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In Wild Town, Jim Thompson returns to the characters from The Killer Inside Me, which made his reputation, in a virtuoso, multi-character portrait of how one man's life can take a turn for the worse.
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By Darwin8u on 07-03-15
A bit of Crime AND Punishment in West Texas.
Jim Thompson has basically written a locked-room mystery in a West Texas, frontier boom town's seedy hotel.
All the hard-boiled pieces are set. There are several femme fatales, a sheriff that seems to be brilliant and quietly manipulative, a slow-witted, hot-headed house detective, and a shabby hotel. Not my favorite Thompson, but that belittles the truth. I love all Jim Thompson's stuff. He writes from both the head and the gut. Each of his novels seem to contain a bit of Crime AND Punishment. They all seem to balance Freud with Nietzsche. Thompson is one of those novelists that for me at least proves that some of the best fiction of the 20th century was genre fiction. Wild Town seems like a modern-day Notes from the Underground. Thompson isn't just writing about crime and criminals. He is tearing apart the bones of society. He is examining the ideas and ideals of America. You can certainly read Thompson as a transgressive, crime fiction writer, but he is so much more. There is another dark river under the narrative's river and the currents and eddies of both might hydrate or drown you, but will certainly carry you into zones you haven't previously been.
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