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The Big Bang [Hardcover]

Mickey Spillane , Max Allan Collins
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 247 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin; 1 edition (14 May 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0151014485
  • ISBN-13: 978-0151014484
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 16.8 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,722,646 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

HardCover Pub Date: 2010 Pages: 256 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt In Midtown Manhattan Mike Hammer Recovering FROM a near-fatal mix-up with the Mob runs into Drug Dealers assaulting a young hospital messenger He saves the kid. but the muggers are not so lucky. Hammer considers the rescue a one-off. but someone has different ideas. as indicated by a street-corner knife attack.With himself for a client. Hammer-and his beautiful. deadly partner Velda -take on the narcotics racket in New York just as the streets have dried up and rumors run rampant of a massive heroin shipment due any day. In a New York of flashy discotheques. swanky bachelor pads. and the occasional dark alley. Hammer deals with doctors and drug addicts. hippie chicks and hit men.meeting changing times with his timeless and of violent vengeance. Originally begun and outlined by Spillane in the mid-sixtie...

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Welcome back Mr Hammer 20 Mar 2011
By Strv 74
Like millions of others I consumed a lot of Mickey Spillane books forty years ago. It was a guilty pleasure since he was considered to be bad literature by the cultural establishment and during those hard left wing years. I enjoyed him a lot!

Of course when this one surfaced I just had to read it. I can tell you it was with great joy and a lot of nostalgia. Max Allan Collins has done an excellent job of turning this book into something releasable in this millennium. It is amazing how these two authors can cram so much action and story into such a short (246 pages) book.

Now, was Mike Hammer as I remembered him? Well, almost. But maybe that is my memory instead of the books. There are two things that I did not expect him to do that he does in this book.

The first one was that to my horror he cheats on Velda! Mickey Spillane has designed Velda as any mans dream woman and still Hammer cheats on her? Did he had such a bad moral compass? The other thing is the ending that really surprised me. I will not tell what it was but I never expected him to do that.

Max Allan Collins has done a remarkable job but there are two items in the book that I have no idea how they could have passed through all the proof reading:
Page 53: "This time the computer eyes had hesitated because the keyboard was sending out odd vibrations"
Page 111: "something had been fed into the computer between my ears"

We all know that there were no computers in the sixties and I can guarantee that Mike Hammer has no computer between his ears!

These are minor point. A good read and a must for everyone who once walked along with Mike Hammer on those streets.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
"Then it came to pass on the third day, in the morning, that there were thunderings and lightnings, and a thick cloud on the mountain; and the sound of the trumpet was very loud, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled." -- Exodus 19:16 (NKJV)

I'm sure most Mike Hammer fans can remember reading their first story about him. He was not only tough, he was bigger than life. He also had a "take no prisoners, suffer no fools" attitude that made him a refreshing source of optimism that good would prevail over evil. The violence, raw desire, and direct-to-the heart dialogue touched your core.

The Big Bang is based on a treatment begun by Mickey Spillane and completed by Max Allan Collins, a classier writer than Mickey Spillane. As a result, the plot surpasses what you can expect from a Mike Hammer story, the care taken in capturing the mood of the sixties is thoughtful and effective, but the visceral feel of Mike's attitude isn't quite all there. But The Big Bang is refreshing fun for Mike Hammer fans . . . just don't expect it to be vintage Spillane. Enjoy it for what it is.

Mike Hammer just happens to be in a doorway when two unimpressive types decide to attack a messenger on a motorbike. So much for their day . . . and for the driver of the getaway car. Wrong conclusions are drawn from his actions, and Mike finds himself a target for various thugs. Deciding enough is enough, Mike delves into what's going on . . . leaving a trail of beaten opponents behind him. In the background, the junkies are desperate because the H isn't coming through in enough quantities. When will the big shipment arrive and what will it contain?
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.1 out of 5 stars  41 reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Mystery, Great Book 27 April 2010
By S. Baskin - Published on
First there was Philip Marlow. Then there was Sam Spade. And finally the toughest and the last of the old time P.I's, Mike Hammer. Hammer comes from simpler times, back when women were dolls, the police were pigs, and crime was rampant. There weren't computers or cell phones, no GPS or email, this was back when if a P.I. wanted a case he had to get his hands dirty and do it the old fashioned way, good old fashioned investigating. And this is exactly what Mike Hammer does he does good old fashion P.I. work to get the case solved.
I was genuinely surprised how much I liked the book.

Before I begin on how good this book was I first want to speak a second on its pedigree. It is the long lost manuscript of the infamous and deceased mystery writer Mickey Spillane, the creator of Hammer's world. With the co-author, Max Collins, being the writer of Road to Perdition and Saving Private Ryan, Oscar winners all. All in all a sensational pedigree.

But even with its pedigree building it up The Big Bang still found room to surprise and entertain me. In fact it's one of the best mysteries I've read in years. It takes a simple easy to spot twist in the plot and goes further, surprising and shocking readers and reviewers alike with the coldness and sharp change that occurred in the story.

Spillane and Collins did great job of continuing the Mike Hammer legacy in this book. It's 256 pages, short enough for a cool summer read and long enough to get into the book and really enjoy it. Besides it's length, the book is action packed and filled with all the great aspects mystery readers crave in strong mystery novel.

All in all this is a great book and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a quick entertaining summer read, especially mystery lovers.

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well orchestrated for maximum impact 17 Feb 2011
By Craig Clarke - Published on
Mike Hammer went to Florida to recover from a stab wound from one of Junior Evello's boys -- Junior is the nephew of Carl Evello from Kiss Me, Deadly -- "that had opened my side like somebody wanted to slip in there and hide." On his first day back in Manhattan, he chances across hospital messenger Billy Blue being jumped by drug dealers who think he can get them easy access to the hospital's drug stash, and Hammer quickly dispatches the assailants with his signature brand of street justice.

It looks like Evello might be involved, but Hammer assures Homicide captain (and long-time friend) Pat Chambers that he has no interest in the case. Of course, when somebody tried to kill Mike, he gets interested fast. Now it's on.

The Big Bang is one of the handful of unfinished manuscripts Mickey Spillane entrusted to Max Allan Collins upon his death in 2006. Two others have been published previously: the non-Hammer Dead Street and the "last" Hammer novel chronologically, The Goliath Bone.

In addition to being about one-third complete, The Big Bang was also fully outlined and included the ending, which was one of Spillane's favorites. When the deadline for this book was approaching and it did not look like he could finish it, Spillane took the previously shelved "second" Hammer novel For Whom the Gods Would Destroy (he had written it after I, the Jury but quickly pounded out My Gun Is Quick as a followup instead), updated it with references to more recent cases, and sent that one in. It would be published under the title The Twisted Thing.

Spillane's and Collins's styles mesh well throughout The Big Bang, since Collins expanded Spillane's original one-third out to about one-half and then completed what was missing. Collins has somehow managed to produce a novel that is firmly grounded in the 1960s but does not feel dated. This is not an artifact, but a fully vital modern novel.

Collins stays mostly in the background, preferring to let his friend and mentor shine from beyond. Those who have followed Hammer through numerous adventures will appreciate it most, but The Big Bang can be enjoyed even by those relatively new to the detective.

One definite highlight is the climax, when Hammer unwittingly drops acid and sees his potential final moments with all the clarity of a warped record. ("Shotgun" by Junior Walker and the All-Stars gets a prominent role in the melee.)

But the ending of The Big Bang is just stunning, related to a huge shipment of heroin coming into the city (the "big bang" of the title -- sorry physics fans, no beginning-of-the-universe theories discussed in these pages*). It may in fact be one of the best of the series. Just don't try to skip ahead and read it because you won't understand its significance unless you've read the rest of the book. The whole thing is well orchestrated for maximum impact. It's a keeper and one that will likely go down as one of the more memorable.

At least one more of these Spillane/Collins collaborations (Kiss Her Goodbye) is already scheduled to be published. There are at least three more substantial manuscripts that could be completed: Complex 90 (a sequel to The Girl Hunters), Lady Go Die!, and King of the Weeds. However, whether these see their way into print depends, like all things in publishing, on how well these sell, so support them however you can (preferably with your wallet) and help Spillane's legacy continue well into the future.

*Try What's Next?: Dispatches from the Future of Science for that -- specifically Sean Carroll's "Our Place in an Unnatural Universe."
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's Hammer time! 25 May 2010
By Henry W. Wagner - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
As per Max Allan Collins's co-author's note, this story is set in the mid 1960s, which was when Mickey Spillane began it. Facing an impending deadline, Spillane put the manuscript of The Big Bang aside, and substituted another Hammer novel, The Twisted Thing, which he had completed many years before. He later gave he manuscript to Collins for safekeeping, a sound decision, considering that a few weeks later, Spillane's home was destroyed by Hurricane Hugo.

It also proved a sound decision in that The Big Bang, as lovingly completed by Collins, feels like vintage Spillane, and, more importantly, vintage Mike Hammer. Once again, Hammer is on an unrelenting quest to right a wrong (here, seeking the masterminds behind a massive shipment of heroin heading towards New York City), not caring what he has to do, or the dangers he has to face, to do it. Back also are his classic supporting cast, consisting of his partner, the luscious Velda, long suffering police captain Pat Chambers, and a bevy of tiresome hoods and dangerous dames. Combine that with Spillane's unique way with words, and his tremendous, ultraviolent action set pieces, and you have a book guaranteed to transport you into another world for a few enjoyable hours.

As many of the previous customer reviews emphasize, this book is sure to please long time Hammer fans. But, it also represents a good introduction for readers totally unfamiliar with Spillane's canon, as it contains all the classic elements that made Spillane so readable. Start with this, or, better yet, his 1947 masterpiece I, The Jury, and you'll be hooked, ready to seek out and devour the rest of the Hammer books by Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Spillane.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE BIG BANG: a classic Mike Hammer novel 5 May 2010
By James L. Traylor - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
THE BIG BANG is a classic. It immediately took me back not only to the 1960s but to the early 1950s Spillane dreamscape of MY GUN IS QUICK and THE BIG KILL. It has all the lushness of the early Mike Hammer novels with sexuality and wholesomeness played off each other with authorial ease. It has the defense of the innocent and willful crushing of the guilty. The finale is masterful, combining the best of ONE LONELY NIGHT and the underappreciated SURVIVAL...ZERO!

I felt as if I had been transported back to my first reading of a MAJOR Spillane novel, evocative in tone, spirit and action. BIG BANG is seamless, a tremendous piece of writing. Whether you've never read a Mike Hammer novel or you've eagerly awaited this one, you will be rewarded with a major entry into the world of noir. In short, it's quite a book.

Full disclosure: Max Allan Collins and I have collaborated on my many projects, including ONE LONELY KNIGHT: MICKEY SPILLANE'S MIKE HAMMER, the first critical-biographical book devoted to Spillane. We both love and appreciate Mike Hammer and Mickey Spillane. It is my distinct honor to have the book dedicated to me.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hammer hits the nail on the head 15 April 2010
By Daniel Lee Taylor - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Wow, Mike Hammer still lives. This collaboration between Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins is right on target. Many times when one author finishes a manuscript for another it just does not work. I assure you that is not a problem here. You can smell the smoke from the Luckies and taste the Pabst Blue Ribbon in this story. Mike is still the toughest and Velda gorgeous While this is a thriller, it is truly a throwback to the original hardboiled PI novels of the fifties and sixties. The plot is nicely told and the characters are rich. For those who are familiar with Mike Hammer novels this will be a welcome reacquaintance. For those who never read the lurid, violent and sexy novels, this is a great introduction. Collins and Spillane had a friendship that comes across in the writing. Spillane had entrusted Collins with a couple of manuscripts just before his home was destroyed in a hurricane. Collins, who is a great mystery writer on his own, seamlessly rounds it out.
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