counter create hit I, the Jury - Download Free eBook
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

I, the Jury

Availability: Ready to download

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!


Compare
Ads Banner

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!

30 review for I, the Jury

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lyn

    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 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 to each other and I went inside. Standing outside my office door, I first saw the dame. I glared a contemptuous good morning to her and I touched my hat. She looked up and I could see the kid had been crying. I grimaced, and soaked up her weakness like a biscuit sopping up gravy. “What kind of lily livered punk did this to you, kid?” I asked, flexing my corded guns under my trench coat, imagining the beating I’d give the guy that done this to her. “No, “she said, sniffing, “It’s not like that, Joe, I read Mickey Spillane’s book and it got to me, that’s all.” “Yeah, that’s all, I get it, “I said, and dropped and gave myself 100 knuckle pushups, in the rain. “Have a shot, kid, let’s talk it over, “ as I poured her three fingers of cheap bourbon. While she sipped, I grilled a steak, rare, and did a few dozen chin-ups. “I, the Jury” was … amazing! I, I just don’t have words,” she stammered and then broke down in wet, girly tears. “That’s OK, kid, I know the score,” I said as I took off my jacket, “You look like you could use manly hug.” I glared at her contemptuously, and did some more knuckle pushups, downed a man-sized slug of the good stuff, and moved in.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Karl

    Spillane published “I, the Jury” in 1947. It drew on the hard-boiled ‘private investigator’ tradition pioneered by Black Mask magazine in the 1930s. By 1980, seven of the top 15 all-time bestselling fiction titles in America were written by Spillane. Spillane flaunted his lack of authorial polish claiming he would never introduce characters with moustaches or who drank cognac because he didn't know how to spell the words. “I, the Jury” introduced the series hero Mike Hammer whose hard-drinking, Spillane published “I, the Jury” in 1947. It drew on the hard-boiled ‘private investigator’ tradition pioneered by Black Mask magazine in the 1930s. By 1980, seven of the top 15 all-time bestselling fiction titles in America were written by Spillane. Spillane flaunted his lack of authorial polish claiming he would never introduce characters with moustaches or who drank cognac because he didn't know how to spell the words. “I, the Jury” introduced the series hero Mike Hammer whose hard-drinking, tough-talking, woman-beating, whisky-swilling machismo answered the needs of the postwar "male action" market. Hammer is less a detective than an ultra-violent vigilante. In the story, Hammer’s marine ‘buddy’ Jack, who lost an arm saving Hammer's life in the Pacific, is sadistically murdered. Hammer sets out to avenge him, skirting the niceties of the law, vowing to his friend's corpse: "I'm going to get the louse that killed you. He won't hang. He will die exactly as you died, with a .45 slug in the gut, just a little below the belly button." Spillane regarded himself as a super-patriot, and was so regarded by others. John Wayne gave him a Jaguar XK140 for his anti-communism and Ayn Rand (author of Atlas Shrugged) publicly commended his prose style to her disciples. Spillane's patriotism was, however, always tinged with a pessimistic, quasi-religious sense of doom, and in the early 1960s he predicted a race war in America. As a pulp author, Spillane's guiding principle was that "violence will outsell sex every time".

  3. 5 out of 5

    Melki

    This title is one of April's reads for the Pulp Fiction group - https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/..., so I did a little research on the author to share with the members. Turns out, Spillane got his start writing for comic books. This could help explain why his character, Mike Hammer, is so much like a superhero. Hammer seems to possess a photographic memory, recalling that he had seen a phone number once upon a time . . . and yes, he still remembers to whom the number belonged. Then, using h This title is one of April's reads for the Pulp Fiction group - https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/..., so I did a little research on the author to share with the members. Turns out, Spillane got his start writing for comic books. This could help explain why his character, Mike Hammer, is so much like a superhero. Hammer seems to possess a photographic memory, recalling that he had seen a phone number once upon a time . . . and yes, he still remembers to whom the number belonged. Then, using his apparently superhuman strength, he manages to vanquish three bad guys at one time. Oh, and he's also absolutely irresistible to women; Hammer himself admits - they ALL want him. Sure. (Take it from this creature of the female persuasion - every gal dreams of bedding a sexist, racist, homophobe. Not.) Spillane's writing is really pretty dreadful, at times laughably bad. Witness this little exchange that might embarrass even a Harlequin romance writer: "Mike," she whispered, "I want you." "No," I said. "Yes. You must." "No." "But, Mike, why? Why?" "No, darling, it's too beautiful to spoil. Not now. Our time will come, but it must be right." Groan! If you can cut through all this over-the-top B.S., there's a absorbing little mystery to be solved, but it's a pretty big IF. I'll tell you this - IF I hadn't been reading this for a group, I'd have quit a few pages in, and IF my used copy hadn't arrived signed by the author, this book would already be in the library donation box. Join the group, and read along, if you like, though I'd recommend our other selection for this month, the far superior Black Wings Has My Angel.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Evgeny

    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 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 only say that the debut is underwhelming. I would be the first to admit one of my problems was reading this book right after Raymond Chandler who really was a great writer. These two really cannot be compared. Where do I start? To call Mike Hammer two-dimensional would be a great insult to a countless number of very well written two-dimensional characters from all literature genres. The guy is as one-dimensional as they come. He conducts his investigations with the finesse of a charging rhino. He bullies the women and beats up the men to get the information he wants. When he is not busy doing this, he dodges drop-dead gorgeous women who jump at him on practically every page. I set off on a personal quest to find a single plain-looking woman in a book, let alone an ugly one; I failed miserably. It did not help any that I was able to solve the mystery after I was in 47% of the book - I counted this just for statistical purposes. Mike Hammer is completely stupid and blind at the same time and could not see the solution until it literally hit him in the face - after a couple of deaths more which could have been prevented. The series has a reputation for being over-the-top violent. I found it to be tame if you compare it to the other works of the genre. The difference is in how the violence is handled: Raymond Chandler does it skillfully while in this case it is as bland as a sledgehammer. How comes our PI never gets into troubles for his interrogation methods, you ask? Very easy, he has a high-ranking cop as his buddy who is conveniently even more stupid than Mike Hammer despite having a big chunk of NYPD resources under his command. I may sound too harsh in my review. The novel has some charm even with all of its problems, I am not completely sure I will never read any more books of the series in the future; I might. For anybody who wants to read a good book of the genre please look into real masters: Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler. This review is a copy/paste of my BookLikes one: http://gene.booklikes.com/post/975578...

  5. 4 out of 5

    William

    Two-stars. Pretty thin prose here. Staccato and simplistic. Racist. Misogynistic. Pacing is good but this Book is almost a cartoon. This reads almost like a laundry list. Not for me. Giant infodump who-dunnit at the end. Colt Police Positive Full size image here . Two-stars. Pretty thin prose here. Staccato and simplistic. Racist. Misogynistic. Pacing is good but this Book is almost a cartoon. This reads almost like a laundry list. Not for me. Giant infodump who-dunnit at the end. Colt Police Positive Full size image here .

  6. 4 out of 5

    RJ from the LBC

    Meet Mike Hammer: tough-talking, dame-loving, feisty wise-guy-punching private eye. The wise-cracking first-person narrative was greatly informed by author Spillane's work writing superhero funny books in the 1940s and it fits perfectly since Hammer himself is a larger-than-life, over-the-top caricature who loves to rough up the baddies and tweak the nose of uptight authority figures. The heart of the story is an overly-convoluted mystery with an improbable ending but if you can look past the re Meet Mike Hammer: tough-talking, dame-loving, feisty wise-guy-punching private eye. The wise-cracking first-person narrative was greatly informed by author Spillane's work writing superhero funny books in the 1940s and it fits perfectly since Hammer himself is a larger-than-life, over-the-top caricature who loves to rough up the baddies and tweak the nose of uptight authority figures. The heart of the story is an overly-convoluted mystery with an improbable ending but if you can look past the regrettable stereotypes and slurs that were probably eye-raising even 70+ years ago, there's lots of pulpy fun to be had.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    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 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, Hammer might be the epitome of hardboiled. Mike Hammer has a definition of justice and an idea of how things should be done and he sets about solving the crime with singled-minded determination. There's nothing suave or soft-spoken with Mike Hammer, just bull-headed tenacity and cold-blooded resolve, and if you get in his way you just might wind up with a bullet in your gut, regardless of which side of the law you're on. When the reveal was finally disclosed on the book’s final pages, I was left with a good feeling and a smile on my face. Sadly, as good as I, The Jury is, the story is dated and tame by today’s standards. While the 1940’s slang is enjoyable, parts of the story, for example every woman Hammer encounters wanting to take him to bed immediately, are comical when they shouldn’t be. Worse, the viewpoints and language are offensive and it's difficult reading and accepting the character's frequent sexism and racism. I know the book has to be taken as a product of its time, and I do, but I still don’t enjoy the language. While those disturbing attitudes may have been inherent to Mike Hammer, the language used wasn't relevant to the story and I'm confused as to why Spillane chose to include it, especially since it didn't add to the charm, or myth, or valor, of his hero.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Nick

    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 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, surprisingly explicit about sex and moderately ugly (in line with its vintage) in its treatment of female and non-white characters, though it doesn't have the actual malevolence in those directions that you find elsewhere. It's unredeemed, gritty, and it is a classic of the genre. (Somewhat oddly, it's dedicated to Spillane's wife. I can't imagine what she thought about it.) I found it... gripping, certainly, and professionally educative into the bargain.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin Thomas

    “I want you to hear every word I say. I want you to tell it to everyone you know. And when you tell it, tell it strong, because I mean every word of it. There are ten thousand mugs that hate me and you know it. They hate me because if they mess with me I shoot their damn heads off. I’ve done it and I’ll do it again.” Mike Hammer, hard-hitting, tough-talking private eye has been around the block a few times and has earned a certain reputation. A reputation for taking care of business using lethal “I want you to hear every word I say. I want you to tell it to everyone you know. And when you tell it, tell it strong, because I mean every word of it. There are ten thousand mugs that hate me and you know it. They hate me because if they mess with me I shoot their damn heads off. I’ve done it and I’ll do it again.” Mike Hammer, hard-hitting, tough-talking private eye has been around the block a few times and has earned a certain reputation. A reputation for taking care of business using lethal force if needed. When his best friend is found dead, the same best friend who had literally given an arm for him during the war, Hammer is out for blood, and a promise to kill the bastard that did it. About time I started the Mike Hammer series by Mickey Spillane. I’ve sort of been avoiding it because I have an awful lot of series going right now and, as usual, I was worried I would start this one and get drawn into a bunch more must-reads. But I am also reading a collection of short stories right now and the next one happens to be one of the Mickey Spillane/Max Alan Collins stories that is continuing the Mike Hammer series. And I wanted to be sure I had read the first Hammer book in case it was in any way an origin story. It wasn’t. Not really. Mike Hammer is introduced in mid-career with many a case behind him already. I understand there is a chronology to the books and short stories but I’m not sure at this point if any of them really need to be read in order. Nevertheless, I’m glad to have finally gotten to this classic of the hard-boiled genre. Besides Hammer, himself, we also get to meet the ongoing characters of his secretary Velda and his friend Pat Chambers, Captain of Homicide NYPD. The story itself was nicely absorbing, filled with the expected violent action and dangerous dames. I figured out the culprit fairly early on but not necessarily the how and the why. So, here I am, with a newly stoked need to read another 20-plus novels. Bummer.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    "I hate too hard and shoot too fast. That's why people say the things about me that they do." Sigh. I wasn't expecting much from this hardboiled PI "classic". I get the low brow, macho appeal of the brutish, oversexed PI that's as two dimensional as a sheet of 8 x 11 paper, lacking all nuance or subtlety. The prose is rudimentary, the characterizations trite, the plot unnecessarily convoluted and the sex scenes and tough talk aplenty. To call this a "classic" is really an insult to the masters of "I hate too hard and shoot too fast. That's why people say the things about me that they do." Sigh. I wasn't expecting much from this hardboiled PI "classic". I get the low brow, macho appeal of the brutish, oversexed PI that's as two dimensional as a sheet of 8 x 11 paper, lacking all nuance or subtlety. The prose is rudimentary, the characterizations trite, the plot unnecessarily convoluted and the sex scenes and tough talk aplenty. To call this a "classic" is really an insult to the masters of hardboiled crime fiction who were contemporaries of Spillane or those who came before, some as early as the 1920's and 1930's. Think Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, James M. Cain, Ross Macdonald and Jim Thompson to name a few.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    April2018 Reading with the Pulp Fiction group. https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/... I was really looking forward to it as it's been some time since I read this early classic. Spillane was an early favorite of mine, although I never cared for the Mike Hammer series as much as some of his other works. Hammer makes a lot of bombastic speeches which works better for me on screen or in Spillane's western, The Big Showdown, which was written for The Duke. I could practically see that as a movie when April2018 Reading with the Pulp Fiction group. https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/... I was really looking forward to it as it's been some time since I read this early classic. Spillane was an early favorite of mine, although I never cared for the Mike Hammer series as much as some of his other works. Hammer makes a lot of bombastic speeches which works better for me on screen or in Spillane's western, The Big Showdown, which was written for The Duke. I could practically see that as a movie when I read it. I hadn't realized how much it bothered me until today, though. It didn't help that I'd just finished a Matt Helm novel. Well, I can skim them. The plot is twisty & filled with a lot of he-man scenes as Hammer investigates by running around like a loose cannon which makes everyone too nervous. It was a better book when I was 13, but I'm afraid it's lost its luster. Most of my favorites are his short stories & standalone books. The Tough Guys has 3 good short stories, the last of which is "The Bastard Bannerman" which he later turned into The Erection Set, one of my favorite standalone novels. The Deep & The Delta Factor are 2 others. The Tiger Mann series is awful as is his YA novel, The Ship That Never Was.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Steven

    Been a long, long time since I've read a Hammer, and I have to say, just as in that long ago time I don't feel the desire to read more. This is quite the opposite of how I feel when reading a McGee, Scudder, Parker, or Hap and Leonard series book. The first book in all those series made me want to go on to the next. I thought I, the Jury started better than I remembered, but the rest of the book was pretty boring despite a quick pace. I think that's because, unlike all those other series protago Been a long, long time since I've read a Hammer, and I have to say, just as in that long ago time I don't feel the desire to read more. This is quite the opposite of how I feel when reading a McGee, Scudder, Parker, or Hap and Leonard series book. The first book in all those series made me want to go on to the next. I thought I, the Jury started better than I remembered, but the rest of the book was pretty boring despite a quick pace. I think that's because, unlike all those other series protagonists, Mike Hammer is boring. I can imagine, post WWII, how an alpha-male, silent-type, might be popular, just don't get how Spillane's style got to the top of the heap. As for the plot, the biggest disappointment for me was knowing from very early on who the killer was and than having that turn out to be right. I won't spoil it, but that killer pretty much had to be the killer. The summary explanation by Hammer, just before he delivers his verdict and sentence, runs several pages in classic mystery convention and had me thinking, really, Spillane, that's the best you can come up with? Thin gruel, for sure. Oh, and Hammer actually would have been one of the first people this killer would have taken out and had ample opportunity to do so. Less believable and disappointing ending.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Josh

    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 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 willing. However, Spillane’s Hammer doesn’t conform to the playboy persona in the fullest, rather his constant refusal of sexual offers builds him as more than the stereotypical hardman womaniser. Spillane keeps his protagonist in check by way of Velda, Hammer’s secretary and seminal love interest. Mike Hammer’s style is blunt, forceful and everything his polar opposite, Pat, is not. In I, THE JURY, Hammer comes up against prostitution, drugs, murder, and deceit as he narrows the suspects down to the killer. This was a solid re-read as I work my way through the Mike Hammer library. This review is from I, THE JURY contained within the Mike Hammer Vol.1 Omnibus: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/99...

  14. 5 out of 5

    Dennis Anthony

    I like to think I’m pretty broad minded when it comes to reading older books. I’ve read a lot of hard boiled and soft boiled detective novels, but never read a Mickey Spillane book. I, the Jury was written in 1948 (I think) so I expected racist, sexist and misogynistic language and attitudes. It’s probably not fair judging yesterday’s standards by today’s, but my biggest issue with the book was being constantly pulled out of the narrative by racist Stepin Fetchit dialogue. Something about Mike H I like to think I’m pretty broad minded when it comes to reading older books. I’ve read a lot of hard boiled and soft boiled detective novels, but never read a Mickey Spillane book. I, the Jury was written in 1948 (I think) so I expected racist, sexist and misogynistic language and attitudes. It’s probably not fair judging yesterday’s standards by today’s, but my biggest issue with the book was being constantly pulled out of the narrative by racist Stepin Fetchit dialogue. Something about Mike Hammer’s smirking and smug “I’m top of the food chain” outlook was off putting and made me want to smack him with his own Colt .45. Except he’d probably punch me in the gut until I vomited, something that happens often in his books. All women find him irresistible, which I found more amusing than troubling. He acts as though he has it coming because he’s, well, Mike Hammer. The cops accommodate his intrusive behavior and seek out his advice ‘cause he’s so smart, and they look the other way when he’s naughty. When Mike explains that he’s going to shoot the bad guy dead, the cops sort of suggest he shouldn’t, but you get the sense they’ll overlook the faux pas if he does. Mike is troubled by the legal process. It’s slow and if you’ve got lots of money you’ll get off. Better to just shoot the bad guy in the belly and watch him bleed. Mike won’t lose any sleep over it. The book was an interesting snapshot of another time and is probably worth a read for this reason alone. Think of him as Dirty Harry before political correctness kicked into high gear. If that’s who you want in your cops, this is the man for you. He’s not a sympathetic character, not as witty as he thinks he is, and I don’t believe he’s especially bright, either. But if you want your PI hard boiled all the way through, he might be what you’re looking for. Me, not so much.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Nicky

    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 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 not exactly Chandler's "shop-soiled Galahad" -- heck, not even a Lancelot. It was really hard to enjoy that for those reasons, and because I guessed the killer well in advance. It's enjoyable enough as a trashy read, but I hope to god no one takes it seriously. I was going to strike the other two books off my list, but apparently Hammer gets a little less offensive and Spillane's plot gets a bit tighter, so I'll try them. I'll probably skim, though.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Toby

    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 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 right to the final line whether Hammer would keep the promise he makes at the start of the novel as Spillane skillfully demonstrates how to write a great hero and put him in a tough spot that people want to read about.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Daren

    The first of Spillane's Mike Hammer series, and my trial replacement for Raymond Chandler's Marlowe series (admittedly I still have a couple to go in that, but I worry for the future). Hammer is a tough-guy who I remember from my childhood as Stacy Keach - despite me being slightly too young at the time to understand all that was going on on tv. I guess I liked him because my dad did, and Hammer had a bunch of good lines and always won out in the end. I enjoyed this book, and have a few more in t The first of Spillane's Mike Hammer series, and my trial replacement for Raymond Chandler's Marlowe series (admittedly I still have a couple to go in that, but I worry for the future). Hammer is a tough-guy who I remember from my childhood as Stacy Keach - despite me being slightly too young at the time to understand all that was going on on tv. I guess I liked him because my dad did, and Hammer had a bunch of good lines and always won out in the end. I enjoyed this book, and have a few more in the series, so can rest a little easy for the completion of Marlowe. Spillane weaves a story with interesting and varied characters, rolls out a story as Hammer works his way through it, and the bodies pile up. At some level the murderer becomes more obvious as the story goes on, not because of the evidence becoming available, but due to the story line. I won't spoil it here, but if you have read it you will probably know where I am coming from. This was written in 1947, so there will be objections to this book if you are unable to separate that time from now. Casual racism, obvious sexism, beatings to obtain information - did I mention sexism? Hammer is a ladies man, and he kisses the dames when he needs to (or wants to, or both, or because he can't seem to resist). I enjoy these books as light relief reading - they work for me in short bursts, 20 minutes here 30 minutes there. You don't lose track, or have to go back for detail (unless you want to) and the story just rolls out. I don't feel obliged to solve the story - the reader isn't always provided with enough clues to do so correctly - although as above this one became clear. 4 stars

  18. 5 out of 5

    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 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. Fair enough. The novel is set in what I presume is New York (since the name of the city isn't mentioned, it's probably New York--ps. NYC writers, I hate that.) Mike Hammer, a private eye and war veteran, has just discovered that his war buddy Jack was brutally murdered. He vows to find the killer and do him in just like Jack was done, with a 45 slug in the gut. His cop friend Pat tries to dissuade him, but Mike is like a tank when he sets his mind on vengeance. This novel was written in 1950, and boy has a lot changed in those sixty years. From language ("let me alone" instead of "leave me alone", and the author feeling he needed to explain the phrase "cold turkey") to clothing (Mike Hammer visits his tailor no fewer than three times in the first novel, and he always wears a hat), to science (the "expert psychoanalyst" sounded like a sophomoric dumbass when talking about psychology, and hypnotism works differently in the novel than in real life) The starkest difference was sociological. There is, of course, rampant sexism. At one point the protagonist explains the antagonist's actions upon being a professional working woman instead of a housewife "You no longer had the social instinct of a woman--that of being dependent upon a man." There's plenty of racism too; you can tell who the black characters are because they're generally either servants or criminals, and they have apostrophe-laden speech. They also generally use more "sir", "massah" and "missus" in their speech. I did a doubletake when I heard of people losing their money in "the crash" and realizng it was the 1920s, or having him talk about fighting in the jungles in the war and adding up to realize it was WW2 and not Vietnam. I also had a shock when the self-described "big" progagonist revealed that he was 190 lbs. In what century was that a big man? Oh yeah, last century, that's right. So, this novel is a trip down memory lane for older readers, and a historical fiction for those of us born after the moon landing. But what a horrible, horrible time to live in! Sexism, racism, and even a bout of homophobia when Mike throws water on a couple of "fruits" who are fighting. After thinking about it, I realized that this novel is a lot like a trashy romance, except it's written for men. After all, the "hero" is a violent, psychopathic alcoholic whose best friend is a crooked cop. He describes his cop friend Pat as one of the good ones, because he's not crooked, but if you're a cop and you stand by while your civilian friend beats the crap out of people for no good reason, while the victim pleads with you to help, you're not a good cop. Mike Hammer beats first and asks questions later. He threatens with assault virtually every single man he questions, and some of them he beats up and/or threatens with a 45 even after they answer, if he doesn't like the answers he gets. He threatens people with violence if they refuse to break the law/betray their employer and let him into places he's not allowed to be. His secretary/partner, Velda, apparently has a thing for violent alcoholics, because she is in love with him and wants to marry him. His response to this is to jerk her around and pretend he's going to ask her to marry him. In the first chapter, he bets her a sandwich to a marriage license. If he lost, he'd marry her, if she lost, she'd buy him a sandwich. She lost. She responds to this emotional sadism by giving him the silent treatment, probably because she wasn't coldhearted enough to give him the shiv in the gut he deserved. So we have this guy who basically bullies, threatens, and shoots his way through investigations, as if the life of a private detective in 1950s New York were like being the POV character in a rather gruesome first person shooter. He drinks heavily too, going into his favorite bar where he has a standing order for a "rye and soda every fifteen minutes." In 2010 we'd call that guy an alcoholic (or a college kid learning to be an alcoholic) but in 1950 I guess that just meant you were a manly man. Naturally, if you're an antisocial violent alcoholic, the men fear and respect you and the hot sexy women want to either make love to you or marry you or both. (The good girls want to marry him, the one who doesn't is just a nymphomaniac.) So why is this like a trashy romance? Because trashy romances involve women who are a mess (can't keep her finances straight, shoe obsession, lost her keys, etc. etc.) who nonetheless gets everything she wants (a diamond ring from the 6'2" astrophysicist ball player duke who's also a rockstar) and has everyone adore her. Mike is a violent criminal who seems to be like catnip for every hot sexy young woman he meets. Because it's his story, he's the warrior hero instead of the psychopath who evades multiple assault and battery charges on account of his police connection. He's not admirable, but because his faults are writ so much larger (I hope) than the average reader, one can fantasize about being part of that world for a little while, and then go back to the (hopefully) less violent one. I would have given this book two stars, because I can't say that I really liked it all that much, but I wasn't reading it to like it so much as to trace the origin of a genre back a ways.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    Great fun to read - love the "shoot/punch now, ask questions later" character of Mike Hammer. Will definitely be reading more of this series.

  20. 4 out of 5

    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 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 three times that I can remember, but none of them have come close to the sheer brilliance and, well, shocking-ness (I'm an English teacher, I swear...) of Spillane's straightforward-as-a-bullet prose. He's Hemingway with a bigger dick. I even remember watching and enjoying the 80s TV show starring Stacy Keach. The problem with Keach was that he made Hammer seem almost too much of a teddy bear. Hammer isn't a nice guy, he's an asshole, and that's what makes him so damn lovable as a hero.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Timothy Boyd

    I am trying out the early Hard-Boiled detective stories to experience where the genre started. I figured they would all be just different shades of the same arch-type character. Wow was I surprised with Mike Hammer! Brutal but clever, honest but sly; Mike Hammer is a very complex character. Great fast paced story that drags you along to the action packed end. I was only going to read the first of each series book but I think I will try more of Mr. Hammer's adventures. Very recommended

  22. 5 out of 5

    Geoff Smith

    Okay so I enjoyed my first taste of Spillane. Mike Hammer's a tough guy. A real tough guy and the ladies and the crooks just cannot leave him alone. On discovery of the body of a close friend Mike sets out to put a bullet in the killer. What follows is pretty enjoyable, well managed P.I. Noir. The scenes and confrontations have just the right balance of tension and action and Mike's relationship with the Police is enjoyable. Now I'm a guy, and Spillane appears to be writing just for guys. Now, to Okay so I enjoyed my first taste of Spillane. Mike Hammer's a tough guy. A real tough guy and the ladies and the crooks just cannot leave him alone. On discovery of the body of a close friend Mike sets out to put a bullet in the killer. What follows is pretty enjoyable, well managed P.I. Noir. The scenes and confrontations have just the right balance of tension and action and Mike's relationship with the Police is enjoyable. Now I'm a guy, and Spillane appears to be writing just for guys. Now, to say that the female characters in I. The Jury are two dimensional would flatter the writer, and if I were a woman I would probably find the whole thing rather laughable. But as a dumb guy with a simple mind, I can read it, knowing it's flaky, and yet still not minding. After all I would quite like women to react to me the way they do to Mike Hammer. Is it bad to admit that? I think it's okay. Anyway, the book had me right to the end but I did find the ending a disappointment. I had seen the twist coming, but still I didn't feel that Mike's epiphany was foreshadowed or signposted enough and that his evidence was pretty flimsy... In short I the ending was a bit [email protected]$%. A good read - but probably won't read another.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Pop

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I first read this over 5 decades ago while serving Uncle Sam’s Army in Germany. We had little means of entertainment over there, nothing short of blowing our pay playing cards, boozing at the EM club, and of course going downtown to the local guest houses. I was introduced to reading by my roommate, whose taste in books included the likes of Donald Hamilton, J.D. MacDonald and Mickey Spillane. So when the money was about to run out we read. I probably read ever Mike Hammer, Matt Helm and Travis I first read this over 5 decades ago while serving Uncle Sam’s Army in Germany. We had little means of entertainment over there, nothing short of blowing our pay playing cards, boozing at the EM club, and of course going downtown to the local guest houses. I was introduced to reading by my roommate, whose taste in books included the likes of Donald Hamilton, J.D. MacDonald and Mickey Spillane. So when the money was about to run out we read. I probably read ever Mike Hammer, Matt Helm and Travis McGee written at the time along with any book with similar bad guys and women that we could get our hands own. I vaguely remember the details of “I, The Jury” but figured out who done it quickly (only because I had read most all of the Hammer books and had knowledge of his character). This was a fun read and reading it brought back memories of good times. Thanks Mickey!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Koen

    Going on for five stars ... Most all detective stories, which I primarily enjoy as puzzles/challenges (like a sudoku or a chess game or a math puzzle), leave me to some extent dismayed at the end: minor or even flagrant illogicalities/improbabilities abound, as do instances of the author's glaring ignorance of his (more often her) subject matter (armchair travelers/philosophers' writing -lack of legwork) ... this one did not. A perfectly satisfying whodunit. Strong writing, too - a bit annoying Going on for five stars ... Most all detective stories, which I primarily enjoy as puzzles/challenges (like a sudoku or a chess game or a math puzzle), leave me to some extent dismayed at the end: minor or even flagrant illogicalities/improbabilities abound, as do instances of the author's glaring ignorance of his (more often her) subject matter (armchair travelers/philosophers' writing -lack of legwork) ... this one did not. A perfectly satisfying whodunit. Strong writing, too - a bit annoying now and then because of its adolescent preoccupation with fighting, drinking and so, above all its repetitious mention of women's physical qualities (and there we have yet another pair of incredibly sexy legs ... yuck ... I may be getting old). Therefore not five stars - but only just. (And is it as clever and convoluted as the very best of Dame Agatha? Ah, ...no.)

  25. 4 out of 5

    emily

    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 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 Kade and Jesse James. (I was thinking at first that I meant the outlaw Jesse James, as killed by Robert Ford, but motorcycle mechanic/womanizer/racist J.J. may be the better fit.)

  26. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Okay, so Mickey Spillane’s detective/vigilante, Mike Hammer, comes across as a misogynist, homophobic, racist. Now that I got that out of the way, I really did enjoy this book. Yes, it’s dated with it’s ideals and perception of society, but this was the 50s and the mindset of America was a completely different one (although tRump is determined to set the clocks back to this period of time which we need not revisit, but that’s an altogether different matter). That being said, I enjoyed the grit a Okay, so Mickey Spillane’s detective/vigilante, Mike Hammer, comes across as a misogynist, homophobic, racist. Now that I got that out of the way, I really did enjoy this book. Yes, it’s dated with it’s ideals and perception of society, but this was the 50s and the mindset of America was a completely different one (although tRump is determined to set the clocks back to this period of time which we need not revisit, but that’s an altogether different matter). That being said, I enjoyed the grit and pulp of I, The Jury and it’s realistic dialogue of an era one can only find in film noir. It’s a quick, slim read, and if you can wince past some of the dated references, Spillane’s world of dames, .45s, and street smart criminals is worth a try.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    So much testosterone. Classic noir is not my thing but I needed to fill the square on my Halloween bingo card. It did remind me of a cop show in the 80s my parents would watch and when I looked it up I realized that's because they made a tv show surrounding Mike Hammer. I wonder if it was as sexist as the book? I am going to guess, yes. It was the 80s. I didn't care for Mike always threatening to "swat" or rough up women but again I guess it's the product of it's culture.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kristy

    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 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 later. He doesn’t care about the legal system or due process and will do anything – including beating up and making out with anyone, apparently – to get his information. At one point in this book Hammer threatens a man by telling him: “I’ll smack you so hard you’ll spill your insides all over the joint!”. Whoa there, Mike. I probably won’t read any more Spillane – he’s one of those authors that make me feel like I’m steadily becoming dumber the more I read his work. I doubt anyone could even be offended by the frequent racial and mysogynist statements issued by Hammer because everything here is so silly and over-the-top. Now I think I’m going to read a dense classic to punish myself for spending time on “I, the Jury”. Still, it was good for a laugh.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jim Davis

    I guess I'm not a big Mike Hammer/Mickey Spillane fan. I have been an avid fan of Hammett's Sam spade and the Continental op and Chandler's Philip Marlowe. This list - http://www.thrillingdetective.com/tri... - places Hammer 14th in an all time list of hard-boiled characters. If you limit it to private eyes of the same or earlier time period would put him 5th after Marlowe, Spade, Continental Op and Lew Archer. The writing style seems to start with a Spade/Marlowe like PI and then removes most of I guess I'm not a big Mike Hammer/Mickey Spillane fan. I have been an avid fan of Hammett's Sam spade and the Continental op and Chandler's Philip Marlowe. This list - http://www.thrillingdetective.com/tri... - places Hammer 14th in an all time list of hard-boiled characters. If you limit it to private eyes of the same or earlier time period would put him 5th after Marlowe, Spade, Continental Op and Lew Archer. The writing style seems to start with a Spade/Marlowe like PI and then removes most of the extraneous factors like a moral code (even if it was an ambiguous one), any trace of romanticism, most emotions other than hate or lust and anything resembling contemplation. What's left, toughness, determination, single mindedness and an extremely violent nature that kills with no remorse if he thinks the person deserved it. But the character becomes a little shallow without the missing attributes listed above. The lack of depth in the protagonist restricts the writing style to relaying facts and simple dialogue usually limited to all the things Hammer is going to do to the bad guy when he gets him. There is a lot of sex in the book but it seems unrealistic and repetitive and sometimes overly rough.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    This audiobook was provided by the narrator at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobook Boom. Story: 1 star Narration: 2 stars Hated this one. Mike Hammer is a hard-boiled private detective, but all the “bad” characteristics about him are magnified a hundred-fold. He’s a racist, he’s a misogynist, he’s blind to the clues in front of him as he searches for his buddy’s killer, he’s heavy-handed with the torture, and he’s completely hell-bent on vengeance, no matter what anyone This audiobook was provided by the narrator at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobook Boom. Story: 1 star Narration: 2 stars Hated this one. Mike Hammer is a hard-boiled private detective, but all the “bad” characteristics about him are magnified a hundred-fold. He’s a racist, he’s a misogynist, he’s blind to the clues in front of him as he searches for his buddy’s killer, he’s heavy-handed with the torture, and he’s completely hell-bent on vengeance, no matter what anyone tells him (in fact, it seems most of his “friends” enable him). I don’t think I’ll continue with any more of the Mike Hammer series. The narration wasn’t bad, except it was most one-note. All of the male characters had a deep, raspy, husky voice, and all of the female characters had a falsetto, raspy, husky voice. It would have been better if the narrator had simply read the book without the voices.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.