hee haw! a rambunctious, heartwarming delight! loveable and sweet-tempered Nick Corey, Sheriff of Potts County, has more problems than you can shake a stick at. poor guy! all he wants to do is kick back and hold on to his dippity-doo-da job not-arresting people. that's not too much to ask, is it? but things are always getting him down. pimps, bitches, and in-laws - the works! what's an amiable, peace-loving soul to do? well, happily, Nick's also a Medici-level manipulator, stone-cold killer, and demented psychopath. whew, close call! Inner Maniac saves the day! or does he?
what i enjoyed most about this grotesque and mordant death-farce was how simultaneously likeable and unlikeable Thompson made Nick. he IS lazy. and petty. and a maniac. but he's so much smarter than anyone else around him and he does such a good job at fooling everyone into thinking he's a useless lackwit that he becomes bizarrely appealing. well, shucks... since Nick is a hideous representation of the cold-blooded reptile mind that exists within us all (including each of the characters in this novel), i suppose i am simply responding to him on a subhuman level, reptile brain to reptile brain. right? or not. who knows, let's just say i was led like a lamb right into uh oh, i'm rooting for the bad guy land.
this is a classic. bleak and misanthropic and evilly hilarious. Jim Thompson hates humans. Humans Off Earth Now!