Primal Spillane: Early Stories 1941-1942

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Size / Format:
270 pages / 5.5" x 8.5" Softcover
Size / Format:
270 pages / 6" x 9" Hardcover
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by Mickey Spillane

Edited by Max Allan Collins & Lynn F. Myers, Jr.

(also available in eBook  format)

41 fast-moving short-short stories by the creator of Mike Hammer! Revised and expanded with 14 new stories, including "A Turn of the Tide," a previously unpublished tale.

Before Mike Hammer, P.I. made his explosive debut in I, the Jury, author Mickey Spillane (1918-2006) toiled in relative obscurity, writing short-short stories as filler material in Golden Age comic books. Their purpose to fulfill a postal requirement, these stories were the literary boot-camp for the future king of hardboiled fiction.

In commemoration of the Spillane centenary, Bold Venture Press released the newly revised and expanded edition of Primal Spillane: Early Stories 1941 - 1942. This unique anthology, long out-of-print and largely unavailable, contains additional material never before reprinted — and a newly discovered, previously unpublished story by Spillane.

In this collection, you’ll meet high-flying soldiers, a prospector exploring a Lovecraftian mine-shaft, a light-fingered con artist, an overworked cub reporter, a hapless exterminator, and many others.

Readers have the opportunity to see a master develop his craft. Primal Spillane collects the earliest short stories bylined Mickey Spillane — Each story moves fast, and concludes with the trademark Spillane “socko finish.”

Today's combined cost of the rare comic books in which these text pieces first appeared would be more than that of a new Cadillac; but these short stories provide their own memorable rides. Their value as a training ground for the 20th Century's top crime-fiction writer is priceless when compared to the millions of fans across the world entertained by Mickey Spillane's prose.

Introduction by Max Allan Collins, America’s top crime-fiction author, and Lynn F. Myers, Jr.

Read more about Primal Spillane in the blog post "Sudden Fiction" — publisher Rich Harvey offers a few insights in the latest installment of "Bold Venture Bulletins."

Read "Trouble — Come and Get It!" by Mickey Spillane, selected by Rich Harvey from Primal Spillane.

Story list

The stories numbered 1-28 appeared in the original Gryphon Books edition (2003). Stories numbered 29-41 are unique to this new edition; #41 "A Turn of the Tide" was previously unpublished and appears for the first time anywhere.

  1. Trouble — Come and Get It!
  2. A Case of Poison Ivy
  3. Clams Make the Man
  4. Creature of the Deep
  5. Fresh Meat for a Raider
  6. The Curse of Tut Ken Amen
  7. Flight Over Tokyo
  8. Devil Cat
  9. Jinx Heap
  10. Jap Trap
  11. Killer’s Return
  12. The Man in the Moon
  13. Scram, Bugs
  14. The Sea Serpent
  15. The Ship in the Desert
  16. Undersea Champion
  17. Woe is Me
  18. Spook Ship
  19. Terror in the Grass
  20. Tight Spot
  21. Lumps of Death
  22. Satan Himself
  23. Sky Busters
  24. Last Ride
  25. The Sea of Grassy Death
  26. The Secret of the Wreck
  27. The Woim Toins
  28. Woodman’s Test
  29. Fast Thinking
  30. Death in the Sea
  31. Phony Fish
  32. Goon With the Wind
  33. Fighting Mad
  34. No Prisoners
  35. Ham For a Yegg
  36. I l l Wind
  37. Spy Paper
  38. Target Terrors
  39. The Mouse Fights Back
  40. Shot in the Dark
  41. A Turn of the Tide

1 Review Hide Reviews Show Reviews

  • 4
    Shades of the older writer

    Posted by Ceylon Barclay on Sep 30th 2018

    I enjoyed the fast pace and construction of the stories, truly shades of the later writer.