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Donald Hamilton Worship Page
I just got a message from Keith Wease about his new ebook about Matt Helm:
I've followed your website for quite a while, especially while trying to find Gordon. I'm a long time Matt Helm fan and I wrote the prequel to the series, entitled "MATT HELM: The War Years." I used Donald Hamilton's many references in his books to Matt's WWII experiences, filled in the details, and added some of my own (yes, Tina is in the book). It took about 2 years to find Gordon and finalize an agreement to publish the book. Finally, it has been done. Gordon liked the book and recommended it to Titan Books (the company reprinting the series), and it is pending their decision right now. In the meantime, I published it as a Kindle book on Amazon. Here's a link, i f you are interested:
Keith sent me an ebook and it is excellent. He captures Donald Hamilton's voice very well and I am sure that Don would be proud. Many of the vignettes that Don only hinted at in his series have been elaborated on here by Keith. I recommend it.
|Check out the banner ad at the top of the page and read about MY book.|
|Thanks to everybody for the wonderful response to this page. I really
appreciate all the great comments. I get about 2 to 3 emails a month from fans who have found this site. There are more of us out there than book publishers would lead us to believe.|
If you have any news about Donald Hamilton or his books that you would like made public, send them to me and I will try to include them in the page. As far as I know there is no official fan club, but this can be used as an unofficial fan page.
If you wish to review any other of Hamilton's books, send it to me and I will include it here.
Hamilton was born as Donald
Bentgsson Hamilton on March 24, 1916 in Uppsala, Sweden. He migrated to
the U.S. in 1924. He graduated from the University of
Chicago in 1938 with a BS degree in Chemistry. He grew up on the
east coast in or around Maryland. When his career as a writer took off, he
moved his family to Santa Fe. His wife has passed away, but he has two sons and two daughters and numerous grandchildren.
His son's mailing address for the moment is:
A while back I got some significant news from Gordon on book publishing.
" Just a quick note to let you know that next week Titan Books out of England will be announcing that, starting in 2013,
they will be bringing Matt Helm back to the bookstore shelves! After lengthy negotiations, we came to an agreement to bring
out the first five novels in the series, with first option for the rest. Titan recently became the distributor for Hard Case
Crime, which re-published Don's noir novel "Night Walker" a few years ago.
This is very good news. Soon the books will become available to a whole new generation. You may soon be able to get those
copies that you don't currently have. Too bad the movie news is going nowhere.
Mark Martinez has moved his archives of everything related to Donald Hamilton to http://www.mmtz.us/dh/
There has been a significant buzz a while back on some movement on a new Matt Helm movie. Rumours abounded about it being directed by Steven Spielberg, or maybe only produced by Spielberg, or maybe that he is interested in something about the movie. It's hard to tell where truth ends and nonsense begins. The rumour at the time was that Bradley Cooper of Alias fame and a few chick flicks may be in the running. I HATE!!! this idea. He is not Matt Helm! He might be good as the irritating DEA guy that Helm has to kill.
Another rumour was that the latest draft of the script was written by Paul Attanasio (Sphere, The Sum of All Fears, The Good German). I never saw any of these, so I couldn't say whether this is good news or not. I suggest that you do a google search to find out the latest buzz beccause it changes daily.
My biggest worry is that it will be made and turn out terrible and make me and all us fans of the real Matt Helm hate it.
Book ListI have moved the book reviews to their own page. Go there if you need to see a list of his stuff.
|I got some photos of Don from some years back when he was still hale and hearty. These are copyrighted by Buddy Mays who was an old hunting companion. You can see them here.|
Randy Schultz has created a discussion group on Yahoo for Matt Helm and general DH discussion. You can visit it at
This would be a good place to discuss who could play the new Matt Helm.
Mark Martinez has put up a page with links to download various scans of old Donald Hamilton stories and articles as printed in various magazines over the years. You can find them HERE.
Mark has done a considerable amount of work searching out other Hamilton related stuff and his pages are well worth searching out. He routinely posts news of anything new on the yahoo group.
Iwan Morelius visited Donald Hamilton and his son in Visby Sweden some years back. He has written an article and included pictures that I have published here.
There was a article in the May 2002 issue of Booklist magazine on the Matt Helm TM series. Frank Sennett called DH in Sweden and interviewed him and his son Gordon for the article and covered the history of the Matt Helm series for readers who don't know about it. He also discussed the problems DH has had getting his last book published. I found a copy through my local librarian. You may be able to find one through your librarian as it is the kind of magazine that is directed at them.
John Fraser wrote a series of long articles on his website about the thriller genre and one of the articles focused on Hamilton's work during the forties. This is a very long article so be prepared to spend some time in front of your computer. (Those of us who are lazy, like myself, may want to print it out) Fraser also discusses many of DHs other books in his Quickies section.
The Hollywood Reporter has reported that Spielberg's Dreamworks bought the Matt Helm series and it will be a franchise like James Bond. Robert Luketic from Legally Blond has already signed on as director of the first film. No mention on title or star yet. (It seems they are still ocnsidering this in 2007, but according to Gordan Hamilton, they are dawdling on it.)
I also received word that it is unlikely that anymore Helm books will be coming from DH. I was told the reasons were several but I got no details. If things change I will let you know here.
Jeremy Duns managed to get a telephone interview with Donald Hamilton and his son Gordon.
They moved back to Sweden, to the island of Gotland. DH wanted to get back to his roots. He lives with Gordon and his family in Visby, one of Europe's last medieval cities. Gordon does not have an email address. DH was in poor health and having memory problems, and is concentrating on recuperating. It was doubted he will write another novel. There was no word on the status of his last novel. (We now know that he didn't. Even his last is still unpublished.)
Jeremy is writing a spec article on secret agent novels. If he gets it sold and lets me know where, I will let you know.
Bill Mosteller sent me a page he put together describing the locations of various Helm adventures and the women he got involved with and whether they survived the book. He also gave a date of publication and the length of the book. It's interesting how book lengths changed over time. The Death of a Citizen was a mere 142 pages, whereas later books like Infiltrators and Demolishers were 347 pages. I have noticed the tendency of published books to get much fatter in the 70s and later. I have stacks of Mickey Spillane and other writers from the 50s and 60s and 70s and all genres including Science fiction and adventure tended toward bulk. I still have to say I prefer the old days when the writer said what was on his mind and got it over with, but I guess publishers demanded such largess. I figure they felt they couldn't charge the outrageous prices they do today if the book was under 150 pages. Many of my old paperbacks have a cover price of 25 cents. Prices today can get up to 30 times that figure.
I got an email a number of years ago from Gordon Hamilton, his son, while he was over here on business matters. You can read it.
A few years back I wrote to Mr. Hamilton and got a reply. At that time he was in Poland, but not for literary reasons, but because they painted boats much more cheaply than in Denmark where he had been staying. He and his son Gordon had been living in Europe, with Gordon's family, buying boats, fixing them up and selling them. He is evidently not doing that anymore as he is reported to be living in Sweden on a more permanent basis.
Dave DeLaurant sent me a note that he located a massive collection (155 boxes/77.5 linear feet) of Donald Hamilton's personal papers, held at UCLA's Special Collections Department, University Research Library. These are supposed to date from 1945-1995, and consists of "manuscripts, worksheets, and galleys of published and unpublished work by author Donald Hamilton. Also contains correspondence, articles, clippings and paperback American and foreign editions of his books, as well as personal files and material pertaining to research trips." Pretty cool, huh?
Dave also sent me several articles he found in 'Gun Digest' and 'Knives' magazines. The former were a series of related acounts of Mr. Hamilton's rekindled desire to have a successful antelope hunt, and the latter was a description of how knives figured largely in many of his novels.
If you have ever read his collection 'On Guns and Hunting' reviewed below, you will recall that several of the stories were about disappointments while hunting antelope. Hamilton gave up hunting large game in later years and did most of his adventuring afield with a shotgun. But in his seventies he got the hankering to fix his earlier misfortunes and get that damn trophy antelope that he had missed out on years earlier, and also to prove that an old man had not quite lost all his abilities. He started out small, going after a white-tail in southwest Texas. His old 308 had been retired because it beat his old shoulders to hell and he bought a new 243. After several problems getting the gun to shoot right, he finally got his deer and was ready for an antelope. But the gun was still giving him fits and he wasn't quite confident with it. After dragging his old 308 out and missing a few good shots at antelope he decided it wasn't so much the gun as it was him. He bought an Anschutz 22 to do some target shooting and get his confidence back, and then he found a 25-06 that was available. It was just the answer. It had longer range but didn't beat him to pieces like his 308.
Incidentally, the account of 22 practice sessions reminded me of one of his later novels where Helm in semi-retirement buys a 22 and starts regular practice at a local range. Funny how real life keeps intruding on his books.
Anyway, he takes the new rifle to Montana and gets his antelope. He mentions a desire to go on and get an elk, but I don't know if he ever did. If you are an older gent, or a younger gent worried about becoming an older gent, these articles are full of good ideas of what to think about when planning a hunt.
The knife article is a straightforward account of his lifelong love of sharp things and how often what Helm happened to carry in one book or another reflected what Hamilton himself happened to be carrying at the time. The magazine editor also included numerous book covers with a description of the lethal sharp things Helm used on various bad boys and girls.
Actors Who Could Play Matt Helm
One of the things that gripe many Donald Hamilton fans was the jokey treatment of the Matt Helm books in the four movies made with Dean Martin. Taken by themselves they were funny and sexy, but they turned off a lot of readers to ever trying the real Matt Helm books. Imagine if you will that Casino Royale was the definition of what most people thought of James Bond. Or if Star Wars had never been any more serious that Space Balls. Well, I started wondering who would have been right to play Matt Helm if a serious movie were ever made about our favorite government tough guy. Many fans agreed with me and offered their own opinions. If you would like to see a discussion about who these fans think could be or could have been right to play Matt Helm in a serious movie based on one of DH's books go to this page.
|FoDH (Fans of Donald Hamilton)|
|If you would like to add your name and optional email to this list of Fans of Donald Hamilton, click here.|
|Greg Ferguson, Claudia, Al Smoldt, Suresh Govindachar, Rick DeJulio, Clyde Clark, Father Doug Skoyles, Rennie Petersen, Mike, John Peel, Michel/Marianne Boutet, John E. Manzo, Duncan Baldwin, Barb Groth, James Stephenson, Chris Chamberlin, Thomas Owen, James Lindsay, Juan Jose Galatas, Jeff Bauman, Bill Crider, Peter Barrett, Hank Shiffman, Rita, Dave DeLaurant, David McKimmey, Skip Maloney, Tracy Irvine, R Buck, Rick Geritz, and his brother Kurt, John Gunn, Adrian Bulman, Ray Price III, Chris Holder, Rob Hudon, Stephanie Best, An Old Lady in Arizona, Philip D. McEachern, Eddie Stevenson, Charles Eisenhart, Thomas Owen, Jack Manderscheid, George Chakides, Bill Minnich, Szymon Jakimowicz, Samuel Rusk, Fred Glienna, Dallas Denny, Loyd Walker, John Gerth, Ken Leibowitz, Randy Milan-Williams, David Yeargin, Kate Moore, Gordon Shumway, Bill Mosteller, Dallas Steele, Philip D. McEachern, Stan Bussey, Brian Maclean, Scott D. Wareham, Ken Lazar, Bill Hurst, Duke of Hockley Valley, Paul W. Yeager, Tim Cronin, Steve Armstrong, Hayford Peirce, Gordon F. Corbett, Kate Moore, Cynthia Suzanne Longworth, Richard I. Pelletier, S.Vinaya Kumar, Buddy Mays, Eric C. Sanders, Dale Grigg, Sherman Barnes, Gerard Demetrius, Roy Ward, Gert Walter, David Lemmo, Dan Lewis, John F Musser, Elwood Parsons, L. Hereford, Robert Skinner, Leonard Thomason, James Lindsay, Michael R. Myers, Bruce Nordstrom, Katherine A. Jena, Ron Stephens, Denise L. Moss-Fritch, Hank Parnell, Rosella Alm, Anna Schauer, Bob James, Greg Fleckenstein, Paul Anderson, Gary Nugent, Candice Miller, Gene McCollum, Michael Burrell, Steve Parker, Tim Ritter, Leonard W. Thomason, Bryan Daum, Tony Wesley, Randy Schultz, Steve Flowers, Jim H, Larry D. Loper, Alland Day, Ed Taylor, Terry Tibbetts, david purcell, Gaston Genar, Carl J. Iannacone, Raymond Dzik, CFE, James Sullivan Prine, Bill Plette, Skip Maloney, Drew Stasiak, Richard Westbrook, Clive Woollands, Timothy H. Willis, R.BruceEnglish, Ron Fox from Minnesota, Steven Ashby, Kenneth Mark Hoover, Gregg L. Bouslog, David A. Reiman, Dan Streeter (nephew), Chris Powe, Robert W. Phillips, JRobert W. Phillips, Iwan Morelius, Donald J. Hamilton (no relation but a look-alike. Hones, Rick Colliver, george wooden, David Richards, David Spinner, Randy Johnson, Major David O. Buck, Charles Lee Jackson, II, Fred Zimmerman, Ed Thoele, RICK BAUGHN, Paul Kennedy, Rick E Koen, sid sidiky, Ted Fontenot, Tom Ha, James R. Franklin, Jr., Brian Davidson, John Woolley, carlos wilson, Bernie Gordon, Richard Sullivan, Roger "Doc" Shenkle, Gerard Forsberg, Jacqueline Forsberg, bob j. elhoff, David Schifferdecker, Lawrence J. H. Bruce, Raymond Woodward, Rob Siders, Larry Cooke, mark benish, Fritz Huls, Bill Bucko, Bryan W. Frazier., John Scott, Mike Mitchell, Patrick Graybill, Matthew Novak, Bruce McLeod, Paul Lorenz, Steve Jackson, Sam Mantooth, Eli, Lewis R. Brescoll, Tom Mathews, Washington R Johnson, Rick E Koen, Leigh Cain, Art Brown, Stuart Schwid, Jenny Mills, Cornwall UK, Lynn, Blue Sun, Charlie Barbera, Richard E. Marvin, Bob James, Gary Wilkett, Jose Tenembaum, Rocky Rolph,|
Bookfinder.com. A good way to get copies you don't have.
Also try American Book Exchange
Wikipedia has a page for Matt Helm
Another reviewer writes about Matt Helm.
Another Matt Helm page, originally the Mac Borden pages by Don Winans.
Philip McEachern has created a page of maps of Helm's various adventures.
By all means, find his books and read them for a wild ride with a really tough dude.
|Matt Helm is a Trademark of Integute AB|