Nebraska Center for Writers

Chimney Rock What the Critics Say
About Jim Thompson




After Dark, My Sweet
Copyright © 1990
by Jim Thompson
Vintage Crime/Black Lizard

William Collins is very handsome, very polite, and very friendly. His is also dangerous when aroused. Now Collins, a one-time boxer with a lethal "accident" in his past, has broken out of his fourth mental institution and met up with an affable con man and a highly arousing woman, whose plans for him include kidnapping, murder, and much, much worse. — from the jacket


Bad Boy
Copyright © 1997
by Jim Thompson
Vintage Crime/Black Lizard

At thirteen Jim Thompson was learning how to smoke cigars and ogle burlesque girls under the tutelage of his profane grandfather. A few years later, he was bellhopping at a hotel in Fort Worth, where he supplemented his income peddling bootleg out of the package room. He shuddered out the DTs as a watchman on a West Texas oil pipeline. He outraged teachers, cheated mobsters, and almost got himself beaten to death by a homicidal sheriff's deputy. And somewhere along the way, Thompson became one of the greatest crime writers America has ever known.
In this uproarious autobiographical tale, the author of After Dark, My Sweet and Pop. 1280 tells the story of his chaotic coming of age and reveals just where he acquired his encyclopedic knowledge of human misbehavior. Bad Boy is a bawdy, brawling book of reprobates — and an unfettered portrait of a writer growing up in the Southwest of the Roaring Twenties. — from the jacket


The Criminal
Copyright © 1993
by Jim Thompson
Vintage Crime/Black Lizard

A teenage girl is raped and murdered. A father turns his back on his son. A vicious press lord turns justice into a carnival. A terrified boy is railroaded. In the twisted world of Jim Thompson, everyone is guilty, and the worst crimes are unpunishable. — from the jacket


The Getaway
Copyright © 1994
by Jim Thompson
Vintage Crime/Black Lizard

Doc McCoy knows everything there is to know about pulling off the perfect bank job. But there are some things he has forgotten--such as a partner who is not only treacherous but insane and a wife who is still an amateur. Worst of all, McCoy has forgotten that when the crime is big and bloody enough, there is no such thing as a clean getaway. — from the jacket


The Grifters
Copyright © 1990
by Jim Thompson
Vintage Crime/Black Lizard

Roy Dillon seems too handsome and well-mannered to be a professional con man. Lilly Dillon looks too young — and loves Roy a little too intensely — to be taken for his mother. Moira Langtry is getting too old to keep on living off the kindness of male strangers. And Carol Roberg seems too innocent to be acquainted with suffering. — from the jacket


Heed the Thunder
Copyright © 1994
by Jim Thompson
Vintage Crime/Black Lizard

Old Lincoln Fargo has spent his life engaging in almost every vice imaginable — and his only regret is that he once stole a horse. His son Grant, a shiftless dandy with a resemblance to Edgar Allan Poe, is conducting an affair with his voluptuous and volatile cousin. And behind everyone's back, Grandmother Pearl has just signed the family property over to the Almighty.
In the literature of the American prairie, few families are as brawling, as benighted, or as outrageously vital as the Fargos of Verdon, Nebraska. And when Jim Thompson chronicles their life and times, the result suggest Willa Cather steeped in rotgut — and armed with a .45. — from the jacket


A Hell of a Woman
Copyright © 1990
by Jim Thompson
Vintage Crime/Black Lizard

Young, beautiful, and fearfully abused, Mona was the kind of girl even a hard man like Dillon couldn't bring himself to use. But when Mona told him about the vicious aunt who had turned her into something little better than a prostitute — and about the money the old lady has stashed away — Dillon found it surprisingly easy to kill for her. — from the jacket


killer
Copyright © 1991
by Jim Thompson
Vintage Crime/Black Lizard

Lou Ford is the deputy sheriff of a small town in Texas. The worst thing most people can say against him is that he's a little slow and a little boring. But, then, most people don't know about the sickness — the sickness that almost got Lou put away when he was younger. The sickness that is about to surface again.
An underground classic since its publication in 1952, The Killer Inside Me is the book that made Jim Thompson's name synonymous with the roman noir.

In a small town in Texas there is a sheriff's deputy named Lou Ford, a man so dull that he lives in clichés, so good-natured that he doesn't even lay a finger on the drunks who come into his custody. But then, that would be too easy, for Lou's sickness requires other victims. . . . A nightmarish book of psychopathic evil. — from the jacket

[Thompson's characters] talk to us in a way we know after we have read the books that real-life mass murderers must talk to themselves. — New Republic

Probably the most chilling and believable first-person story of a criminally warped mind I have ever encountered. — Stanley Kubrick

Jim Thompson is the best suspense writer going, bar none. — The New York Times


King Blood
Copyright © 1993
by Jim Thompson
Scribner

Blood is thicker than water and thatís doubly true for the King family who have built a considerable fortune through decades of ruthless violence and bloodshed such as Oklahoma has never seen. Ike King taught his boys well: when you see something you want all you need is a clever mind, two fists and a powerful hunk of metal. But Ike may have taught them too well. Now the King brothers are using their childhood lessons against their father and each other. Arlie thought he had won the battle when he murdered his brother, but then Crich shows up with a U.S. Marshal tight on his tail and complicates matters. This may just be the largest showcase of violence and greed that the dysfunctional King family has ever experienced. — from the jacket


The Nothing Man
Copyright © 1997
by Jim Thompson
Vintage Crime/Black Lizard

Clinton Brown is smart, good-looking, and the best rewrite man on the Pacific City Courier. The wife he divorced is still in love with him, as is the alluring and well-heeled widow who will do anything to make him happy. But Brown is missing something, and without that one thing there's no possibility of happiness — no possibility of anything but knocking back the booze and punishing anyone foolish enough to try to take away his loneliness. What Clinton Brown lacks may be enough to make him murder.
Is Brown a killer or the victim of a sadistic frame-up? And if he's innocent, why is he so intent on being caught? Deviously plotted, fearfully acquainted with the psychology of rage and guilt, The Nothing Man is further proof of Jim Thompson's mastery of the crime genre. — from the jacket


Nothing More Than Murder
Copyright © 1991
by Jim Thompson
Vintage Crime/Black Lizard

Sometimes a man and woman love and hate each other in equal measure that they can neither stay together nor break apart. Some marriages can only end in murder and some murders only make the ties of love and hatred stronger. This book proves just that. — from the jacket


Now and on Earth
Copyright © 1994
by Jim Thompson
Vintage Crime/Black Lizard

An underaged bellboy thrust into an awful intimacy with grown-up vice. An alcoholic writer trying to postpone a crack-up just long enough to finish his next book. A wildly dysfunctional Okie family floundering on the edge of mutual destruction amid the deceptive plenty of wartime California.
These are the ingredients of Jim Thompson's devastating and eerily autobiographical first novel. In Now and On Earth, America's hard-boiled Dante ushers readers into his own personal hell and limns its suffering inhabitants with bleak humor and compassion. — from the jacket


Pop. 1280
Copyright © 1990
by Jim Thompson
Vintage Crime/Black Lizard

As high sheriff of Potts County, Nick Corey spends most of his time eating, sleeping and avoiding trouble. If only people — especially some troublesome pimps, his foul-tempered wife, and his half-witted brother-in-law — would stop pushing him around. Because when Nick is pushed, he begins to kill ... or to make others do his killing for him! — from the jacket

The great merit of the novels of Jim Thompson is that they are completely without good taste. And Pop. 1280 has the least good taste of them all. — HRF Keating


Roughneck
Copyright © 1998
by Jim Thompson
Vintage Crime/Black LizardP

Incorrigible author Jim Thompson retraces his wild swath across America during the great Depression and World War II. Whether he's getting drunk in a funeral home or drafting a manuscript with the help of a big-hearted prostitute, Thompson is a mesmerizing guide to hard times — his country's and his own. — from the jacket


Savage Night
Copyright © 1991
by Jim Thompson
Vintage Crime/Black Lizard

In Savage Night Jim Thompson negotiates hairpin plot reversals and nightmarish shifts of identity with the daring of a race-car driver whipping through the Indianapolis 500. Reader be warned: this thriller comes with no seat-belt. — from the jacket


South of Heaven
Copyright © 1994
by Jim Thompson
Vintage Crime/Black LizardP

In the 1920s the worst place you could be was in that part of Texas that some people call "South of Heaven," and the worst thing you could be doing there was laying a gas pipeline, along with six-hundred other hoboes, juice-heads, and jailbirds. But that's exactly what Tommy Burwell was doing, even though he was smart enough to know better. Even though "South of Heaven" is another term for hell.
Combining a tale of escalating savagery with a dead-eyed group portrait of men at the edge, Jim Thompson has produced another masterpiece of the American dissolute. — from the jacket


A Swell-Looking Babe
Copyright © 1991
by Jim Thompson
Vintage Crime/Black Lizard

The Manton looked like a respectable hotel. And the woman in 1004 looked like a slumming angel. Sometimes looks can kill
Combining an ingeniously nasty blackmail scheme with serpentine Oedipal intrigure, Jim Thompson's A Swell-Looking Babe is the crime novel as gothic. — from the jacket


Texas by the Tail
Copyright © 1994
by Jim Thompson
Vintage Crime/Black Lizard

Mitch Corley has a girlfriend with expensive tastes and a ruthless wife who refuses to become an "ex" without major compensation. He needs big money and he needs it fast. Which makes Texas Mitch's natural destination, since nowhere are rich men more inclined to stake huge sums on a roll of the dice. The only problem is that Texans are sore losers — and they have cruel and ingenious ways of getting back at anyone who cheats them.
Texas by the Tail is a high-spirited, sexy, and ingeniously plotted novel of the grifting life, by a writer who is a virtual encyclopedia of the con, the scam, and the double cross. — from the jacket


Wild Town
Copyright © 1993
by Jim Thompson
Vintage Crime/Black Lizard

The place is a frontier boom town where the graft gets collected more regularly than the trash. The hero is Bugs McKenna, slow-witted, hot-tempered man with manslaughter in his past and much worse in his immediate future. The much worse begins the moment McKenna gets promoted from ex-con to hotel detective without bothering to ask why. Because in Wild Town nobody does you any favors — and the price of advancement is always a little higher than what you can afford. — from the jacket

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