Michael Avallone

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Michael Angelo Avallone Jr. (born October 27, 1924 in New York City ; died February 26, 1999 in Los Angeles ) was an American writer. He wrote a large number of less demanding novels under numerous pseudonyms, including many novel versions . He saw himself as the King of Pulp ("King of the paperback") and Fastest Typewriter in the East (" Fastest Typewriter in the East ").


Avallone was the child of a Catholic family in the Lower East Side with 16 siblings. The father was a stonemason and sculptor. He grew up in the Bronx and attended Theodore Roosevelt High before joining the US Army in 1943 at the age of 19 . He served primarily in Europe, achieved the rank of sergeant and was awarded the Battle Star . Until 1946 he was in Germany with the American occupation forces. In the late 1940s he worked as a stationery salesman. His writing career began in 1951 when he managed to sell his first short story to a sports magazine.

In 1953 he published the first paperback novel, which began a long series of works from a wide variety of genres. Even if it is not regarded as a literary merit, from the point of view of publishers and editors Avallone's speed and reliability were absolutely a virtue and certainly the basis of his lasting success in the industry. Once he is said to have written a novel in 1½ days. Due to the usually tight timeframe, these properties are essential, especially when creating novel versions of cinema films, which is why Avallone wrote the novel adaptations for several films. In addition, he wrote several television series adaptations, including what is probably his greatest success, The Man from UNCLE: The Thousand Coffins Affair . But he also wrote a book for the biographical miniseries A Woman Called Golda (1982) about the former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir .

In 1949 he married Lucille Asero and had a son with her. After the divorce of this marriage, he married Frances Weinstein in 1960, with whom he had a son and a daughter. He had moved to California in 1995 and had been The Fastest Typewriter in the West ever since , though his literary productivity ended with the 1980s and one final Ed Noon novel.


From 1953 to 1988 Avallone wrote a total of over 200 novels - he himself claimed to have written over 1,000 books - of which at least 60 were under his own name, including several series of novels, the most famous of which is that of the hardened, sarcastic New York private investigator Ed Noon ( his debut novel The Tall Dolores from 1953 belongs in this series), other series heroes are April Dancer and Satan Sleuth . As Edwina Noone , he wrote a dozen Gothic novels and as Dorothea Nile and Jean-Anne de Pre others in the same genre. As Troy Conway , he wrote at least 20 erotic novels with the lustful super spy Rod Damon and as Stuart Jason nine adventure novels with the series hero The Butcher . Other pseudonyms were Nick Carter (with the eponymous serial hero) and Vance Stanton .

The television series he has adapted include The Partridge Family (8 novels), The Man from UNCLE (3 novels), Hawaii Fünf-Null (2 novels) and Mannix .


Avallone was inducted into the New Jersey Literary Hall of Fame . From 1961 to 1971 he was an active member of the Mystery Writers of America , was there on the jury and was editor of the newsletter. 1989, his novel was High Noon at Midnight in the category Best Paperback Original of the Anthony Award nominated.

Overall, he was not valued by literary critics. His obituary in the Independent began with the allegation that few authors in this century had done more damage to the English language than Michael Avallone, and justified this verdict with examples of fatally unsuccessful metaphors from Avallone's books. Examples:

  • "The next day dawned bright and clear on my empty stomach."
  • "The door chimes were still whirling Beethoven in his grave when I rushed to meet him."
  • "I didn't know it then but a real big key to a door I didn't even know existed was staring me in the face."
  • "My bewilderment took on a couple of new glands."
  • "Her gasp almost blew the door down."
  • "Her hips were beautifully arched and her breasts were like proud flags waving triumphantly."
  • "She ... unearthed one of her fantastic breasts from the folds of her sheath skirt."
  • "The whites of his eyes came up in their sockets like moons over an oasis lined with palm trees."
  • "The footsteps didn't walk right in. They stopped outside the door and knocked."

Even if Avallone was a worthless fast writer from the highly literary point of view, some of his books had a success that went beyond the daily literary production. His adaptation The Man from UNCLE: The Thousand Coffins Affair was translated into eight languages, including Thousand Coffins are too many into German, with a total print run of 2 million.

Bibliography (selection)

Series and cycles

UNCLE - The Man from UNCLE
  • 1 The Man from UNCLE (1965)
    • German: A thousand coffins are too many. Heyne Crime # 1260, 1967.
UNCLE - The Girl From UNCLE
  • 1 The Birds-of-a-Feather Affair (1966)
  • 2 The Blazing Affair (1966)
The Coxeman (as Troy Conway)
  • 4 The Wham! Bam! Thank You, Ma'am Affair (1968)
  • 5 It's Getting Harder All the Time (1968)
  • 7 Last Licks (1968)
  • 8 Keep It Up, Rod! (1968)
  • 10 The Best Laid Plans (1969)
  • 12 Had Any Lately? (1969)
  • 13 Whatever Goes Up (1969)
  • 17 The Big Broad Jump (1968)
  • 18 The Sex Machine (1970)
  • 19 The Blow-Your-Mind Job (1970)
  • 20 The Cunning Linguist (1970)
  • 25 It's Not How Long You Make It (1970)
  • 26 Son of a Witch (1971)
  • 28 A Stiff Proposition (1971)
  • 31 The Cockeyed Cuties (1972)
  • 34 A Hard Man is Good to Find (1973)
Craghold (as Edwina Noone)
  • 1 The Craghold Legacy (1971)
  • 2 The Craghold Curse (1972)
  • 3 The Craghold Creatures (1972)
  • 4 The Craghold Crypt (1973)
Satan Sleuth
  • 1 Fallen Angel (1974)
  • 2 The Werewolf Walks Tonight (1974)
  • 3 Devil, Devil (1975)


  • The Tall Dolores (1953)
  • The Night Walker (1964, as Sidney Stuart; adaptation of the script by Robert Bloch for the film of the same name)
  • The Man from Avon (1967)
  • The Coffin Things (1968)
  • The Vampire Cameo (1968, as Dorothea Nile)
  • Missing! (1969)
  • Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970)
    • English: Return to the Planet of the Apes. Translated by Walter Brumm. Heyne SF & F # 3225, 1970.
  • One More Time (1970; film adaptation)
  • The Beast with the Red Hands (1973, as Sidney Stuart)
    • English: The beast with the red hands. Translated by Werner Maibohm. Pabel (Demon Killer Paperback # 25), 1977.
  • Friday the 13th Part III: 3-D (1982; novel version of Friday the 13th Part III: 3-D )
  • A Woman Called Golda (1982)
  • High Noon at Midnight (1988)
  • K-9 and His Bowser Aces (1990, short novel)
  • Wild & Wooly Mammoth Detective (short novel)


  • Boris Karloff Presents Tales of the Frightened (1963; written by Avallone, radio version spoken by Boris Karloff )
  • Where Monsters Walk: Terror Tales for People Afraid of the Dark and the Unknown (1978)


  • Edwina Noone's Gothic Sampler (1966, as Edwina Noone)

Short stories

  • The Man Who Walked on Air (in: Weird Tales, September 1953 )
    • German: The man who could take on air. In: Josh Pachter (ed.): Top Fantasy. Heyne Science Fiction & Fantasy # 4353, 1987, ISBN 3-453-00433-7 .
  • The Curse of Cleopatra (in: Tales of the Frightened, Spring 1957 )
  • The Man Who Thought He Was Poe (in: Tales of the Frightened, August 1957 )
  • Sweet Violets (1962)
  • Just Inside the Cemetery (1963, in: Michael Avallone: Boris Karloff Presents Tales of the Frightened )
    • German: In the cemetery. In: Werner Star (Ed.): Luther's Grusel Magazin 11. Luther Grusel-Magazin # 11, 1973.
  • The Man in the Raincoat (1963, in: Michael Avallone: Boris Karloff Presents Tales of the Frightened )
    • German: The man in the raincoat. In: Werner Star (Ed.): Luther's Grusel Magazin 17. Luther Grusel-Magazin # 17, 1976.
  • Some Things Shouldn't be Seen (1963, in: Michael Avallone: Boris Karloff Presents Tales of the Frightened )
    • German: Some things are not allowed to be seen. In: Werner Star (Ed.): Luther's Grusel Magazin 7. Luther Grusel-Magazin # 7, 1972.
  • Voice from the Grave (1963, in: Michael Avallone: Boris Karloff Presents Tales of the Frightened )
    • German: Voice from the grave. In: Werner Star (Ed.): Luther's Grusel Magazin 10. Luther Grusel-Magazin # 10, 1973.
  • The Barking Dog: the Story of Pedro and Tony (1963)
    • German: The barking dog. In: Werner Star (Ed.): Luther's Grusel Magazin 16. Luther Grusel-Magazin # 16, 1975.
  • Beware the Bird: the Story of Monah Trent (1963)
    • English: Beware of the bird. In: Werner Star (Ed.): Luther's Grusel Magazin 12. Luther Grusel-Magazin # 12, 1973.
  • Children of the Devil (1963)
    • German: children of the devil. In: Werner Star (Ed.): Luther's Grusel Magazin 9. Luther Grusel-Magazin # 9, 1973.
  • The Deadly Dress: Story of Dolores Martinez (1963)
    • English: The deadly dress. In: Werner Star (Ed.): Luther's Grusel Magazin 14. Luther Grusel-Magazin # 14, 1974.
  • The Fortune Teller (1963)
    • German: The fortune teller. In: Werner Star (Ed.): Luther's Grusel Magazin 13. Luther Grusel-Magazin # 13, 1974.
  • The Hand of Fate: the Story of Vashtu Singh (1963)
    • English: The hand of fate. In: Werner Star (Ed.): Luther's Grusel Magazin 6. Luther Grusel-Magazin # 6, 1972.
  • The Ladder: the Story of Gaspard and Francois (1963)
    • German: The ladder. In: Werner Star (Ed.): Luther's Grusel Magazin 15. Luther Grusel-Magazin # 15, 1975.
  • Never Kick a Black Cat: the Story of Felix Darnell (1963)
    • English: Never kick a black cat. In: Werner Star (Ed.): Luther's Grusel Magazin 5. Luther Grusel-Magazin # 5, 1972.
  • Say Goodnight to Mr. Sporko (1963)
    • English: Say good night to Mr. Sporko! In: Werner Star (Ed.): Luther's Grusel Magazin 8.Luther Grusel-Magazin # 8, 1972.
  • Theda Is Dead: the Story of Carlos Luga (1963)
    • German: Theda is dead. In: Werner Star (Hrsg.): Luther's Grusel Magazin 18. Luther Grusel-Magazin # 18, 1976.
  • The Bedroom Bandit (1966, in: Michael Avallone (as Edwina Noone) (Ed.): Edwina Noone's Gothic Sampler )
  • The Midnight Sadist (1966, in: Michael Avallone (as Edwina Noone) (Hrsg.): Edwina Noone's Gothic Sampler )
  • Every Litter Bit Hurts (1975, in: Arthur Liebman (as Dr. Arthur Liebman) (Ed.): Quickie Thrillers: 25 Mini-Mysteries )
  • The Painting at the Wrights (1981, in: Weirdbook 15 )
  • K-9 and His Bowser Aces (1990)



Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d Eric Pace: Michael Avallone, 74, Author Of Ed Noon Detective Stories. In: The New York Times , March 1, 1999
  2. a b Jack Adrian: Obituary: Michael Avallone . In: The Independent, March 20, 1999
  3. ^ Authors & Creators: Michael Avallone
  4. The number of works that can be safely assigned to him is between 200 and 300 titles, whereby it must be taken into account that not all pseudonyms used by Avallone are known and works as ghostwriters are not recorded.
  5. Anthony Award Nominees ( archived version of September 2, 2016)
  6. Jack Adrian: Obituary: Michael Avallone . In: The Independent, March 20, 1999: "Few writers this century have committed more gross acts of grievous bodily harm upon the language of Milton, Shakespeare and the Authorized Version than Michael Angelo Avallone Jnr"
  7. Heyne Krimi No. 1260 (1967).