I can tell you about Spillane. He was blunt and to the point.
He told you a dame was delicious. Then he’d tell you just how Hammer wanted to nail her. No adverbs to bust your chops. Not much in the way of metaphors. Spillane kept it moving.
I grinned when I read his books. He was like Ian Fleming, but without flaunting the petticoats. You lived. You died. You got involved with a dame. And somewhere in the middle of all this, you found yourself caught in an elaborate plot.
With Spillane, you got a square deal. Meat and potatoes. Things happened without the dog and pony show. That shocked some of the more sensitive types. Sure, that Jimmy Cain titilated. But Spillane showed you the tits and that wasn’t even the half of it.
Will I miss Spillane? Sure. Was he perfect? No. But if he wrote about nothing, then what inspired Aldrich and Bezzerides to make such a dynamite film? What caused so many people to read him? I suspect even Ellroy looked to Spillane when he rewrote White Jazz.
I polished off a beer as I thought things through, and I have to concur with Teachout. I was born after 1960 and I may be one of those smartypants types, but even a gumshoe like me knows a genuine voice when he hears one.
© 2006, Edward Champion. All rights reserved.