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 anThis 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 with brutal emotional dis-attachment. In the following discussion in the novel he is describing his perspective on life.
"You're a square Joe." "am I ?" i said."How do you know i am, Johnny? How can a man ever really know anything? Were living in a funny world, kid, a peculiar civilisation. The police are playing crooks in it, and the crooks are doing police duty. The politicians are preachers, and the preachers are politicians. The tax collectors collect for themselves. The bad people want us to have more dough, and the good people are fighting to keep it from us. It's not good for us, know what i mean? If we all had all we wanted to eat, we'd crap too much. We'd have inflation in toilet paper industry. That's the way i understand it. That's about the size of some of the arguments i've heard." "Theres a time of peace I said and a time of war. A time to sow and a time to reap. A time to live and a time to die"
Jim Thompson creates a main protagonist that you get to like, but at the same time he has a side to him we would all hate. Thompson tries to show us that the cliched perspective of 1950s America as a land of communal benevolence and white picket fences requires attention. Paper thin, with a cancerous presence under the skin from the actions of 'evil that men do.' It is a mark of Thompson's skill that our identification with Lou, encouraged by his first-person narration, is never quite frayed. While he seems at the same time to explain his reasons for his actions he does not quite understanding why he treads that path, he tries to understand himself in his story by digging out a quote out of a psychology textbook.
"The subject suffers from strong feelings of guilt... combined with a sense of frustration and persecution... which increase as he grows older; yet there are rarely if ever any surface signs of... disturbance. On the contrary, his behaviour appears to be entirely logical. He reasons soundly, even shrewdly. He is completely aware of what he does and why he does it..."
The main protagonist Harry Crane takes us back to his youth to the time of the 1930's. He tells of his growing up in the family farm in the Bottoms, oThe main protagonist Harry Crane takes us back to his youth to the time of the 1930's. He tells of his growing up in the family farm in the Bottoms, of their struggles during the great Depression and the grizzly murdered women that they discover in the Bottoms. He tells of his wonders of his youth and his delight in learning of those around him during his coming of age, of his quest and mystery in search of the identity of The Goat Man.
His poor Dog Toby a limp but courageous dog that you'll never forget and his equally brave and lovely sister Tom. That loving kind ma and his grandma really a character to remember his father a stand up righteous kind of guy, a tough law man that wishes to see beyond skin colour. They faces problems with K.K.K members in the search for the murderer. As the story progresses more peoples true colours start to show.
The Bottoms be a place you would love and hate to live, mark my words it sure is a place and a story to remember of as long as you live. It pays homage to the great novel To Kill a Mockingbird, has everything that story stood for and leaves the reader with a similar awe.
Well deserved of the Edgar Award.
This story is just as good as his new novel Edge of Dark Water also taken place during the depression era with equally wonderful and memorable characters.
The story is presented before you in easy flowing storytelling way, a poignant tale of human endeavour against odds, yet another Joe Lansdale great story with wonderful prose. A joy to read full of heart and horrors, a fully immersive reading of a great story.
Once completing this story you would be in regret due to no longer being in company with these characters just as the main protagonist mentions in his recollections... "Each time i visit now, close my eyes to go there, i hope when i awake i will no longer be of this world, but one where Mama and Daddy, Tom and Grandma, perhaps even Mose and the Goat Man, and of course good old Toby, will be waiting for me."
Watch out for a movie adaptation that is going to be released, this would be a really good movie especially starring with Bill Paxton as an actor.
"Just a short time before I had been a happy kid with no worries. I didn't even know it was the Depression, let alone there were murderers outside of the magazines I read down at the barbershop, and none f the magazines I read had to do with killers who did this kind of thing. And Daddy, though a good man, sincere and true, if briefly distracted, was no Doc Savage. In the detective magazines the cops and private eyes saw a clue two, they put it together. Cracked the whole case wide open. In real life, there were clues a plenty, but instead of cracking the case open, they just made it all the more confusing."
"Daddy was often chastised by certain church-minded folks for keeping pulps handy at the barbershop. But as my Dad always explained about racy covers, it's just a little paint, folks. Nobody's naked."
"Another thing different then was you learned about things like dying when you were quite young. It couldn't be helped. You raised and killed chickens and hogs, hunted and fished, so you were constantly up against it. That being the case, I think we respected life more than some do now, and useless suffering was not to be tolerated."
The story that played with fire and ruined a promising debut novel with a interesting femme fatale. I am shocked publishers allowed this to be releaseThe story that played with fire and ruined a promising debut novel with a interesting femme fatale. I am shocked publishers allowed this to be released it was too long and drawn out mediocre and dull and written badly. Expected more due to chit chat from the media this is crime thriller genre at it's weakest. I advise to stay well away from no.2 go see the movie version of this and give 3rd book a try....more
A gripping story! If you've seen the movie this is better, you get that missing insight of being in Norman's mind. The story is a page-turner. Bloch i A gripping story! If you've seen the movie this is better, you get that missing insight of being in Norman's mind. The story is a page-turner. Bloch is a good writer and has plotted the story well no sentence is wasted or boring. After reading Darkly Dreaming Dexter I thought I would try and get into rambling mind of a different kind of killer. Bates is obsessed with his mother wants to be like her And wants her to be part of him.
Some facts The novel "Psycho", written by Robert Bloch, was actually part of a series of pulp novels marketed in conjunction with the popular spooky radio show "Inner Sanctum". Alfred Hitchcock bought the rights to the novel anonymously from Robert Bloch for only US$9,000. He then bought up as many copies of the novel as he could to keep the ending a secret. Spoiler! Only read below if you know the story. (view spoiler)[In the end alot of detail is left out in the movie that touches on the state of mind of Bates. He was a transvestite schizophrenic, who in a blind range of jealousy killed his mother and her lover so that he could have his mother to himself. In the end out of guilt he tried to revive his mother from dead having conversation with her skeleton and pretending she was alive until in his split personality she literally became part of him. He would become semi drunk and have and split where she became the driver and killed until he gained control again, then he would assume he just passed out asleep when she was in control. He was reading into satanism and metaphysics which is probably where he got the idea that he could bring back his mother from the dead and decided to unearth her body from her grave (hide spoiler)]
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Beautifully written emotions of loss, love and redemption. The plot is well woven and exciting you take a step into the darkness of the heart and of tBeautifully written emotions of loss, love and redemption. The plot is well woven and exciting you take a step into the darkness of the heart and of their mistakes and losses of love and finding of new love and chances of redemption. You really want love to be found and the relationship to work for the two main characters but also you anticipate who will be killed off an enjoyable easy read, atmospheric set in rural Wisconsin 1907 during bitter cold snow. http://more2read.com/?review=a-reliable-wife-by-robert-goolrick...more
A teenage girl whose surrounded by people getting by surviving on the ways they know how. Some honesty others through criminal activity. They know each other, different clans that operate in the same circles of business. Her father has slipped up and a bondsman pays a visit with threats of seizing their land if he does not present himself. But he has erred in a more deadly slip, he snitched and now she finds herself having to find her father to save herself and her sick mother and two young brothers from being homeless. When she undertakes this search for her father she learns of his ill fate and needs proof of his death to a bondsman.
Daniel Woodrell string great sentences together and make you feel the country the wilderness and the raw and bitter atmosphere. She is a brave hearted character with plenty of spunk who wishes to be away and free from these responsibilities that have been put upon her. Due to her goodness she can no way leave her brothers and ailing mother in the lurch being without her tendering loving care to hand and her responsibilities of being a role model for her brothers.
This girl is another heroine from the literary world that is memorable and is spoken highly of. In an interview i had with author Alan Heathcock of Volt : Story Collection, commented on the charcter Ree Dolly..... "I also really admire Ree Dolly, the hero in Daniel Woodrell’s Winter’s Bone. Ree does anything and everything she has to do to protect her brother and sister, and endures terrible hardship in the process. If I list the top 10 toughest people I’ve ever known, that list would be dominated by women. If Ree Dolly were a real person, she’d be near the top of that list." also interview here.
Excerpts I highlighted.
"Mom sat in her chair beside the potbelly and the boys sat at the table eating what Ree fed them. Mom's morning pills turned her into a cat, a breathing thing that sat near heat and occasionally made a sound. Mom's chair was an old padded rocker that seldom rocked, and at odd instants she'd hum ill-matched snips of music, notes unrelated by melody or pitch. But for most of any day she was quiet and still, wearing a small lingering smile prompted by something vaguely nice going on inside her head. She was a Bromont, born to this house, and she'd once been pretty. Even as she was now, medicated and lost to the present, with hair she forgot to wash or brush and deep wrinkles growing on her face, you could see she'd once been as comely as any girl that ever danced barefoot across this tangled country of Ozark hills and hollers. Long, dark, and lovely she had been, in those days before her mind broke and the parts scattered and she let them go."
"Ree's grand hope was that these boys would not be dead to wonder by age twelve, dulled to life, empty of kindness, boiling with mean. So many Dolly kids were that way, ruined before they had chin hair, groomed to live outside square law and abide by the remorseless blood-soaked commandments that governed lives led outside square law. There were two hundred Dollys, plus Lockrums, Boshells, Tankerslys, and Langans, who were basically Dollys by marriage, living within thirty miles of this valley. Some lived square lives, many did not, but even the square-living Dollys were Dollys at heart and might be helpful kin in a pinch. The rough Dollys were plenty peppery and hard-boiled toward one another, but were unleashed hell on enemies, scornful of town law and town ways, clinging to their own."
"All her aches were joined as a chorus to sing pain throughout her flesh and thoughts. .........When Ree moved she came loose and sagged as the chorus inside hit fresh sharp notes. Her agony was the song and the song held so many voices and Gail lowered her into the bathtub where sunk to her chin in tepid water she marked a slight hushing of all the chorus but the singers in her head."
"Ree needed often to inject herself with pleasant sounds, stab those sounds past the constant screeching, squalling hubbub regular life raised inside her spirit, poke the soothing sounds past that racket and down deep where her jittering soul paced on a stone slab in a gray room, agitated and endlessly provoked but yearning to hear something that might bring a moment’s rest."
"Pine trees with low limbs spread over fresh snow made a stronger vault for the spirit than pews and pulpits ever could."
"Love and hate hold hands always so it made natural sense that they’d get confused by upset married folk in the wee hours once in a while and a nosebleed or bruised breast might result. But it just seemed proof that a great foulness was afoot in the world when a no-strings roll in the hay with a stranger led to chipped teeth or cigarette burns on the wrist."
"One night is forgot like a fart, two like a pang, but after three nights lain together there is a hurt, and to soothe the hurt there will be night four, and five, and nights unnumbered. The heart’s in it then, spinning dreams, and torment is on the way. The heart makes dreams seem like ideas."
Getting in mind of Dexter is never boring his insight is funny and his technique of killing is masterful.Dexter talks of his beginnings, of his firstGetting in mind of Dexter is never boring his insight is funny and his technique of killing is masterful.Dexter talks of his beginnings, of his first kill, the day his dark passenger became the rider. Recollections of the past with his father Harry and his deadly advice, its a good fast read in the rambling mind of a sociopath Dexter. ...more
A day in the life of an insurance salesman, who looks for some extra bucks and meets a woman who wants to make more than just a few bucks. He thinks hA day in the life of an insurance salesman, who looks for some extra bucks and meets a woman who wants to make more than just a few bucks. He thinks he knows all the tricks and has a plan, will it work? Hard boiled noir style thriller really keeps you wanting to see how the plan unfolds.
"All right, I'm an agent. I'm a croupier in that game. I know all their tricks, I lie awake nights thinking up tricks, so I'll be ready for them when they come at me. And then one night I think up a trick, and get to thinking I could crook the wheel myself if I could only put a plant out there to put down my bet. That's all. When I met Phyllis I met my plant."
Update due to watching the movie JUNE 6th 2011 Just finished watching the movie and i am frustrated at the changing of the story. I done a search on the glorious web of information and Wikipedia gave me the needed info. pasted below. There needs to be a real adaptation done of this Clint Eastwood please take note! Eastwood has been converting quite a few books to movies and is a good director. It seems Raymond Chandler rewrote story in the screenplay.
From Wikipedia about the movie and book.. James M. Cain based his novella on a 1927 murder perpetrated by a married Queens, New York woman and her lover whose trial he attended while working as a journalist in New York. In that crime, Ruth Snyder persuaded her boyfriend, Judd Gray, to kill her husband Albert after having him take out a big insurance policy — with a double-indemnity clause. The murderers were quickly identified, arrested and convicted. The front page photo of Snyder's execution in the electric chair at Sing Sing has been called the most famous newsphoto of the 1920s
Initially, Wilder and Chandler had intended to retain as much of Cain’s original dialogue as possible. It was Chandler, ironically, who first realized that the dialogue from the novella would not translate well to the screen. Wilder disagreed and was annoyed that Chandler was not putting more of it into the script. To settle it, Wilder hired a couple of contract players from the studio to read passages of Cain’s original dialogue aloud. To his astonishment, Chandler was right and, in the end, the movie’s cynical and provocative dialogue was more Chandler and Wilder than it was Cain
Cain himself was very pleased with the way his book turned out on the screen. After seeing the picture half a dozen times he was quoted as saying, " ... It's the only picture I ever saw made from my books that had things in it I wish I had thought of. Wilder's ending was much better than my ending, and his device for letting the guy tell the story by taking out the office dictating machine — I would have done it if I had thought of it."
James M Cain himself
Chandler does a cameo role in the movies, seen here seated.
A story of suspense, the past is being unearthed and revisited, in a tense knitted tale. There is an autistic artist who is an interesting and a imporA story of suspense, the past is being unearthed and revisited, in a tense knitted tale. There is an autistic artist who is an interesting and a important character in the story, he is trying to assist an unsettled victim by sending messages in an unconventional way. Writing pace is tense and flowing in a page-turning thriller one that you would want to read in one or two sittings....more
Story of twins, evil and the dead, was expecting a lot more suspense some parts were better than others. A twist in the tale a saviour from even lowerStory of twins, evil and the dead, was expecting a lot more suspense some parts were better than others. A twist in the tale a saviour from even lower ratings but the story was a mediocre horror story. The writing was not flowing easily, more people probably rate it higher I am guessing due to the movie. I reckon the movie would be better I plan to watch the original adaptation....more
Good read this was at the bottom of my pile and the blurb got me into trying it. He's a crazed murderer sloppy and sadistic, gripping reading from offGood read this was at the bottom of my pile and the blurb got me into trying it. He's a crazed murderer sloppy and sadistic, gripping reading from offset with quite a few surprises in the story.when yu get into the chapters were yu see things from his pov he's really messed up I get images of that murderer from silence of lambs movie. Was page-turner right to end....more