RE : RARA-AVIS: Pop. 1280

From: E. Borgers (
Date: 19 Jul 2007

  « Pop 1280 » is one of my all time favourite noir novel. A masterpiece of derision and darkness, a kind of metaphysical noir (even if this was not Thompson's goal, the novel's implications lead in that direction).
  Amongst the novels I liked very much, my preference list -some where already given by others- :
  And the two volumes of his autobiography which are not only interesting but carefully well written.
  I have also a weakness for one of his first novels, wherein some of his characteristics as a top writer are already present in this good novel: NOTHING MORE THAN MURDER
  However beware: amongst his prolific production of novels and short stories, some are really bad, close to meaningless (Remember his personal problems). This however does not change anything about his value as a top writer, proven of this being found in the numerous outstanding good novels he wrote.
  Speaking of cinema, you have also to see an old film by Kubrick, the screenplay being by Thompson: THE PATHS OF GLORY. Excellent film, a classic. One of the best pamphlets against war, realistic and moving. One of my favourites by Kubrick. I've seen it many times since its first release. A noir film by essence.
  Always on the film side, there was of course the excellent THE KILLING, Thompson collaborating to the screenplay. A "crime"noir film classic, innovative and outstanding.
  A curio: Thompson himself appeared as an actor in the film FAREWELL MY LOVELY (the version with Mitchum); he played as the judge.
  Anyway I'm very happy that Jim Thompson finally was acclaimed in his own country, after an occultation and lack of interest (and of republications) that lasted there at least to the nineties.
  One of the greatest modern noir writers.

Michael Robison <> a 飲it : Thanks to Dave Z for recommending this one. It was great. I had heard that the main character was a replay of Lou Ford from Killer Inside Me and I was prepared for a replay of that. It's still about a small town sheriff smarter than he acts, but the mood was way different. Lou Ford is just plain scary, but Nick is hilarious. Aside from being funny, his homespun humor carries some serious and pointed satire with it. Not much is safe. Thompson takes a shot at religion, sex, hypocrisy, gullibility, and small-town morals. Twain came to mind. It also surprised me that the setting is back around 1910, near as I could tell. Although it goes without saying, the humor does not prevent the bodies from piling up.

I would appreciate it if you Thompson fans could give me a couple more recommendations. I've already read Killer Inside Me and The Getaway. I liked the former more than the latter. In The Getaway, I thought the characters changed too much towards the end to be believable.


__________________________________________________________ Get the Yahoo! toolbar and be alerted to new email wherever you're surfing.


 Ne gardez plus qu'une seule adresse mail ! Copiez vos mails vers Yahoo! Mail

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 19 Jul 2007 EDT