Kemper's Reviews > Pop. 1280

Pop. 1280 by Jim Thompson
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Jan 27, 2015

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2012, bad-guys-rule, noir, crime-mystery, western, rednecks, serial-killers
Read from January 02 to 05, 2012

Poor Nick Corey. He’s got so many problems with his wife and people who actually expect him to do his job as sheriff of a small town that he can hardly eat more than a few pork chops at dinner or sleep more than 8 or 9 hours a night. But Nick has figured out a way to deal with some of his issues, and if that means shotgunning a few folks, then you can hardly blame the poor man.

The obvious comparison here is to Thompson’s other novel about a small town law man with a serious dark side, The Killer Inside Me. Both Lou Ford and Nick Corey hide their real intelligence and contempt for most people behind a mask of pure good old boy redneck, and they take great delight in using their seeming stupidity to tie people into knots. However, Lou’s insanity was more of a personal revenge kind of thing mixed up with his sadism while Nick’s was actually more disturbing to me with it’s nihilistic nature hiding under his lazy persona.

What makes this book extra creepy is that it’s just so damn funny along the way. Nick comes across as stupid on a Homer Simpson level at first, but as the story progresses, you realize just how smart he is at playing people as well as how batshit insane he really is.

This is a great example of Thompson’s noir genius.
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Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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message 1: by Trudi (new)

Trudi Kemper in light of the shelves you have placed this book on, I would heartily recommend to you Crimes in Southern Indiana: Stories!


message 2: by Jeffrey (new)

Jeffrey Keeten Man, I love Thompson. The best at crazy women, f**ked up men, and the mayhem they create. I'll have to dust off my copy of this and get it in the reading queue.


Kemper Trudi wrote: "Kemper in light of the shelves you have placed this book on, I would heartily recommend to you Crimes in Southern Indiana: Stories!"

To Read shelving....complete.


Kemper Jeffrey wrote: "Man, I love Thompson. The best at crazy women, f**ked up men, and the mayhem they create. I'll have to dust off my copy of this and get it in the reading queue."

Yeah, I gotta reread The Getaway and Grifters again in the near future as well as get to the ones I haven't read yet.


message 5: by James (new)

James Thane I think Nick Corey is one of Thompson's most interesting protagonists.


Kemper James wrote: "I think Nick Corey is one of Thompson's most interesting protagonists."

Yeah, his mix of nihilism and a god complex was one of the most interesting forms of craziness I've read in a character.


message 7: by Adam (last edited Jan 11, 2012 08:07AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Adam I loved this novel when I read it. The scene in which his sheriff friend from another town explains how a pig can consent to sex had me spitting out water.

It could just as easily have been called "The Lighter Side of Psychopathic Texas Sheriffs."


Kemper Adam wrote: "I loved this novel when I read it. The scene in which his sheriff friend from another town explains how a pig can consent to sex had me spitting out water.

It could just as easily have been called..."


That's one of the things I loved about it too. It started out almost as a comedy with Nick seemingly being such a dumb ass, but when you started realizing what he was actually doing, there's a sinister undertone to him playing the fool.


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