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The Rip-Off

3.49  ·  Rating Details ·  446 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
In his characteristic style, Jim Thompson creates a world in which nothing is as it seems. With her stunning beauty and overwhelming charm, Manuela Aloe seemed like perfect girlfriend material, but when many strange things occur, Britt Rainstar begins to have second thoughts about his angelic--or demonic--love. If he can survive the attacks of a devil-possessed dog, a trig ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published June 1st 1999 by Vintage (first published January 1st 1989)
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Sep 06, 2013 Algernon rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2013
Everything all right, Britt?
Absolutely perfect, I said bitterly. How else could it be for a guy with a schizoid wife, and a paranoid girlfriend? If one of them can't send me to prison or the electric chair, the other will put me in the nuthouse or the morgue!

Britton Rainstar is in a fine mess, but frankly no more than he deserves. Heir to a famous Native American name, son of a university professor hunted by the McCarthysts, owner of a once luxurious, now dillapidated mansion, he is out
Ismael Galvan
Feb 23, 2013 Ismael Galvan rated it it was amazing
I was hesitant about reading The Rip Off because of everyone on here claiming how much it sucked. Well, after reading it I can definitely say it is only they who are doing the sucking.

This book cracked me up! I had to do a fake cough several times to cover up my laughter. Thompson knows how to write dialogue. It's witty, original, and occasionally outrageous. Likewise is the cast of desperate characters who are big enough to speak them.

The biggest gripe against this book is that it's lacking the
Oct 01, 2013 Col rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2013, t

Is Manuela Aloe a gift from heaven or the girlfriend from hell? From the moment Britt Rainstar starts seeing the curvaceous heiress, he finds himself menaced by vicious dogs, stalked by pistol-packing skeletons, and attacked by an unseen assailant in a hospital lobby. Couldn't Manny just send flowers?

My last Jim Thompson read was 3 years ago in October 2010, back when I was recording what I had read books-wise but wasn’t penning any thoughts on them. The book at that tim
Aug 12, 2011 Ethan rated it liked it
Jim Thompson's final novel is light in consideration of his past work, but this is certainly no swan song. As usual, Thompson's characters are fully intriguing and interesting. Britt's unreliability and the way in which the author carefully persuades the perspective of the antagonist kept me guessing until the end. Thompson doesn't seem to mind having all of the women in his novel be portrayed as neurotic or unstable: Connie is an invalid always asking for money, Mrs. Oldmstead slowly cheats Bri ...more
Michael Meeuwis
Jun 30, 2013 Michael Meeuwis rated it liked it
Wow: this one is crazy, even by Big Jim standards. One damn thing after another, and a female urination fetish throughout. Something like a mystery, only without humans acting as humans do, and a surprise killer who wears makeup, may look like a goblin, and comes completely from out of nowhere. Also, the narrator is Native American, but to what end I find it impossible to guess. (Not that there needs to be an end to being a Native American, but he talks about it so frequently that I thought the ...more
Sep 17, 2013 Bobbi rated it really liked it
What a mess this guy is constantly getting himself into, and he doesn't ever have the spine to get himself out!I liked him anyway. It seems like everyone is out to get him, but there's a sinister cast to the whole thing that kept me riveted to find out what was actually going on. The strangest thing about it is this guy is broke, has nothing at all - the motivation for everything kept me puzzled right up until the end. But it's a strange book, with a strange flavor that I really (perhaps unexpec ...more
May 18, 2013 Mauricio rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-fiction
Most of the reviews of this book label it just average. The Rip-Off was my introduction to Jim Thompson and so I this title will always have a special place on my bookshelf. Jim Thompson is not unique in writing Crime Fiction, he just seems to do it better and with seemingly less effort than anyone else. I really liked and connected with the main character and, as always, the ending really threw me for a loop.
Sep 02, 2014 Daniel rated it liked it
Apparently, some people are so uninteresting that virtually everyone they know begins to hate them. They dawdle along in the world being pushovers that are a little too far to the side of pathetic and so the hatred in those around them grows until it boils over into a kind of murderous rage. Don't understand how that can happen? Me neither. Not really.

Thompson could be up to his old unreliable narrator tricks again, but I don't think it carries the water it usually does for him this go around. A
Bob Mackey
Jun 26, 2014 Bob Mackey rated it liked it
Published for the first time long after his death, The Rip-Off is hardly essential Thompson, and lacks the bite of his more well-known novels. Still, there's something to be said about his more madcap books, and The Rip-Off is up there with The Golden Gizmo as one of Thompson's more cartoonish stories. The plot follows Britt Rainstar, a down-on-his-luck writer (Thompson always wrote what he knew) who, in a seeming parody of pulp novels, meets a femme fatale and suffers multiple attempts on his l ...more
Sep 08, 2016 Lara7 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
not as good as the earlier ones, but okay.
Tom Stamper
Jul 11, 2015 Tom Stamper rated it liked it
This is a very tame novel by Jim Thompson standards which explains its posthumous publication. The gun on the cover is misleading and even the dog on other covers is a bit overstated. It's a story of a talented writer who doesn't understand women despite their attraction to him. After a period of unfortunate accidents its seems obvious that someone is trying to kill him. What he does with this information is at times comic hopefully intentionally. Except for a scene early in the novel and the de ...more
Oct 08, 2013 Katy rated it it was ok
This is really a novella. Relatively complex plotting that is so unbelievable it is clearly written for laughs. A few key plot elements are inexplicable-like why PXA hires the main character and pays him so much money. This book is more of a sendup of the noir genre than anything else. It doesn't have the emotional grit and psychological depth of Thompson's best work. It does have the usual women characters with borderline personality and antisocial disorders and main male character who can't lo ...more
Jul 14, 2011 Jim rated it really liked it
Pretty lighthearted by Jim Thompson's standards.

Some magnificent turns of phrase / dialogue most of which is very funny indeed.

Some of the writing reminded me very much of when Bret Easton Ellis turns his hand to comedy. (wonder if he's ever read this book?)

The likeable rogue main character Britt Rainstar was a kind of hybrid of Withnail and Victor Ward from Glamorama.

My only dissappointment was that yet again Mr Thompson has written a book involving insurance policies. How many times did he fal
Ty Wilson
Sep 03, 2013 Ty Wilson rated it liked it
Shelves: detective, mystery
This is a strange one. Not what I expected at all. A novel filled with characters that are more than a little off kilter. Britt Rainstar has a wife he left behind and a girlfriend that wants to be his wife. Oh, and his girlfriend is playing sadistic games with him, and just might be trying to kill him. How Britt ended up in this mess is quite a meandering tale and maybe I just wasn't in the mood for this much humor with my pulp. I enjoyed it, but it wasn't what I would call great by any stretch ...more
Jun 07, 2014 Jure rated it liked it
Not sure about this one, it's not bad but certainly not very good. I guess it's okay for Thompson's die-hard fans and completists or academic researchers of his work. I'm neither of these so all I can say is that it reminded me that it's been too long since I've read his stuff. But the next one will be one of his oldies.

More here (review includes spoilers!):
Aug 03, 2008 C rated it really liked it
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. Had heard it was not one of his best, but when I got around to reading it, I loved it. The ending is a little slipshod, but as is typical with Thompson, the first-person narrator is great, the twists and turns are freaky and satisfying, and there are some fantastic one-liners. Read it! And yes, the cover (pictured here, by Vintage) actually figures into the story.
Jan 28, 2012 Lacee rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cal Smyth
Aug 22, 2012 Cal Smyth rated it liked it
Rip-roaring fun from Jim Thompson. Reckon you have to take it more as a writer's fantasy / nightmare rather than straight crime novel, the protagonist's paranoia just about making up for the plot turns. Not as psychotically brilliant as some of his other novels but glimpses of brilliance and had me laughing out loud quite a few times.
Phillip Frey
Aug 25, 2012 Phillip Frey rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes the crime genre.
For me, reading Jim Thompson's books is like having dessert. He fulfills my need to eat up crime stories. This one is about a rich, sexy woman who enters into Britt Rainstar's life. As things begin to take a bad turn in Britt's life, he tries to get out of her clutches before he himself gets murdered.
Jun 05, 2010 Mike rated it really liked it
I thought some Jim Thompson would go well with a trip to L.A. This book is full of psychological torture and bleak mystery, like most of his, but has more of a sense of humor than is usually found. The main character is a likable bumbler, kind of like the Dude from the Big Lebowski, who harms no one and ineffectually winds his way through a cruel, cruel world.
May 27, 2015 Paul rated it liked it
Probably not the best choice for my first Thompson novel, but it was an enjoyable read. Nothing special, though. And Britt Rainstar may be one of the weakest protagonists I've come across. I'd like to try another of his novels to decide if he lives up to his sterling reputation. Killer Inside Me or Pop. 1280 look promising.
Gerhard Schoeman
Sep 26, 2013 Gerhard Schoeman rated it it was amazing
Shelves: jim-thompson
Great, great read. Dizzying sensuality, deceit, doom - and black humour. "It is one of fate's saddest pranks to imbue the least sexually appetizing of us with the hugest sexual appetites." Laughter in the dark.
Robert Hudder
Oct 16, 2015 Robert Hudder rated it really liked it
This was funny. Think of Jeeves and Wooster mixed with As You Like It and set in a noire detective. At little dated with its treatment of Aboriginals but probably bang on for its setting.

Anyways, a really fun and quick read.
David Tybor
You should read a little Jim Thompson at some point. Just not this one.
Kirk Domenico
Oct 24, 2014 Kirk Domenico rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ξεκινάει λίγο αργά και αργεί να σε κερδίσει αλλά καταλήγει διασκεδαστικό.
Diederik Sieburgh
Jul 15, 2015 Diederik Sieburgh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good Thompson novel. Dragged at a few points but worth the read.
Jun 09, 2011 Bobby rated it liked it
The good news is that it's a quick read. As a stand alone book, it's not as bad as you'll hear. When compared against Thompson's greater works, it's pretty forgettable.
Dec 08, 2008 Marian rated it it was ok
Another irresistibly mindless Jim Thompson novel. They so run together . . .
Ben Brackett
Kind of dud as far Thompson goes.
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Pulp Fiction: September 2013 - The Rip-Off 13 55 Nov 07, 2013 10:24PM  
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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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