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The Killer Inside Me

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  10,919 ratings  ·  826 reviews
Everyone in the small town of Central City, Texas loves Lou Ford. A deputy sheriff, Lou's known to the small-time criminals, the real-estate entrepreneurs, and all of his coworkers--the low-lifes, the big-timers, and everyone in-between--as the nicest guy around. He may not be the brightest or the most interesting man in town, but nevertheless, he's the kind of officer you ...more
ebook, 256 pages
Published November 1st 2011 by Mulholland Books (first published January 1st 1952)
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Steve Sckenda
Texas-noir. 1952. Oil Boom. Deputy Sheriff Lou Ford. Easy-going Lou. Folks think Lou’s a little slow-- but so likeable. Lou’s gentle with drunks and screw-ups. “The man with the grin is the one who wins.” Lou smokes cigars. The bums always size him up for an easy mark.

Lou’s a killer. Rich man’s son falls in love with a hooker. Lou’s gonna serve some dishes cold. Refinery whistle blows. Dimly in the distance. Like a ghost hooting.

Lou likes to spank women. Lou finds women who like to be spanked
Shelby *wants some flying monkeys*
Stephen King said about novelist Jim Thompson: “He was crazy. He went running into the American subconscious with a blowtorch in one hand and a pistol in the other, screaming his goddamn head off. No one else came close.”

I thought I would love this book, and I did somewhat. I feel kinda dirty after reading it though. Deputy Sheriff Lou Ford is well..he is a fucker. He hides in plain sight. That calm deputy that draws no attention to himself, but deep inside his monster's lurk.

Told from the firs
Dan Schwent
Ever meet someone at a party and think they're pretty cool until they let something slip and you realize they may in fact be bat-shit psycho? That's how Lou Ford, the protagonist of The Killer Inside Me is. I also suspect that Jim Thompson may have been that way as well.

The Killer Inside Me is the story of Lou Ford, a small town sheriff who's a little slow and a little boring. Or he would have you believe. Lou Ford spends most of his time keeping the sickness inside him in check. Lou's a sociopa

First of all, a warning: if you happen to pick up the edition I did that includes an introductory essay from Stephen King, make sure you read it after you finish the book. Goddamn it, either the entire principal of *spoiler* completely flies over this man's head, or he just loves being a bastard about these things. After 2014's Twitter controversy where he spoiled a major death for fans of HBO's Game of Thrones series, I'm pretty certain it's the latter.

It's not that he doesn't get it -- he jus


5.0 stars. A “one of a kind” reading experience that I can not recommend more highly for fans of noir crime fiction or psychological thrillers. Told in the first person by Lou Ford, who to all outward appearances is a thoughtful, considerate (if somewhat slow) Deputy Sheriff of Capital City, Texas, population 50,
Emily May
I went into this with high expectations. I mean, who doesn't love a good psychopath? Especially one with a boat-load of issues who is in a position of authority and trust. Enter Lou Ford, small town sheriff and all-round good guy... or so his sweet and slightly slow disposition would have you think. But Lou has the sickness. Most of the time he manages to keep it hidden beneath a cheery and easy-going attitude, most of the time you would assume he is just your average Joe. Until every once in a ...more
The Killer Inside Me: Jim Thompson's classic Roman Noir

“Just as there are physical monsters, can there not be mental or psychic monsters born? The face and body may be perfect, but if a twisted gene or malformed egg can produce physical monsters, may not the same process produce a malformed soul?

Monsters are variations from the accepted normal to a greater or a less degree. As a child may be born without an arm, so one may be born without kindness or the potential of conscience. A man who loses
Jim Thompson must have had noir in his veins instead of red blood cells. This dark first-person story has the reader inhabiting the mind of a killer in way that most authors can't even come close to matching. It's disturbing, chilling and one of the best pieces of crime fiction I’ve ever read.

Lou Ford is a small-town sheriff’s deputy in West Texas. He appears to be just a good natured, not-to-bright, good-ole-boy who usually speaks in a series of clichés to the point of annoying or boring whoeve
Jan 26, 2015 Melki rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Melki by: Cathy DuPont
Shelves: crime
"It's always lightest just before the dark..."

This is one terrific tale, though nasty as all get out.

Thompson seems to have serious Mommy issues, as all his women, be they whores or schoolmarms, are shrewish harpies. AND, he seems to believe that a good beating is the only foreplay a woman should ever need.

He is not alone in his cringe-worthy treatment of the ladies. It seems to be a common problem that has bugged the hell out of me in other books of this ilk and is probably the main reason I
This was a humdinger of a story written through the eyes of a sheriff Lou Ford of a small, middle-of-nowhere west Texas town of Central City. Is he an easy-going, well-liked man and a respected citizen of the town, well known for his quiet, gentle nature? On the inside he has a dark-side he is a sociopathic killer who seems to think that life is ruled by any means necessary, full of both corny, small-town bonhomie and murderous psychosexual rage. He will not hesitate to eliminate his loved ones ...more
Nov 11, 2012 knig rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to knig by: Steve Sckenda
Shelves: favourites, 2012
When Boris Vian hoaxed his way into the roman noir scene in 1958 with ‘I spit on your graves’, he was giving Jim Thompson a nod.

This book is riveting. It springs on the back of Chandler and Hammet who were by then moulding the no-nonsense, cynical, take no prisoner ‘Has- Been’ into limelight situations, but whereas these pioneer anti-heroes seem to preserve a modicum of decency, their successors, guided by the likes of Patricia Highsmith, Vian and Thompson seem to surgically remove that modicum,
I've read what some may consider to be a creepy number of non-fiction books on sociopathy (The Sociopath Next Door, Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work, The Mask of Sanity). All of them attempt to offer insight into the heads of these individuals among us who exist without conscience, and adeptly "play human." Many of them (especially The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence by Gavin de Becker - which rumor has it Oprah recommended) try to aid the average, non-so ...more
The threat of violence in the small Texas town profiled in Jim Thompson’s The Killer Inside Me is so low that the patrolling sheriff, Lou Ford, doesn't even need to carry a gun. Lou doesn't worry because hell, who’s more dangerous in Central City than good ol’ Lou himself? While he speaks in clichés and exudes a friendly demeanour, Lou’s true nature exists behind this social mask; a chilling homicidal maniac who could kill at any moment.

This was my first Jim Thompson and although the brutality o
This was my orginal thoughts with which I was never satisfied:

Until I saw this my gut feeling was that it would be impossible to take Jim Thompson to the screen, but I stand corrected. Fabulous movie which precisely captures the spirit of Thompson’s writing. I first suggested seeing this to a male who refused on the grounds that ‘horrible things happened to women’ and they do, but I have no idea why this would be interpreted as being about ‘male hate’ ‘misogeny’. Like most people, I guess, my re
Possibly even better than Pop. 1280, but essentially it's the same conceit - first person, unreliable narrator, manipulating his readers in to feeling sorry for him whilst going about his immoral business, in this case lots of cold blooded murder.

Fascinating and dark, Thompson grabs you with his tale of good ol' boy Lou Ford and you don't want to be let go, even when the house is burning up around you. Ford is more intelligent than everyone around him, but he has a dark secret in his past and a
Mar 19, 2014 Paul rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers of Pulp Fiction/ Hard Case Crime novels
Recommended to Paul by: In introduction for a Richard Stark novel
'The Killer Inside Me' by Jim Thompson

This is my first experience of a Jim Thompson novel & if this is typical of his work, it won't be my last.
I first came across Thompson whilst reading an introduction in one of Richard Stark's novels, who Stark cites as one of his influences & if you've read any of the 'Parker' novels you will notice a similar style to Thompson.
Thompson himself admired Fyodor Dostoyevsky & critic/author Geoffrey O'Bren called Thompson the '"Dime-store Dostoye
Mike (the Paladin)
This is a slightly tricky book to rate and review. I want to give at least a minor warning as I think some readers will find the book to some extent disturbing. that said it's considered a classic of it's type and I can see why. The writing could be called masterful.

This novel was written in 1952. Other than a few terms that are obsolete the story holds up well and in no way really feels dated. I mean yeah we have older cars, limited phone availability and a '50s society but it doesn't "jump out
Nathan Alderman
Jul 25, 2007 Nathan Alderman rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: crime and horror fans, lovers of great writing
Jim Thompson worked on oil rigs in his youth. It's filthy, dangerous, deeply hair-raising work, all to get at something that's as precious as it is polluted. Reading his novels is surprisingly similar. His whiskey-soaked misogyny will make your skin crawl, but his ability to plumb the darkest corners of the human soul, with both skill and sympathy, is unmatched in literature.

This is the best Thompson book I've read by far, and one of the best books I've ever read for sheer narrative skill. His p
Jim Thompson’s The Killer Inside Me is terrifying because, in the mind of a sociopath murderer, we (I know it’s not just me!) can see some of ourselves.

The novel is told from the perspective of Lou Ford, a small town Texas deputy who seems harmless and trustworthy but knows his own demons well enough to know he’s anything but a community pillar. Ford’s mind and emotions veer from cold and calculating to viciously angry to desperate and full of need but remain under his control because Ford under
J.A. Callan
Did not get this at all. This sounded like my kind of thing, and with favourable reviews from Stanley Kubrick and Stephen King illuminating the front and back of the book, I figured that this would be right up my alley. But I was wrong. I was really disappointed.

There are a few scenes here that would have been shocking back in the day, no doubt. But they just don't quite live up to it today. However, I do appreciate that aspect of the book. What I did not appreciate was Jim Thompson's style of
Cathy DuPont
Feb 10, 2015 Cathy DuPont rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All my GR friends...oh, never mind, they've already read it!
This book is everything I read and heard it was. And it scared the crap out of me and I wasn't there except of course, in my mind.

Since it was written in the first person, I wondered if Jim Thompson was killer in real life?

Sparse (just like I love), storyline excellent and the ending was not only a surprise but came out of nowhere. Amazing book for those of us who do not read romance and stuff.
William Johnson
It is hard to describe a masterpiece without sounding like a biased fanboy, especially in this internet age. But, well, The Killer Inside Me is a masterpiece, plain and simple.

Jim Thompson manages to create a character so deplorable, yet so engaging and interesting that you can't help but, at the very least, have the retribution he so deserves be held in check just so you can see what is going to happen next.

Written in 1952, The Killer Inside Me dares to expose a sinister side of a time period
Stephen King recommended author. 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."

“He was crazy,” Stephen King, a long-time admirer of Thompson, says. “He went running into the American sub
Before there was Dexter & Patrick Bateman, there was Lou Ford and his bright deputy badge in Texas.

Under his 50's charm and constant "Andy Griffith" show aphorisms creeps a serial killer so calculating it makes the IBM robot look like a Tamagotchi. This is a weirdly picturesque noir with so much to love: big breakfasts of scrambled eggs and coffee, unending small talk, and a too-trusting small town. Lou's narration feels so sensible, even in the middle of a gruesome kill. It's like, of cours
Mickey Wozny
You can smell this book. It's sweat, desperation, liquor, failure and misogyny. This is my favorite Jim Thompson book, it's an ugly book to say you enjoy, but I do and I don't feel good saying it. Like other art forms in the fifties, this book is enamored with psychology. Which reaches it's pinnacle in the final pages. Thompson reveals both personalities of the protagonist in alternating lines of the text. It is a deft understanding of a split personality for a pulpy crime novel. It's a great re ...more
So we have the old-school gory conniving cold blooded distorted psycho/socio-path Lou who's been inspiration for others you might be familiar with.
So Lou's a pretentious douche an empathetic kinda misogynist, obviously he's gonna kill some [bitches + innocent guys] to add thrill to his dull mundane life. He's gonna think himself into absolving his conscience of guilt but that's only doublethink.

I'm always rooting for the bad guys but Lou wasn't fascinating enough, anyway please for once let the
May 12, 2009 Jessica rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people with killers inside them? or hm, maybe not....
So far I hate Jim Thompson a lot more than I remembered. Not sure I'll make it through this one.... Kind of a weird chaser right after the Proust.

Okay, so Jim Thompson writes like a demented fourth-grader who's being raised in a pretty rough whorehouse. This isn't my favorite style, but that doesn't mean I didn't get sucked in. The only other book I remember reading about West Texas is the Lyndon Johnson biography, which made this one fun because I got to picture the cliche-spouting, cigar-c
Rebecca McNutt
I was really surprised by this book. It had the classic quality of a 20th century book but it was ahead of its time in many ways as well with its shocking story and view into the mind of a killer.
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
Brilliant book. Very, very brutal and disturbing, incredibly well-written. Easily matches my personal favourite crime writer, Simenon for its combination of a gripping plot, insight into a twisted psyche and writing of a high calibre. I'm not certain why I'm doing this exploration of the classic crime genre at present (last year this time I was delving into the Gothic canon) but it's certainly brought to light several exceptionally talented writers.
I think that if I hadn't of read a lotof real crime non-fiction and grown up fascinated with psychopaths & sociopaths I would have found this novel chilling. It had its moments.

What I did love was how entertaining the read was, it is very much a page turner and you have to love the often comical good guy act, and always clever machinations of awe-shucks Sheriff Lou Ford.
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Books Stephen Kin...: * Overall Impressions (SPOILERS) 10 48 Jul 08, 2014 01:43PM  
Books Stephen Kin...: * Killer Inside Me General Discussion (NO SPOILERS) 35 58 Dec 22, 2013 02:54PM  
Books Stephen Kin...: * Chapters 19-26 (SPOILERS) 11 27 Dec 21, 2013 08:49AM  
Books Stephen Kin...: * Chapters 1-9 (SPOILERS) 10 23 Dec 21, 2013 08:48AM  
Books Stephen Kin...: * Chapters 10-18 (SPOILERS) 6 18 Dec 20, 2013 08:30AM  
The Backlot Gay B...: The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson 1 11 Aug 02, 2013 07:21PM  
Boxall's 1001 Bo...: The Killer Inside Me 1 90 Aug 03, 2012 10:39AM  
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

James Myers Thompson was a United States writer of novels, short stories and screenplays, largely in the hardboiled style of crime fiction.

Thompson wrote more than thirty novels, the majority of which were original paperback publications by pulp fiction houses, from the lat
More about Jim Thompson...
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