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The Golden Gizmo

3.46  ·  Rating Details ·  497 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
Toddy Kent would be another footstore gold buyer hustling brooches from Los Angeles housewives if he hadn't been born with a "gizmio, " the sixth sense that guides him to where the easy money is. Now Toddy's gizmo has steered him to a seemingly unlimited source of pure, unadulterated--and convienently illicit--gold. The only problem is that Toddy's gizmo has a tendency to ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published May 26th 1998 by Vintage (first published 1954)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Brian
Aug 16, 2015 Brian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When it’s well over 100 degrees and you’re trying to find comfort in your drought addled, heat stroked confines it’s the right time to serve yourself up some 1950s crime fiction – hard boiled, naturally.

Despite its weak title this short, fast moving novel has a lot going for it. The protagonist is a small time con man with a long streak of getting himself out of hotspots while searching for the next grift. Thompson moves the action along mainly through the use of dialogue giving the story a fran
...more
Kirk Smith
Nov 16, 2014 Kirk Smith rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: top-noire
One of the lowest rated Thompsons, but still good. I do certainly love his style. Oh, and there was a trained Doberman that could practically speak the human language. A good bit of fun.
Stephanie
Jul 07, 2014 Stephanie rated it really liked it
Shelves: j-thompson-only
Another great read by Mr. Thompson. I know I'm a complete sell out for anything this guy wrote but still,it doesn't change the fact that it becomes a bit more obvious every single time that Thompson is the master of Pulp/Pop fiction.
I mean seriously, who can introduce a talking dog in a book and still manage for every reader to be like: yeah, makes sense, pretty common, I buy that? Jim Thompson, that's who.
The Golden Gizmo is like any other Jim's books, it makes you feel like you're driving full
...more
David
May 24, 2012 David rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: noirboiled
Six months from now, I will remember three things about this novel: (1) A female characters gets pistol-whipped in the breasts; (2) the protagonist revives a dying woman with coffee and then immediately has sex with her; and (3) there is a talking dog.
Adam  McPhee
Aug 01, 2016 Adam McPhee rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Hobos, nazis, bale bondsmen, back alleys in Tijuana, door-to-door gold buyers, a talking dog. It gets convoluted fast. The protagonist is a former hobo, and it seems like most of the book is Thompson displaying his hobo knowledge, but he's not proud of it. (Thompson was himself a hobo before finding work with the WPA during the depression). It's weird because hobo knowledge is always weirdly specific (there's a debate on whether or not you can drug black coffee, a bit on how to cheat at dice if ...more
Bookendsused Pefferly
Jul 05, 2012 Bookendsused Pefferly rated it really liked it
I found a clutch of Jim Thompson novels at the Goodwill. It was like winning the lottery (in a Jim Thompson kind of way).

I immediately devoured this one. I liked it a lot. The Golden Gizmo is a sort of 6th Sense that the protagonist has that either leads him to hidden riches or hidden trouble. As one would expect from Thompson, it was an excellent crime novel with a few surreal touches to keep it from being bland. I liked the talking Doberman myself.

It's not quite up there with The Master and M
...more
Jess
Sep 03, 2008 Jess rated it really liked it
ahhh. yeah, there's the fix. lotsa pulpy, page-swishing plot with 2 or 3 good twists that come faster and harder as you reach the end of the book. all the must-haves are here: the con man, the cold-hearted dame, the good girl, the old-school hardass, the freaky guy ... oh, and a talking dog. never quite figured out the dog's reason for being here -- other than to increase the freak factor of the freaky guy -- but whatevs. it didn't distract at all from the story of a guy who has to cut some ugly ...more
Titus G
Mediocre plot but an interesting protagonist with a fascinating outlook based on his temporary propensity to succeed when doing what he knows is wrong. Strange Elaine, evil and horrendously drunk. Petty local hoods playing at protection, A smorgasbord of oddities.
Anders
Feb 14, 2014 Anders rated it liked it
Jim Thompson - always amusing, and unpredictable, double-crossing characters, greed, etc. This one i didn't find as gripping as some other Thompsons but it's diggable stuff, talking dog and chinless man included.
David
Mar 10, 2013 David rated it liked it
Toddy's got a sense for a short con. He calls it his golden gizmo yet it eventually it always leads to trouble. When he is framed for a crime he didn't commit what results is a clever, if some what generic noir.
David
A weak entry for the master of Noir Fiction.

If you are a hardcore Thompson fan you may find some of the characters compelling but the plot is predictable and the outcome foreordained.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Phillip Frey
Aug 24, 2012 Phillip Frey rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes sinister crime stories.
Toddy Kent has a sixth sense, one that guides him to where the easy money is. Something that will unexpectedly lead to his wife's murder. What follows is Kent's attempt to escape from those who then pursue him.
Pdxjackie
Nov 26, 2010 Pdxjackie rated it really liked it
Kind of campy, and certainly rollicking- I thought this book was tons of fun. Violent, evil fun.
Nick
Jul 24, 2008 Nick rated it it was ok
Not bad.... not great either.

The plot kind of simmered out and never really peaked.
Jason
Nov 16, 2008 Jason rated it liked it
Pretty weak for Jimbo but i still kinda liked it
Jared
Feb 22, 2016 Jared rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I like Jim Thompson. But I just couldn't get through this book.
Bryn Powell
Dec 07, 2012 Bryn Powell rated it did not like it
I have read many books by Jim Thompson and all were excellent, but this was nonsense. An awful book.
David
Dec 28, 2013 David rated it did not like it
Idiotic worthless drivel. Anachronistic dialect, flat characters with incomprehensible motives. Can I give it 0 stars?
Bruce
Apr 30, 2009 Bruce rated it it was amazing
Fascinating, furious, and funny. One of Thompson's lightest book...but still a good portion of noir.
Danpolonsky
Dec 05, 2007 Danpolonsky rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: hard boiled people who are always on the grift.
...Never trust a talking dog, a man with no chin, dames, and anyone else you might meet.
Neil McCrea
Mar 18, 2009 Neil McCrea rated it liked it
The goofiest and least convincing of all Jim Thompson's work, that said it is still a Jim Thompson novel and you could make a much worse choice in your reading material.
Heath
Heath rated it really liked it
Jan 02, 2015
Joseph
Joseph rated it really liked it
Oct 18, 2010
Sarah
Sarah rated it really liked it
Apr 18, 2015
Ashok Banker
Ashok Banker rated it liked it
Dec 05, 2011
alice calvin
alice calvin rated it liked it
Jul 01, 2015
Karli Nyland
Karli Nyland rated it really liked it
Feb 13, 2015
Dennis Oconnor
Dennis Oconnor rated it really liked it
Aug 17, 2014
Sean Fahey
Sean Fahey rated it liked it
Jan 02, 2014
Beno
Beno rated it it was amazing
Apr 14, 2012
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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
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