Richard's Reviews > Pop. 1280

Pop. 1280 by Jim Thompson
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Apr 03, 11

bookshelves: 2011
Read in April, 2011 — I own a copy

The problem with "Pop. 1280" is that there are no characters to cheer for. Absolutely nobody in this book is sympathetic. They're all despotic psychopaths screwing each other over (literally and figuratively). Don't get me wrong. I'm no wilting flower. But Thompson goes way over the top in this one, cramming the pages with scatological dialogue, rape, racism, violence and sadistic cruelty. I felt physically sick while reading parts of this book.

Whereas Chandler's baddies all ultimately get their comeuppance, Thompson's crooks are allowed to get away scott-free in a completely amoral world. And, frankly, it's disheartening to watch that happen.
I'm going to keep reading the Thompson canon, but I will do so with caution. The dude can really bum me out.
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Chilly SavageMelon You've come close to explaining some complaint I have about Thompson that I can't quite voice myself. I don't feel like badies need their comeupence- "" but I'm trying to figure out why I frequently like Ellroy but not Thompson. Something about him is "asshole" I just can't get on board with. But I love a well presented psycho in a story...


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