Influences: Jim Thompson

Jim Thompson (1906-1977)  was criminally underappreciated during his lifetime.  Writing during one of the heights of the stark, crime story, he is mysteriously overshadowed by far inferior writers.  It wasn’t until the late eighties’ re-prints that his reputation and stature grew.

He was the mastermind of doubt, filling his stories with unreliable narrators, the surreal, hallucinogenic thoughts of dying (or dead) narrators, and oddly structured layers to his plots.  He is often cited as the “rawest” of the pulp writers.  He let it all out in his work.  No one “just reads” Thompson.  His seedy, bleak, over-the-top style punches the reader in the gut and then haunts the readers thoughts for days or weeks after.  His worlds were filled with grifters, sociopaths, and psychopaths…the most brutal of fringe-society.  His stories are filled with sharks on the hunt, and vultures circling above.

Must Reads:

Nothing More Than Murder (1949)

The Killer Inside Me (1952)

Savage Night (1953)

After Dark, My Sweet (1955)

The Kill-Off (1957)

The Getaway (1958)

The Grifters (1963)

Pop. 1280 (1964)

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