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3.64  ·  Rating Details ·  495 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
Patrick Cosgrove used to think he'd do anything not to be a prisoner of Sandstone State Reformatory. Fifteen years on the inside for a victimless crime, under the care of a warden whose penchant for violence is legendary--surely nothing could be worse.

But when an unbelievably Samaritan act by a psychologist he's never met places Cosgrove in the care of Roland "Doc" Luther,
Paperback, 208 pages
Published August 5th 2014 by Mulholland Books (first published 1953)
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(showing 1-30)
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Dan Schwent
For reasons unknown to him, Pat Cosgrove is paroled and remanded to the custody of a psychologist, Dr. Luther. Can Pat keep from violating his parole and Dr. Luther's wife long enough to discover why he was paroled in the first place?

All aboard the train to happy town, it's another Jim Thompson book. Recoil isn't one of Thompson's well-known works. Still, I'm as hooked on Jim Thompson as Amy Winehouse was on crack so I had to give it a chance.

Pat Cosgrove is a clueless loser, as are approximate
Jul 23, 2009 David rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: noirboiled
Doc Luther, a sleazy political horse-trader, pulls every available string to get Pat Cosgrove paroled into his custody. The strange thing is that Doc and Pat do not know one another--so why does Doc want Pat out of prison? Why does he get him a job, buy him clothes and a car, and throw women in his path? In a genre that often strains credulity, I found the answers to these and other questions to be remarkably inane and unsatisfying. And more remarkably, perhaps, Jim Thompson managed to bore me f ...more
Mar 09, 2011 Jim rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

I've read a lot of Jim Thompson ... he's right up there with my favourite authors.
However, this is the first time, that I'd have to describe one of his books as being mediocre.

It is unusual in one aspect. If you don't want me to spoil the ending for you, don't read any further.

For others who have read the book, I can't think of any other Thompson novel that involves a positive outcome for the main character.

I've had a few drinks today, so please correct me if I am wrong.
I don’t know quite what to make of this book. I have been a long-time fan of Jim Thompson, but this one struck me as slightly flat. I wasn’t sure if it was a screed decrying corruption in government, a revenge story, or just exactly what. Perhaps this is a reflection of the character's ambivalence to his situation as he tries to understand the motivation of Doc Luther. It had an amateurish quality to it that bothered me, and the characters seemed flat. 2.5 stars rounded to 3.
Mariano Hortal
Publicado en

Una recopilación de novelas de Jim Thompson. La escisión de la identidad

Aprovechando que acabo de terminar la biografía del escritor norteamericano, una joya de la que tendréis noticias en este blog en no mucho tiempo; se me ocurrió la posibilidad de hacer un pequeño monográfico con las obras que me quedaban por leer del escritor; ha valido mucho la pena, sobre todo porque gracias al análisis de la biografía, es indudable que ayudan a disfruta
Josh Duggan
For those of you who may need a refresher or a cluing in, Jim Thompson is the brains behind the books The Grifters, Pop. 1280, The Killer Inside Me, and The Getaway. He also wrote the screenplays for The Killing, and Paths of Glory. I recently read Pop. 1280 and rather liked it, but Recoil, which I couldn't have finished more than five minutes ago, was really great. I will refrain from too much exposition for fear of spoiling the element of surprise, but Recoil follows a paroled con through a la ...more
Feb 06, 2009 Jeffrey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm a huge Jim Thompson fan. I've read most of what he's written, and plan to finish all of his books before I pass from this mortal coil. This book was a pleasure. It's gritty noir starring characters from the gutter. As in most Thompson novels, the main character is an intelligent man who's fallen on the wrong side of the law and wants to make a play for straight. Pat aka Red is paroled from prison into the hands of a crooked politician on his way out, looking for a fall guy (a patsy...get it? ...more
Nov 25, 2015 Aramys rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Libertad condicional parece desde luego un intento de acercar la novela criminal a todos los públicos, el argumento, algo confuso a veces, es más político que otra cosa, y está basado en una trama que se teje a espaldas del protagonista y que el lector tiene que ir intuyendo y desentramando. Sorprende, y más para la época, que Thompson dejara a un lado la oscuridad de sus tramas, la violencia y la visceralidad que tanto nos gustan de él y se encaminara hacia algo tan descafeinado como lo que al ...more
Recoil by Jim Thompson

Why would a powerful political insider help a man in prison obtain parole? Could it be out of the goodness of his heart? Or, could there be an ulterior motive? And, is that possible motive be personal or political? This is just what happens in this 1953 neo-noir suspenseful story of corruption.

How can Patrick Cosgrove, a fairly innocent convict (I know how contradictory that sounds) understand and combat the machinations of a powerful man?

The story is a bit dated, but th
Nov 23, 2016 Matt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A regular Joe realizes he's being made the fall guy and tries his best to unravel the set-up before he takes the fall. I love these types of stories and this one delighted me because it's framed inside the mind of an unusually paranoid fellow. Definitely a page-turner, many of the short chapters end on the proverbial cliff--almost to the point of absurdity. I love a good page-turner though and this did not disappoint.

I recently read Savage Night by Thompson and that book is much more subtle and
Jun 27, 2012 Bazz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
I'd never read a Jim Thompson book before so was unsure what to expect. What I got was a very enjoyable read. I certainly enjoyed his style of writing, and the storyline here keeps you involved. My only criticism of it would be that although you don't know exactly what the twist is going to be, you can see where the plot is heading. This however shouldn't put you off giving this a read. It's a fairly short book and I had it finished in around 3 hours, so if you've got nothing to do for an aftern ...more
Feb 22, 2013 Anders rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This Jim Thompson book stands out among the ones I've read so far. It's more like a Raymond Chandler story with the acidic dialouge, and it's very noir. The introduction of several women gradually makes the story more complex. I can't help to think that he might ironically have hinted at for someone to please make a movie out of this, based on the existence of a resolution and smirky summation at the end. Fun shit.
Eve Kay
Jun 23, 2015 Eve Kay rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, suspense
Many reviewers have said that nothing much happens for stretches at a time but personally, I just loved reading Thompson. Letting him do all his magic and be dragged in by my ankle into a puddle of Thompson soup. It all paid off because the twists and turns and action towards the end is really a joy to read. When it comes down to the whole thing, this book is like a painting Thompson paints and only if you look at it from just the right angle you see it's beauty.
Adam  McPhee
Jul 31, 2016 Adam McPhee rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime-fiction
A man gets paroled from prison by a seeming philanthropist only to realize the guy is trying to pull a Double Indemnity on him. There's a plot about the Phalanx League, a group of 'super-patriots' crusading to replace the state's school textbooks with worthless ones that flatter their ideology.
Wow, this was strikingly confused and mediocre. I think I'm into the C-list Thompson. He's still a fascinating writer on every level, but evaluating some of these books as novels, I just get bored and confused. The class and race elements in his works are still always intriguing, though.
Michael Stewart
Jul 12, 2015 Michael Stewart rated it liked it
Minor Jim Thompson. Engaging, but not much there. Not really too hard-boiled, with minimal violence. Very short, I must say.
Mar 02, 2011 Neil rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
An interesting setup and twist, but the scam being perpetrated wound up being completely weak and implausible.
Lukas Persson
May 03, 2011 Lukas Persson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a totally fun caper type story, a little light on plot, but just as much fun as a lot of Thompson's simpler work.
Robert Hudder
Oct 05, 2015 Robert Hudder rated it really liked it
Funny. Even with all the exposure to Jim Thompson and reading a lot of his stuff, there are still a few surprises. I got 80% of the ending but that last 20 left me wondering hmmm.
May 21, 2013 Scott rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not exactly top-tier Thompson. The first half establishes a convincing sense of paranoia, but the big reveal is underwhelming and the upbeat ending comes out of nowhere.
Marina Epley
Jul 28, 2016 Marina Epley rated it it was amazing
Not exactly what I call noir... But this book is awesome anyway!!!!! A very quick, easy read. The plot is intense and thrilling. I couldn't stop reading. Well, Thompson is just so great.
Phillip Frey
Aug 25, 2012 Phillip Frey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes the crime genre.
I love Jim Thompson's books. It's hard to find a - better yet, here's what the New Republic had written about him: "Read Jim Thompson and take a tour of hell."
Hills rated it it was amazing
Oct 11, 2010
George Hellmann
George Hellmann rated it really liked it
Aug 02, 2013
Craig rated it really liked it
Jul 17, 2012
Sean Fahey
Sean Fahey rated it liked it
Jan 02, 2014
Stuart rated it it was amazing
Jan 05, 2015
Jim rated it it was ok
Mar 23, 2014
Deborah rated it liked it
Aug 22, 2007
James Hamilton
James Hamilton rated it really liked it
Feb 04, 2013
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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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