... an engaging, capacious and largely celebratory account, presenting the writer, his works and their multimedia adaptations as worthy of serious consideration ... “Spillane” emphasizes the gentler side of its subject, only fleetingly considering the charming writer’s crueller opinions and actions.
... a knockout biography ... Collins and Traylor do an outstanding job analyzing Spillane’s impact on the publishing industry, and they are equally sharp in assessing why the Hammer novels’ dreamscape vision of postwar Manhattan... was so attractive to alienated vets ... But there’s more to this story than Spillane’s books. The authors also detail his fascinating personal life ... A thoroughly engrossing life story and an indispensable account of the rise of paperback publishing.
They’re at their best when mapping the Spillane metaverse ... and weakest in their uncritical praise of their subject as a plotter, stylist, Jehovah’s Witness, and human being ... The authors conclude with a formidable array of appendices ... Fans who’ve been waiting for a life of Spillane will gobble this up.