Saturday, January 12, 2013

One Lonely Night

One Lonely Night is a Mike Hammer novel by Mickey Spillane. The Elder Son loaned this to me after warning me it would insult my feminist sensitivities. Isn't he cute? I remember the Stacey Keach Mike Hammer mid-80s TV show fondly. It was extremely sexist. At least Spillane's work has some excuse, dating as it does from the 1940s/50s. I don't require my reading material to be inoffensive. I don't have to agree with it to enjoy it.

That said, it certainly is a period piece. I'd have to say it moves from mere sexism into misogyny, including, as it does, a scene in which Hammer strips a woman naked and beats her with a belt. The act is prefaced by this,
I slid my belt off and let it dangle from my hand. I watched her face. I saw the gamut of emotions flash by in quick succession, leaving a startled expression of pure animal terror.

"Maybe you should know why you're getting this, Ethel. It's something you should have gotten a long time ago. Your father should have given it to you when you started fooling around with one of those Commie bastards who was after the dough you could throw his way instead of yourself. I'm going to lace the hell out of you and you can scream all you want, and nobody will be around to hear you but me and that's what I want to hear."
Stunning! Just stunning!

Also, I had the big mystery figured out so early that the final revelation was a bit disappointing. I will read the other 2 in the anthology The Elder Son loaned me but won't seek out others.


  1. That's a disturbing scene. Why the big reveal so early I wonder?

    1. the actual reveal was at the end of the book, but by the time they "revealed" it i had known for so long i'd forgotten it hadn't actually been said. i don't usually guess the mysteries early, and i was disappointed at the way it was handled.

      _very_ disturbing indeed. :(