message. Tougher broads used guile. And no one's morals were loftier than the gutter. No apologies. Little redemp ...more
Paperback, 513 pages
Published June 1st 2001 by NAL
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Dismember by Daniel PyleThe Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark TwainThe Monkey Wrench Gang by Edward AbbeyTooth and Nail by Ian RankinEye of the Needle by Ken Follett
If I Had a Hammer ...
21st out of 37 books — 9 voters
The Big Sleep by Raymond ChandlerFarewell, My Lovely by Raymond ChandlerThe Maltese Falcon by Dashiell HammettThe Long Good-bye by Raymond ChandlerGatsby's Smile by Morana Blue
Best Hardboiled Crime Novels
15th out of 47 books — 41 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,979)
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Elijah Spector
I had been meaning to read this shit for, like, seven years. From a page in, I could tell that every parody of hardboiled detective stories (seriously, EVERY one) from the 1950's onward was, in large part, parodying Spillane: even if they didn't realize it. I had always hesitated jumping into Mike Hammer myself because I had often heard the books described as a bigoted, ultra-right-wing vigilante fantasy. You can make an argument for that interpretation, but you can also make arguments against i ...more
Mike Dennis
All the snide remarks and bad reviews that Mickey Spillane received during his sixty-year career couldn’t mask the passion that comes blasting through in his prose. The dark streets and back alleys spring to life on the page, as Mike Hammer slinks through them like a feral cat on the trail of his prey. The reader will feel Hammer’s hot desires as he strokes the naked skin of a beautiful woman. When he takes a wrong turn and is severely beaten by a few tough guys, the reader will feel the blows.

Mickey Spillane is the artless Dashell Hammett. And it's hard for me to believe that his work goes out of print time-to-time. Is he essential? No. Is he entertaining? Yes. And therefore there lies the charm of his work. It's detective noir writing without the poetry. For those who want to cut the chase short.

Also his titles are great. Worth the price alone.
If you want to experience one of the great masters of the hard boiled detective novel, a writer who defined the genre and raised it to a fine art then I whole-heartedly and without reservation encourage you to move on to Dashiell Hammett or Raymond Chandler. If you want to read the third guy, the one who made a lot of money writing shlock this three novel collection is the way to go. For the price of a single trade paperback you get Spillane's first three novels, allowing you to trace his career ...more
Douglas Cootey
I love the snappy dialog and the tight prose. I love how Spillane's action scenes speed up because his prose gains a staccato frenzy. There is so much I can learn from Spillane's mastery of craft. Unfortunately, I just can't read anymore.

Servile women, Hammer casting more seed than a farmer's collective, the sappy love scenes… I just didn't enjoy reading about a philandering goon who demanded monogamy from each one of his dames. Never mind the fact that with each love scene I felt like my iPad
You know when people make fun of hard-boiled detective novels? Well they’re making fun of Mickey Spillane. Violent, brutal and two-dimensional, these aren’t something I would recommend. The only reason they could possibly rate more than one star is that they are good examples of compelling wordsmithing. It’s not what I would call writing, but it does keep you on the edge of your seat. You're better off sticking to Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler.
M. Newman
This is a collection of Mickey Spillane's first three Mike Hammer novels (I, The Jury, My Gun Is Quick and Vengeance Is Mine) and the action, sex and violence is overwhelming. These novels are pulp classics, replete with tough criminals, tough broads and tough Mike Hammer. Spillane wrote the best New York noir, ever. The abundance of beautiful, willing women makes one feel sorry for Hammer's loyal, torch-carrying secretary, Velda. Spillane's books sometimes seem a bit cartoonish, though, and tha ...more
Trixie Fontaine
Ahhh, the entertaining genius of crap. Our protagonist is so offensively unlikable he's lovable, because you sense the guy writing him that way does it for the fun hyperbole of it. He's a drunk and a homophobe, dumber than a box of rocks at times, and loves to hate/hit big, beautiful women. Like statues, they are. Big, BEAUTIFUL statues!

Pure pleasure reading. I especially enjoy the time Mike spends in diners and women's apartments eating bacon and eggs, sandwiches, etc. Good eats, lots of drinki
Nan Silvernail
Three hard-hitting novels in one.
1) I, The Jury - I've already reviewed this one. I couldn't find the other two novels separately, so I had to go with this collection.

2) My Gun is Quick - Mike Hammer shares coffee with a redheaded prostitute with a pretty ring on her finger in a greasy spoon dive one night. It's a short moment, but a bond is formed. They become friends and nobody kills one of Mike's friends like that. Hammer will shake the whole city like a pit bull until he shakes loose the kil
(SPOILER ALERT: If you haven't read this book, you may want to give this essay a pass. It contains the solution -- such as it is -- to the murder mystery the story revolves around and describes the fate of a key character.)

"I, The Jury," the 1947 Mickey Spillane novel that introduced tough and violent private eye Mike Hammer, is arguably Spillane's most cinematic book.

It begins with a graphic description of the death of his one-armed wartime buddy, Jack Williams, that lets the reader relive the
Todd Stockslager
Contents: I, the jury; My gun is quick; Vengeance is mine

Too much like self-parody to be good. Has its moments, but too much posturing. Mickey Spillane, and by extension his detective Mike Hammer, are tough-guy wannabes.

The progression from Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler is not only generational, but devolutionary.
I had previously read Volume 3 of the Mike Hammer Collection so I went back and looked to see how I rated it. I can't believe I gave it 4 stars because I had a really hard time with Volume 1 of the series. Maybe Mike got more likable, but I really couldn't stand him in these three stories. It seems that beautiful women just seem to fall completely in love with him after being with him for 5 minutes -- a little hard to believe. And his poor long suffering secretary (also beautiful) is also in lov ...more
Lee Miller
I read Mickey Spillane in junior high and revisited these three books a couple of months ago. Like most things first experienced when young, they were both fun to revisit but failed to match the memories. I was a little taken aback to learn that the “bad guy” in all three novels was similar, so all three books had somewhat similar - and frankly, a little annoying - resolutions. I was also surprised to learn that Mike Hammer was quite tolerant of gays and that a scene in all three books was the s ...more
Irving Karchmar
Mickey Spillane epitomized the early 50's, with its Cold War, Us vs Them mentality, which also extended to big city crime. And no one did it better than Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer, the tough as nails private eye who came out of WWII with no skills but straight shooting, hand to hand combat and a talent for deduction. These three are from the early adventures, and set the tone of all the rest, which I have also read. He was one of Ayn Rand's favorite writers, so that gives you and idea of the ...more
Jim C
This book contains the first three novels with the character Mike Hammer. These books are so enjoyable. Within pages the reader is transported back to a simpler time. The author does a wonderful job of painting a picture and as the reader I had no trouble imagining the simpler time era. These books are a murder mystery and by the end of each book you cannot wait to find out the conclusion. The third book "Vengeance Is Mine" is one of the best murder mysteries I have read. I believe these books c ...more
Mario Geraci
While these are supposed to be detective stories, they really are guns n sex fueled action pulp stories starring a real brute who happens to be detective. The mysteries themselves can be at times no brainers ,but Mike Hammer is not about that. These stories focus more about the bloody relentless path to get there,less on plot and I am fine with that . Mike Hammer is not a man to cross.If you like your pulp like a raw steak then Mike Hammer is for you. If you do not, move along, nothing to see he ...more
Grant Trevarthen
As I mentioned in another review,I thing Mickey Spillane is by far the best writer in the his particular genre.
His books deal with the seedy side of life in post WW2 New York, his protagonist Mike Hammer is brutal by nature and caustic in his language.
He disdains Police procedures an d prefers his form of justice, which usually means a bullet between the eyes. He would be the most Politically incorrect person you could meet, I find his rogue behaviour a large part of his popularity.
Kev Stacey
It's got it all - violence, nudity, sex - no graphic detail as pornography was illegal in the '40s and '50s, but Mr. Spillane did leave pretty obvious clues - a flawed but fundamentally decent hero (ubermensch even), obvious lowlives and wolves in sheep's clothing and twisted endings you may or may not see coming but either way, forget "50 Shades of Poo" and read these instead.
Barnabas Piper
As a paradigm for the genre, this makes so much sense. Mike Hammer is clearly the foundation fro so many good cop/bad cops who came after. For the time period I suspect it was super edgy as well. But in the current day it was hard to read and take too seriously. It felt a bit hokey. I am not sure whether this deserves praise for pioneering or the shrug I feel like giving it.
Not as good as Raymond Chandler, but still pretty good!
Craig Rettig
Final novel in the collection is "Vengeance Is Mine!" Spillane's voice is really developed in this one, although I wasn't as enamored with the plot, which seemed unnecessarily complicated. 4/5

Overall, I really enjoyed this collection and am looking forward to getting into the subsequent collections as well.
Mar 08, 2007 Megan rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Someone who wants to go straight to the id of noir.
Spillane doesn't reveal the final plot twist in "Vengeance Is Mine" until the last word of the book. Respect! The man is a master prose stylist of the hard-boiled variety. His stories and characters are vivid and raw, like a nightmare that Chandler or Hammett might have had.
Great stories of the tough no-nonsense detective from a very different era than today. These aren't for everybody but I enjoyed them.
Oct 30, 2008 William rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Action junkies, casual readers, guys
Recommended to William by: Terry Gross
What a powerful Spillane collection! These books are absolute pulp! Fights, dames in dresses, and tough-as-nails Mike Hammer.

Goodness, you will tear through this book, and then want to buy the entire series.

Quick fun reads with plenty of action.
This series starts out with a ferocious, but flawed novel in I, The Jury. From there it plummets into banality. It's too bad, because Spillane has some real poetry in his writing, that he has so much ugliness in his soul.
Keith Franks
The third book - Vengeance is Mine - is the best and an absolute classic. The first two are great for leading up to the third book, but it's the third that's the key winner.

Definitely read this omnibus.
Kamas Kirian
I had never read any of the Mike Hammer stories. My only experience was with the '80's TV show. These stories are just as fast paced, but grittier. They make for wonderful diversion from real life.
After coming across several references to Mickey Spillane, I decided to try the first Mike Hammer novel. The hero[?:] is too rough-edged and amoral for me to invest myself in his world and concerns.
Don't know that these have aged as well as other tales of New York private detectives, and I found the stories a bit predictable, but entertaining pulp fiction
Spillane is trashy and pulpy but he's the catalyst for the post war paper back revolution and who doesn't enjoy a little trashy pulp.
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Mickey Spillane was one of the world's most popular mystery writers. His specialty was tight-fisted, sadistic revenge stories, often featuring his alcoholic gumshoe Mike Hammer and a cast of evildoers who launder money or spout the Communist Party line.

His writing style was characterized by short words, lightning transitions, gruff sex and violent endings. It was once tallied that he offed 58 peop
More about Mickey Spillane...

Other Books in the Series

Mike Hammer (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • I, the Jury
  • My Gun Is Quick
  • Vengeance Is Mine
  • One Lonely Night
  • The Big Kill
  • Kiss Me, Deadly
  • The Girl Hunters
  • The Snake
  • The Twisted Thing
  • The Body Lovers
I, the Jury Kiss Me, Deadly My Gun Is Quick Vengeance Is Mine Dead Street (Hard Case Crime #37)

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