RARA-AVIS: Re: Jim Thompson

From: davezeltserman (Dave.Zeltserman@gmail.com)
Date: 04 Nov 2009

  • Next message: jacquesdebierue: "RARA-AVIS: Re: Jim Thompson"

    We've also got The Grifters screenplay to thank for the last 10 Parker books. The following is taken from the UK Independent.

    "The real reason Richard Stark, and thus Parker, came back from the dead in Comeback (1997) was because, having won an Oscar nomination for his Grifters screenplay Westlake was subsequently turned down flat for two scriptwriting jobs in succession on account of his age. He was then in his sixties. Understandably miffed, Westlake subsequently admitted, "Parker came back to say, 'I'm older than you but I'm still smarter than you. I'm better than you, faster than you and I'm still prettier than you".' After a shaky start, the subsequent series blossomed into one of the true "must-haves" for mystery enthusiasts."

    Personally I liked the book The Grifters quite a bit. The movie is equally excellent, but seems like a straight adaptation from the book with no significant changes. I think the dialog was taken almost intact from the book.

    --Dave

    --- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, Kevin Burton Smith <kvnsmith@...> wrote:
    >
    > Chuck wrote:
    >
    > > Just read The Grifters.
    > >
    > > Read quickly enough although I kept wondering who the book was
    > > really about.
    > >
    > > I'm wondering, though, if I'm alone in thinking the ending lacked
    > > proper foundation(s).
    > >
    > > The Killer Inside Me was "pretty darn good."
    > >
    > > The Grifters reminds me more of a novel written to reach the word
    > > count required by a publishing contract. Once he got the "magic
    > > number" of words, he bailed out.
    > >
    > > Was the movie any better?
    >
    > Yep. Donald Westlake wrote the screenplay, which certainly helped.
    >
    > Jim once stirred the pot here by daring to suggest that Ross Macdonald
    > was a more consistent writer than Chandler. Well, Thompson's output
    > was far more erratic and inconsistent than Chandler's. Some great
    > peaks, but also also some real valleys, seems to be the general
    > consensus. His alcoholism definitely had a negative effect on his work.
    >
    > His reevaluation and subsequent cult following dates almost
    > exclusively from the eighties reprints by Black Lizard books, and as
    > more and more of his work resurfaced, it soon became clear it wasn't
    > all golden.
    >
    > It's been posited by more than one observer of the mystery scene that
    > Thompson went from being one of the genre's most underrated writers to
    > one of the most overrated.
    >
    > Too late for him to enjoy, of course, but the bitter black joke might
    > have been one he'd have understood.
    >
    >
    > Kevin Burton Smith
    > Thrilling Detective Web Site
    > New Issue Any Millennium now...
    >
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    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    >



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