I, the Jury : Mike Hammer

  • by Mickey Spillane
  • Narrated by Mike Dennis
  • Series: Mike Hammer
  • 5 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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!

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read this one for what it is

Mike Hammer is the hard hitting, hard drinking private investigator who is going to find the man who murdered his best friend; then take care of him before the cops do.  Beautiful women fall at Mike like bowling pins and anyone in his way gets a fist or a bullet.  It’s New York City in the late 1940’s and if you aren’t tough, you might be dead.

It is important to put this book and its famous author in context.  It was written in 1947 and that’s a long time ago now.  Many things were different and many things sound pretty course to our modern ear.  There is a lot of bigotry, homophobia and sexism in the dialogue.  It was probably not meant to be offensive, but colloquial to give color to the scenes.  Spillane started an entire genre of hard hitting crime fiction novels that are often copied to this day.

Put that aside if you can and enjoy a deliciously cheesy novel about two dimensional characters that do impossibly reckless things.  In one scene, for example, Mike Hammer slams the heads of two men together like coconuts because they were ogling his girl.  She giggles and tells him how safe she feels in his arms.

It might have been meant to be serious when it was written, but it comes across as improbable now, and actually quite funny.  Enjoy it from a literary, historical point of view and you’ll have fun.  Take it seriously and you’ll be quite disappointed.  Too many clichés, plot holes and character flaws for that.

The story is performed by Mike Dennis who does a fine job of it.  His voice fits the rough Mike Hammer perfectly,  you can almost hear the stubble growing on his chin.  His other characters are mostly fine, distinctive enough and easily discerned from each other.

It’s almost impossible to put ourselves into the mindset of a 1940’s reader.  You will recognize so many modern detective stories in Spillane’s work.  It’s worth it just for that perspective.  Don’t get offended and read this one for what it is and you’ll have a bit of fun.

Audiobook was provided for review by the narrator.

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- AudioBook Reviewer "All of my reviews are on my blog audiobookreviewer dot com"

Disappointed

What would have made I, the Jury better?

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.


How could the performance have been better?

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.


Any additional comments?

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- ssimon2000 "trumpet/bass"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-28-2015
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio