A Swell-Looking Babe
The Manton looks like a respectable hotel. Dusty Rhodes looks like a selfless young man working as a bellhop. And the woman in 1004 looks like an angel. But sometimes looks can kill, as Jim Thompson demonstrates in this vision of the crime novel as gothic.
Dusty has a little bit of college behind him--how much is not exactly clear--and he had once hoped to go to medical school. But he had to drop out of school ...more
Thompson adds a bizarre O ...more
The plot itself is simplistic, with the linear nature incorporating flashbacks to Dusty’s (lead character) childhood that justify his easy acquiescence to seduction in the forms of lust and crime. A Bell Hop at a hotel with actor good looks and a high intellect, Dusty is easily swayed by swinging hips and ...more
Thompson's writing flows very well so this is a quick and entertaining read. This is quite a feat because our hero is anything but the ideal subject of idolatry. The more we learn, the ...more
I mean, A Swell-Looking Babe is interesting, if anything, because of Jim Thompson. He has a way with language that makes his weakest efforts better than most people's best. But on the levels of Jim Thompson brilliance, this one just gets too convoluted and weighed down by its own ...more
Every authority and every relative and every colleague of the bellboy in this book thrives ...more
I shouldn’t compare one book to another, but I do it all the time anyway. And I’m no keen scholar Thomson scholar, yet, but this one seemed a bit meager. I mean, Thompson’s got this reputation for a real crackling suspense writer, and t ...more
What we got in this is Bill ‘Dusty’ Rhodes, a hotel bellhop who works the night shift at the Manton hotel for the money. Despite being handsome, he is sad and angry at everyone, the hotel manager, Bascom, the mysterious lady, Marcia Hillis, a woman that Dusty sees usually in a dream in the beginning, then manipulative and needy like his mother in flashbacks, and his father who is old and grasping in his love and concern for his resentful son.
The bala ...more
Young college drop-out Bill "Dusty" Rhodes is working as a bellboy at the Manton Hotel until he can get his life situated so he can go back to school. But the money is good and the job is easy and Dusty has his sick old father to support. He loves his dad but doesn't understand where the old man spends all the money Dusty gives him. Then the swell-looking babe, a gray-haired older woman, checks into the hotel and Dusty can't stop thinking about how beautiful s ...more
Just like the last few I read, this one left me feeling in dire need of a morality car wash. I always close a JT book feeling soiled, ill-used, exhausted, and thankful to be who I am. But I eat them up ravenously. It's a madcap ...more
Rhodes, his main guy, is torn, conflicted, as only the noir can do, between doing the right thing and doing the wrong thing and gets mixed up in both as the story descends into massive score madness gone bad, and getting worse all the time.
Tug Trowbirch is a great bad guy, all guts and guns, and reminds me of a ...more
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