Mon Feb 20, 2012, 03:55 PM
PufPuf23 (4,191 posts)
Finished The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest yesterday completing the Millenium Trilogy
Motherless Brooklyn is a great book with a protagonist every bit as unique as Salander but with a warm heart and Tourette's Syndrome.
Lethem's books with the exception of Motherless Brooklyn and Fortress of Solitude are science fiction or include elements of science fiction (including Guns with Occassional Music).
Started Jim Thompson's The Getaway (basis of the movies) last night and a re-read. I like the classic crime noire like Thompson, Chandler, Dashiel Hammett, Westlake ... Also read most of Ann Rule's true crime as a guilty pleasure.
Back in the 1990s after collecting a full set of Jim Thompson novels, I read them all in order one winter. I discovered Thompson when the Black Lizard re-issues started. Vintage has published in trade paperback many titles so Thompson is much more available now. They tend to be short and fast novels.
There is a very good bio on the less well known Jim Thompson called Savage Art.
PS I qualify as a senior citizen. ;o)
Thompson wrote more than thirty novels, the majority of which were original paperback publications by pulp fiction houses, from the late-1940s through mid-1950s. Despite some positive critical notice, notably by Anthony Boucher in The New York Times, he was little-recognized in his lifetime. Only after death did Thompson's literary stature grow, when in the late 1980s, several novels were re-published in the Black Lizard series of re-discovered crime fiction.
Thompson's writing culminated in a few of his best-regarded works: The Killer Inside Me, Savage Night, A Hell of a Woman and Pop. 1280. In these works, Thompson turned the derided pulp genre into literature and art, featuring unreliable narrators, odd structure, and surrealism. A number of Thompson's books became popular films, including The Getaway and The Grifters.
The writer R.V. Cassill has suggested that of all pulp fiction, Thompson's was the rawest and most harrowing; that neither Dashiell Hammett nor Raymond Chandler nor even Horace McCoy, author of the bleak They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, ever "wrote a book within miles of Thompson". Similarly, in the introduction to Now and on Earth, Stephen King says he most admires Thompson's work because "The guy was over the top. The guy was absolutely over the top. Big Jim didn't know the meaning of the word stop. There are three brave lets inherent in the forgoing: he let himself see everything, he let himself write it down, then he let himself publish it."
Thompson admired Fyodor Dostoyevsky and was nicknamed "Dimestore Dostoevsky" by writer Geoffrey O'Brien. Film director Stephen Frears, who directed an adaptation of Thompson's The Grifters as 1990's The Grifters, also identified elements of Greek tragedy in his themes.
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