"THERE IS NO PHONINESS IN SPILLANE": FIRST EDITION OF KISS ME, DEADLY, INSCRIBED BY MICKEY SPILLANE
SPILLANE, Mickey. Kiss Me, Deadly. New York: E. P. Dutton, 1952. Octavo, original russet cloth, original dust jacket. $1800.
First edition of the iconic Mike Hammer mystery, a distinctive presentation copy with a lengthy inscription by Spillane, "January 12, 1983 To J— C— a big hello from Mike and me! There's still one more book left in the old boy yet—and due for late '83—Great to hear from you! Mickey Spillane."
"At one time, a list of the top ten best-selling American fictional works of the 20th century contained the first seven Spillane novels… There is no phoniness in Spillane—the man, the stylist, or the storyteller" (Steinbrunner & Penzler, 368). Spillane introduced his "most celebrated and notorious character, detective Mike Hammer," in his 1947 novel, I, the Jury (Dark Page II:172). Kiss Me, Deadly, the seventh Mike Hammer novel, is widely considered his most iconic and most controversial. "With writers like Jim Thompson, Ross Macdonald, Cornell Woolrich and Mickey Spillane, the hardboiled texts were changing rapidly in the postwar period… Kiss Me, Deadly, perhaps more than any other of Spillane's novels, dramatizes the anxieties of the 1950s… No one in this book is safe or capable of surviving" (Jaber, Criminal Femmes Fatales, 147-148). Spillane's novel quickly reached Hollywood as the basis for director Robert Aldrich's legendary 1955 film (which dropped Spillane's comma from the title). "In addition to being the best Spillane film… Kiss Me Deadly is among the finest of all private eye films… Critics Elliot Lavine and Bob Stephens stated that Kiss Me Deadly is unquestionably the great noir film of the 50s" (Collins, Mickey Spillane on Film, 44). "First Edition" on copyright page. First issue dust jacket: front panel with one of two variants: circular framing device (this copy) or triangular framing device; no priority established (Johnson, Dark Page II:226, 176). Hubin II:761. Magill, 1508-1513. In his lively inscription to this copy, Spillane's mention of his next Mike Hammer novel is likely a reference to The Killing Man, published in 1989. Contains the distinctive bookplate of author and renowned bibliophile Arthur Homer Goldstone. He was especially known for his bibliographies of John Steinbeck and Arthur Machen, and his collection of works by Rockwell Kent, as well as detective novelists such as Ellery Queen and Mickey Spillane.
Book fine; only light edge-wear to price-clipped near-fine dust jacket.