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

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  1,703 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews
A Triple-Shot Anthology From the 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 rede ...more
ebook, 448 pages
Published June 1st 2001 by Penguin Group (USA) (first published 1950)
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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.

M. Newman
Jan 16, 2011 M. Newman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
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
May 24, 2008 Trixie Fontaine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 26, 2007 Tosh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Aug 17, 2013 Joe rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
James  Love
Apr 28, 2015 James Love rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I, the Jury: Mike Hammer doesn't have many friends but when the one friend who literally gave his right arm to save Mike's life from a Japanese bayonet during WWII is murdered. Gut Shot and made to crawl across the floor using the only arm he has left. Mike vows revenge. And in the end he will dish out to the killer the exact same thing that the killer did to Mike's friend. Gritty eye for an eye, brutally blunt, justice... Hammer style.

My Gun is Quick: After a long day of searching for a lost ma
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
Oct 27, 2007 Jeff rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Grant Trevarthen
Oct 31, 2011 Grant Trevarthen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Cary Enlow
Jan 13, 2013 Cary Enlow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-noir
A lot of fun. Dated, but that adds to the charm. High body counts. Hammer is the Conan of the gumshoe set.
Nat Kidder
Rednecks have their 3 B's: beer, bikes and barbeque. Mike Hammer has his 3 B's: booze, broads and brawls. It's messy, but he does bring the bad guys to justice, usually with him as the judge, jury and executioner.

The first two novels are shallow and plot-driven; the third is a more reflective and cerebral, bringing the whole series to 3 stars. You might want to read the last one first; if you like it, then tackle the first two, if only to see Spillane's evolution as a writer.
Nat Kidder
Read the last story first, it's more reflective and less plot-heavy than the comic-bookish first two.

Rednecks have their 3 B's: beer, bikes and barbecue. Mike Hammer has his 3 B's: booze, broads and brawls. It may be messy, but it gets results: not only are the bad guys caught, but often executed, by Hammer's own hand.
Jul 27, 2013 William rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
(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
Nan Silvernail
Sep 01, 2011 Nan Silvernail rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
M Christopher
Dec 06, 2016 M Christopher rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
After reading the first novel contained in this omnibus volume (I, the Jury) and about half of the second one (My Gun is Quick), I'm setting this collection of Mickey Spillane's first three Mike Hammer mysteries aside. As with Ross McDonald, I simply find the stories too violent and too dated in their attitudes to be entertaining. I'm less offended by this in the Hammer stories than I was with the one Ross McDonald I read. These stories, after all, were written in 1949 & 1950; the McDonald d ...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
May 28, 2012 Liz rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jim C
Sep 17, 2013 Jim C rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mark Singer
Jan 14, 2017 Mark Singer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I was twelve, I discovered my my father's Mickey Spillane paperbacks, but would not let me read them. Now I know why. They're not for children.
After all these years, I finally read one.
Plus: Visceral, brutal, terse. No wasted verbiage. Hammer is tough, knows what he wants and gets it. The action sequences are well-written.
Minus: It's a fantasy. Mike Hammer is a thug, and his answer to most problems invloves fists. Every woman is gorgeous, and throws herself at him. He sees all eventualitie
Charles Wilson
You won't find any great meaning or theme or even character development in Mickey Spillane; he just isn't that kind of a writer. This isn't literature by any stretch of the imagination. What it is is down-and-dirty, gritty, bare-knuckled, brutal, sexy, no-holds barred entertainment. I came to Mike Hammer because I felt obligated to read it but I thought I wouldn't like it. Imagine my surprise when I did.
Kev Stacey
Dec 26, 2011 Kev Stacey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Todd Stockslager
Jun 09, 2015 Todd Stockslager rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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.
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.
Craig Rettig
May 07, 2013 Craig Rettig rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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 liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sep 19, 2007 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hardboiled
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.
Oct 30, 2008 William rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jan 21, 2016 Adam rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I waded through I the Jury, and will not likely do the other two. This is simple pulp with just a touch of racism and misogyny thrown to add that dated feel. I say skip it and go for the Raymond Chandler.
Keith Franks
Jun 22, 2013 Keith Franks rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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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 21 books)
  • I, the Jury  (Mike Hammer,  #1)
  • My Gun Is Quick
  • Vengeance Is Mine  (Mike Hammer, #3)
  • One Lonely Night
  • The Big Kill
  • Kiss Me, Deadly
  • The Girl Hunters
  • The Snake
  • The Twisted Thing
  • The Body Lovers

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“Inwardly” 0 likes
“Not a hunch. A fact. Some small, trivial fact. What was it? Could it be the answer? Something was bothering me terrifically. I tried some more beer. No. No. No ... no ... no ... no ... no. The answer wouldn’t come. How must our minds be made? So complicated that a detail gets lost in the maze of knowledge. Why? That damn ever-present WHY. There’s a why to everything. It was there, but how to bring it out? I tried thinking around the issue, I tried to think through it. I even tried to forget it, but the greater the effort, the more intense the failure.” 0 likes
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