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I, the Jury (Mike Hammer #1)

3.57 of 5 stars 3.57  ·  rating details  ·  2,023 ratings  ·  173 reviews
Here's Mickey Spillane and Mike Hammer in their roughest and readiest--a double-strength shot of sex, violence, and action that is vintage Spillane all the way. It's a tough-guy mystery to please even the most bloodthirsty of fans!
Paperback, 246 pages
Published December 1st 1975 by Signet (first published 1947)
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Mike Hammer is a very tough NYC PI. In fact he is so tough he makes the Superman look like an innocent toddler. His best friend is brutally murdered and he is out on a hunt for the killer who will die in exactly the same way his victim died - at least this is what Mike Hummer wants.

I consider myself a polite guy. For this reason alone I will not ask the most obvious question which came to me after I finished reading: who decided to publish this tripe of a novel from a hack of an author? I will o
I woke up to the alarm clock at 5 am and did 100 knuckle pushups on the sidewalk outside the apartment building. In the rain. There were some fancy boys “jogging” and I glared a contemptuous good morning to them.

Inside I had my usual breakfast: three raw eggs and three fingers of Kentucky bourbon. Quick shower and shave and I was on the pavement, hoofing it to my office on the lower east side.

Entering my building I saw old Mrs. Koleki sweeping the entrance. We glared a contemptuous good morning
I, The Jury is the first Mickey Spillane book I’ve read and, despite being a fan of the hardboiled detective genre, and enjoying this book, it will probably be the last.

All the elements for a good murder mystery are in place here. A murder starts things off and a cast of players is introduced and our hardboiled hero goes about solving the whodunit, taking us through a fast-paced story heavy on sex and violence. And make no mistake about it, Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer is hardboiled. In fact, H
Kater Cheek
This is the first of the Mike Hammer books, and one of the founding fathers of noir/hardboiled Private Eye fiction. I figured if I wanted to write something mystery/noir, I should read the classics and let them infuse me. I'd also been warned that some of what I read in this book would feel trite and derivative, because so many people have emulated Spillane (and Raymond Chandler, and Dashiell Hammett) in modern mysteries that it's like watching the three stooges and wondering who ripped off whom ...more
I almost feel like I need a 'misogynist' shelf just so I can put this one on it. Chandler and Hammett can be bad enough, but this is -- whoa. It's written slickly enough, and Hammer is almost ridiculously, hilariously hard-boiled -- with a sticky, too-sweet centre that doesn't taste right. He was better than I thought he was, morally, in that he didn't know all along who did it and string them along just to get the proof, but the fact that I thought him capable of that doesn't bode well. He's no ...more
Spillane is not Raymond Chandler or Dashiell Hammett, he doesn't have their depth or their darkness or their humanity ... but what he has, he certainly has. And he has energy and movement and, while his style is certainly not as developed as above company, his style has a rawness about it that suits the narrative medium he's operating in.

Micky Spillane

"Those big-shot writers could never dig the fact that there are more salted peanuts consumed than caviar..."

If you read my little background history of my novel
One of the original hard-boiled detective stories, and it is seriously hard-boiled. It's pretty short - it was allegedly written in just nineteen days - and it's a tale of vengeance. A lot of people get murdered, Mike Hammer gets propositioned by a string of glamorous women, cracks some heads and finally tumbles to the killer's identity in time to make good on his pledge. It's not a story about saving anyone. It's not about law or even about doing the right thing. It's bleak as you like, surpris ...more
So my husband had to read “I, the Jury” for a popular fiction course and recommended it to me because he thought I’d get a kick out of it. He was right! This was probably the most unintentionally hilarious book I’ve ever come across.

Until this point, my experience with novel detectives was mainly confined to Nancy Drew, Miss Marple and Mma Ramotswe. Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer is another type of sleuth altogether. Hammer is a 1940s-era hard-boiled macho man who shoots first and asks questions
Mike Hammer investigates the murder of a former cop and war buddy, Jack Williams, in what turns out to be a race against the law with one determined to bring the killer to justice, the other, hell bent on exacting his own form of vengeance.

Bullets reign supreme and bodies fall quicker than shell casings as the list of suspects dwindles and Hammer’s sight becomes blinded by a too good to be true vixen. Much like the pulps written in this era, the dames are plentiful, stunningly beautiful and wil
Mickey Spillane is such a pleasure to read.

This first Mike Hammer story has all the hallmarks of the hardboiled detective novel but with the added bonus of the protagonist being a complete and unashamed misogynist, unafraid of offending anyone. How can you not love this stuff?

The story was a bit obvious but isn't that the point? You jump on and ride like the wind through intrigue, fist fights, witty dialogue, sexual encounters and the inevitable denouement.

Having said that I was left wondering r
Jul 26, 2010 emily rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who love their guns. and women who throw themselves at mr. hammer
I just love the name Mike Hammer. Hilarity already!

Know who else loves Mike Hammer? Um, every woman in the book. Really. I think we see all of them but two naked, and we hear about all of their (but one's) breasts (and Mr. H. is just being gracious to the fiancee of his dead buddy. But trust me, if we had another 25 pages or so her breasts would also be alive and struggling against the binding fabric of her blouse too, really.)

I think I was expecting Raymond Chandler and I got a mix of Arthur Ka
I'd read a Mike Hammer mystery a couple years back when I was traveling somewhere. It was from the eighties or so, and when I hated it, I was told, well, of course he sucks now, but the old stuff was better. So when I knew I'd be flying without reading materials and saw this, from '47, and thinking I remembered my buddy Nate saying he liked this one, I was glad to grab it.

Well, it is better than the other one I read, which had a simultaneously tired and telegraphic prose style-- the writing here
Scott Rhee
If you want to read good pulp fiction, go back to the source. Mickey Spillane didn't invent the hard-boiled detective-noir genre, but he certainly played a big part in making it a uniquely fascinating and American one. Mike Hammer is the prototypical tough-guy private dick, and the world he inhabits is one where women are either dames or broads, guns are rods, and nobody is ever truly trustworthy. "I, the Jury" introduced the world to Mike Hammer. It's been filmed for the big screen at least thr ...more
Oct 22, 2009 Rauf rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of Jerry Bruckheimer
The first book in Spillane's Mike Hammer series. It began quickly with Hammer finding his old war buddy Jack dead. The killer shot Jack in the gut then taunted Jack to try to grab the gun used to shoot him. Jack crawled and crawled and bled and bled.

Hammer said Jack saved his life by sacrificing his arm. So this death needless to say incensed Hammer. Incensed, I says! He swore the killer would die exactly the way Jack died.

So as the pages turned I found out that Mike Hammer always won at fistfig
Ed [Redacted]
The first half of the book was rough. Either that or I just wasn't in the mood. After it sat for a month or two I started again. The second half of the book evens out considerably. Though I wouldn't call it a work of literature, it was definitely an interesting read.

Mike Hammer has a unique method of interviewing people. He beats the crap out of people until they tell him what he wants to hear (Also known as "Extraordinary Rendition"). Every single female in the book is gorgeous and totally int
It's a fun read even it's a little over the top and there's never a dull moment. Mike is a hero in the universe created by Mickey Spillane but I think he'd of been arrested for assault and battery several times for the incidents described herein - even in 1947 when the book was published. Spillane sensed what would hit big with crime genre fans and gave it to them in plentiful abundance. Sex, violence, mayhem. One more thing - I'm all for viewing things in the context of their times, but I think ...more
Ok, first, I will admit to being a real Spillane fan. This is the guy who gave us Grafton, Parker and most of the rest of the tough detective novels. While it may seem a bit dated, Mike Hammer is still the epitome of the do-it-my-way-or-get-out-of-the-way detective. I would equate him to Louis L'Amour's characters, in terms of morality. These are guys who will do what is right, regardless. Read Spillane, and see how we got to where we are. By the way, the highlight of my Spillane collection? An ...more
Rob Kitchin
In I, The Jury Spillane has the melodrama turned up to eleven, and from the sensibilities of the new century it’s a little difficult not to judge it with a Spinal Tap eye. This is hardboiled magnified with stereotype and caricature galore. Mike Hammer is a tough guy PI, oozing testosterone, with a short fuse, and a sense of conviction that he is the police, judge, jury and executioner. He’s Chandler’s Philip Marlowe, and Hammett’s Sam Spade, on steroids. Charlotte Manning is the femme fatale. An ...more
I've never read Spillane before, and this will probably be my first and last (life is too short)--but actually I was fairly surprised at how good it was. The action never stopped from page one to the end, and the book was awash in 1947ish sex and violence. Mike Hammer was definitely the father of Dirty Harry and granddad of Jack Bauer, and I can imagine his brand of pitiless justice being pretty fresh back in the day. Now it's a bit of a yawn. I was under the impression that this one was the one ...more
MAD Magazine first introduced me to Mike Hammer (a brief, one-panel joke), but I remembered the character. Years later after indulging in some Raymond Chandler, I followed up on Mike Hammer, found out about his origin and books, and resolved to give them a shot.

After his best friend is viciously murdered in his own home, private eye Mike Hammer makes his intentions public; hunt down the murderer and kill them. Assisted by a police force that seems to have no problems with vigilantes, Mik
In 1947 Mickey Spillane’s first Mike Hammer novel I, The Jury hit the bookstores. Depending on your point of view this event marked the degeneration of crime fiction or it represented a breath of fresh air.

I belong to the second school of thought. Spillane wasn’t interested in making us feel sorry for criminals. He thought victims of crime deserved more sympathy than hoodlums. Mike Hammer isn’t very subtle but he does have a well-developed sense of justice. And if the courts and the police can’t
Andrew Neal
This book is what's known as a "product of its time," by which I mean, a racist-ass book.

Plus, I just wasn't into the whole deal where women were constantly throwing themselves at Mike Hammer and then he'd blow in their ear or bite their neck or punch their tit or whatever, and then push them off and go home and be pissed about his buddy getting murdered.

Also, I read the version with the Armand Assante cover, which I guess was set in the '80s, which I know because there were a bunch of photos o
Mark R.
A classic detective novel by Mickey Spillane, "I, the Jury" introduces Mike Hammer, a brutally tough no-nonsense P.I. looking for the killer of an old Army buddy. The victim sported a fake limb, and the murderer, as evidence indicates, forced him to crawl along his bedroom floor, trying to reach for his pistol, before killing him. Hammer takes this death personally, and vows to bring the killer not to justice but straight to the gates of heaven. Or more likely, hell.

Hammer is mean and more than
This book has been parodied so much that it is hard to take seriously. But I can see how it was shocking at the time it was published (1947) for its sex and violence. Especially the violence. Mike Hammer is almost sociopathic in his constant threat and use of serious violence. Academics could probably argue that Hammer is suffering from PTSD. The plot is OK (I guessed the killer about half-way through and I am not usually good at that) but the last chapter is so crazy it has to be read to be bel ...more
Per Gunnar
I quite liked the TV-series with Stacy Keach portraying Mike Hammer. At least the first batch. When he came back for a second batch it went downhill. Anyway, I though I should read at least a few of these, now classic, books so I bought myself volume one of The Mike Hammer Collection on kindle.

It is quite a bit a change of pace from my usual reading. No high-tech, no magic, no monsters, no spaceships etc… Well, it was a fun read nonetheless. The book was originally written 1947 so the language,
Mickey, Spillane: subtle, he ain’t. His writing is blunt, inelegant, as ugly as the story he tells. But you don’t read Spillane expecting William Trevor. You read him for the noir atmosphere, which is nicely done. His hero, Mike Hammer, is macho, misogynistic, homophobic and sadistic—everything you want in a protagonist. He’s a Neanderthal. He makes Dirty Harry seem a gentleman. Hammer says things like this, “No wife of mine is going to work. I want her at home where I know where she is.” Really ...more
Riccarla Roman
Mickey Spillane is an acquired taste - you either love him or hate him. He tastes great or is less filling. He came along at the end of the noir era - Hammett, Chandler, and the other hard-boiled detective writers who came out of the war. They'd seen too much to write cozy mysteries with cerebral crime solvers. Their heroes had already seen the worst of humanity which made them hard, but gave them the heart to fight for the little guy.

In "I the Jury", Mike Hammer is immediately involved in the m
* The first Mike Hammer book.

* I expected a hard boiled thriller, but instead got a hard boiled mystery. Like me, you probably won't have a hard time guessing who the killer is, but that's no great accomplishment at this point in time. As for the motive, good luck. Hammer explains it all at the end and maybe it even makes sense (I have my doubts), but that wasn't really the point, anyway. Hammer is the point, and just like his namesake, it's a blunt one.

* That's not a criticism, though. I was wo
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Jan 06, 2011 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of Death Wish Films
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Ultimate Reading List
Spillane has been compared to Chandler and Hammett, this novel is in print over 50 years after it was first published, and Ayn Rand is a fan. (Kiss of death that last I'm sure to many, but I like Rand's style and expected I'd be impressed.)

Reader, I hated this. Immensely. Couldn't even last to fifty pages.

The style reads like a parody of hard-boiled detective fiction a la Chandler and Hammett and featured black dialect that was cringe-worthy. However, it wasn't the style that made this impossib
John Wilson
So, as we can see, in this cover, Mike Hammer is being menaced by a lazy-eyed drunk nympho. Shoot, Mike! Shoot!

This is the first of the Mike Hammer mysteries, and it is kinda rough around the edges. In investigating the murder of a wartime buddy, Hammer meets and almost instantly falls in love with one of the suspects. It's all very 'Whabuhey?". By day, he chases down leads. By night, he goes a-courtin' with his new gal. She keeps inviting him up to her place at the end of the night. He keeps re
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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
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Other Books in the Series

Mike Hammer (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • 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
  • Survival Zero
The Mike Hammer Collection: Volume I Kiss Me, Deadly My Gun Is Quick Vengeance Is Mine Dead Street (Hard Case Crime #37)

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