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I’ve little to add about this classic work of noir. If you don’t already know Jim Thompson’s work, you should. I only wanted to say something perhaps to encourage those on the fence about Thompson to take the bad reviews into account but to understand they’re completely silly (most of them). No, Jim Thompson isn’t a perfect writer. Yes, they are works of their times, like every work is. But the number of times I’ve seen Thompson’s work on Audible dismissed because of dark, disturbed characters who reviewers astoundingly suggest are “ridiculous” or “poor written” is beyond belief.
I mean to each his own. No accounting for tastes. And again, not every Thompson book is a winner. I’ve given more than one a poor review myself. (Killer Inside Me, The Getaway, After Dark My Sweet, The Grifters are all winners, btw).
These characters and plots do tend to be “twisted” and irredeemable. Immoral. That’s the point, right? If that’s too much for you, then this stuff isn’t for you. I think part of the problem is the modern understanding of “unlikeable” characters. These days the so-called unsympathetic characters are really VERY likeable and sympathetic. We find out that they’re abused and make mistakes, they have people we like who are trying to redeem them, and like in the Dexter books they end up facing characters who are “worse.” By they’re not worse because the Dexter types are really superheroes when you think about it. They’re likeable. What could be more likeable than a guy who knows he has certain tendencies and uses them for the benefit of society and loved ones? Who ever heard of a serial killer who loves others? It’s nonsense.
However, Jim Thompson writes about truly despicable people.
Beware the distinction.
That is if Audible bothers publishing this review, ha. They tend to disappear.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
This is typical Thompson. That is to say: it's dark, it has tempting babes, it has a straight forward plot that flips every time the listener gets comfortable. There has been discussion of the ending, but remember: this is about a crazy person!
The narration is suited to the story, his voices are perfect for the characters, and the pace is noir creepy. This is a fun listening experience.
15 of 16 people found this review helpful