Sunday, October 03, 2010

Hammer Thoughts

Recently, I got an email from Amazon alerting me that a new Mike Hammer book was on the market. I have read the first six novels and The Girl Hunters, The Snake, and The Goliath Bone. They were all pretty entertaining reads, but the first six were the best. The Girl Hunters portrays Mike Hammer as a washed up alcoholic bum. The book is spiced with comments of how he's going to make a big return and suggests that he'll be bigger than what he was before. He gets more violent in the Snake, which continues the same storyline as the Girl Hunters and the two can be read together. Ultimately, Hammer just seemed out of place in the sixties and I now realize that a writer's best years for fiction is their early period. I read the last book of the Mike Hammer series, The Goliath Bone. In it Mike Hammer is old and living in the era of cellphones and if he was out of place in the sixties, it is pretty clear that he is out of his time frame in the post 9/11 world. Mike Hammer never really became big again like he was in the '40's and '50's. I was somewhat disappointed with Mike Hammer, after reading The Girl Hunters. He came across as being kind of a weak character, washed up, and out of place. Logically the events leading up to The Girl Hunter, Velda's supposed death, should have made Mike Hammer meaner and more of a loose cannon. The fantasy of Mike Hammer died in the sixties and the good times of the past belongs in the past. The only thought I can conclude about this is that you should never follow the same writer through out their entire career. After the first few novels, you should move on to something else.  

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