Hardcase crime author Max Allan Collins answers the question: "Who do you read?"


11 Responses to “Hardcase crime author Max Allan Collins answers the question: "Who do you read?"”

  1. scifijazznik says:

    Another teacher at the University of Iowa told me a writer who has never read Proust is worthless, so I have never read Proust, just to spite him. He probably never read Hammett.

    Amen to that, brother.  I struggled through about 100 pages of Remembrance of Things Past, falling asleep every half a page before I finally worked up the courage to toss it dans la poubelle.

    I’m not familiar with Collins, but I love Mickey Spillane and I’m totally sold on the old school pulp paperback art the graces the cover there.  And, indeed, The Maltese Falcon is still totally badass.

    • mccrum says:

      Count me among the many who have tried Proust.  I’ve heard so many good things but it was just too much for me.

      However, I do recall sleeping really well at the time I was working my way through it so I can’t say it doesn’t have its uses on my shelf.

  2. “I still re-read Dashiell Hammett. No one has written a better tough detective story than The Maltese Falcon, and no one ever will.” Ah, but someone has.  It’s called The Glass Key, which just so happens to be written by, well, Dashiell Hammett.

  3. Guest says:

    Knitters like puzzles and so tend to be mystery/suspense readers.  After many years of reading mysteries, the characters I would faithfully follow were those written by Nevada Barr, Sue Grafton, and Dana Stabenow.  However, I got tired of watching my favorite heroines get the shit kicked out of them in every single new novel, to prove some point about women being just as tough as men and to sell books.  If these were the smartest, funniest, middle-aged detectives I knew, why couldn’t they think, joke, and out-fox their opponents first once in a while, rather than wiggling out of yet another near death experience, adding to the road map of scars on their bodies, and the body counts of dead friends and lovers? 

    No woman, even a fictitious one, would stay working as a detective, if it meant getting beaten up and nearly killed every 18 months!  A smart woman would find gainful employment doing something else, anything else!  So, the characters lost plausibility with me and I quit reading those stories.

    I guess I’m saying, this is who I’m no longer reading.

  4. MTBooks says:

    Look at that cover art.

    Just look at it.

  5. rtresco says:

    It’s fitting that the cover art is Robert McGinnis – the undisputed king of crime novel covers.
    I buy a McGinnis paperback whenever I come across one.

    He’s aslo well known for movie posters.

  6. spinben says:

    I am (and have been for over 20 years) an avid reader of Max Allan Collins and could not agree more. I still re-read Hammett and Chandler, and waited eagerly for my pre-ordered Max and Mickey collaborations (including this one). 
    I’ve been a follower of Hard Case Crime since the inception and heartily recommend it to everyone who loves the form- http://hardcasecrime.com/. 

  7. pt68 says:

    Robert McGinnis also did  cover art for early titles of one of my faves, John  D. MacDonald’s Travis McGee series:

  8. buddy66 says:


    So it’s not just the guys…
    My brother gives me private eye stories where the peepers regularly get the shit beat out of them. I mean totally get the shit beat out of them; pages-long descriptions of brutal ass-kicking fests. What’s going on here? Are all the fans of this weird genre vicarious sadists or masochists? I don’t know this Collins guy, but I’ll bet his fictional avatar is just another goddamn punching bag. It’s a long way from Chandlers’s tap of a sap behind the ear and a plunge into temporary unconsciousness.

    • Guest says:

      Apparently the beatings to the heroines are administered about the head and shoulders causing some kind of amnesia, because by the next novel they’ve gotten really fuzzy on assaults that would have permanently traumatized any live human, and they’re ready to go another round with the Bad Guys.  Maybe the authors are just trying to compete for the same entertainment dollars as the movie studios and that over-the-top violence.  It just seems more violent and wrenching to me when it’s in print.

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