Re: RARA-AVIS: Jim Thompson: Where'd He Go?

From: Allan Guthrie (
Date: 20 Feb 2010

  • Next message: cptpipes2000: "RARA-AVIS: Re: Jim Thompson: Where'd He Go?"

    NOTHING MORE THAN MURDER sold 750,000 copies. Not sure about any of the others. I know Arnold Hano at Lion said that Thompson didn't sell very well, but not selling well 50-odd years ago is a very different thing from not selling well these days. A standard Gold Medal print run was 200,000 copies, for instance, whereas an equivalent first print run these days might be 20,000.

    Some interesting comparative sales figures, according to George Tuttle: Bruno Fischer's HOUSE OF FLESH: 1,800,212 copies Charles Williams' HILL GIRL: 1,226,890 Gil Brewer's 13 FRENCH STREET: 1,200,365 David Goodis's CASSIDY'S GIRL: 1,036,4997


    ----- Original Message ----- From: "Jeff Vorzimmer" <> To: <> Sent: Saturday, February 20, 2010 4:14 AM Subject: Re: RARA-AVIS: Jim Thompson: Where'd He Go?

    > The truth lies somewhere in between. No one copy of any of his books sold
    > even near a million copies, but he certainly wasn't unknown in the 60s.
    > I'll tell you Jim Thompson was as well-known or as little-know (depending
    > on your perspective) as he is today. If you asked a 1000 people selected
    > at random in the 60s, you would have gotten about the same response as you
    > would today. Take this from someone who A) Has read all of Thompson, B)
    > Read his biographies and C) Has been an avid reader since the 60s.
    > And, yes, millions of paperbacks are in landfills. Back in the 40s, 50s
    > and 60s, paperbacks were thought of as disposable literature--read and
    > throw it away--like magazines.
    > Jeff

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