wally's Reviews > The Killer Inside Me

The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson
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Dec 27, 11

bookshelves: thompson-jim
Read from December 25 to 27, 2011

stanley kubrick on the cover, "probably the most chilling and believable first-person story of a criminally warped mind i have encountered."

ok...sounds good. seems always to help a bit to know a bit about what you're getting into, no? i think so.

this is story one from jim thompson for me. the 1st.

on the back jacket (paperback) "lou ford is the deputy sheriff of a small town in texas....most people don't know about the sickness...."

but i know now, this after page 8.

this is a fairly fast-paced story. lou on page one, in a diner, a bum outside the window eyes him, waits for him to come out. lou gives him what for.

centray city texas...he is a deputy...and he "almost forgot"...."until her".


her turns out to be a lady working nights. so like the 1st 5 pages are present, here and now. then we get 10 pages of past...a bit of history on lou ford, deputy sheriff...and a bit more history in chapter 3, pp 17 and following, a gradually building history that lays out lou's state of mind.

spooky...reading some of his cliche dialogue that he uses to "ride" someone...my word, not thompson's....he uses other phrases but that is what is meant. d'ya ever know someone like that? i have. ex con. spooky. anyway...good story....by "cliche" i mean that....cliche..yet lou ford knows it is cliche, and that perhaps is part of the reason uses it...:every cloud has a silver lining...haste makes waste...look before you leap...

you begin to arrive at this station that is empty save lou ford....and he don't believe he is there, either.....the idea begins to grow on you that he does not believe any of it...

update: finished last night, the 26th
ole lou ford, what can be said? deputy sheriff of central city and crazy. not slow crazy, but another version, one that passes for normal most of the time.

he tries to stay one step ahead of the game, but things/events keep tripping him up. one character in part, really two characters, but one for sure, a rich builder (the other is the county attorney) seem almost to know what is up...that, or they are just as crazy as he is as they seem to use him toward ends they'd like to see come about.

in that regard, for me, this should be reread.

as noted, things keep tripping him up....one of those situations where on lie leads to another and so on. almost comic. but for loou ford it is too much. some mysterious (as in....what?) events at the end--that due to his mental state...the what-effect?....or operator error? i take it it is due to the mental state of ford...some...stephen-king moments


the next to the last chapter is second-person (you) and that is interesting, an interesting way of telling the story of lou ford....crazy...going crazier...and then the last chapter (both are relatively short) moves back to first-person.

there is an extended metaphor throughout--words as shrapnel--cliches used by ford as shrapnel...ford seeing others' use of words as shrapnel....there is one character that even has some shrapnel in his ass...the county attorney i think it was...although maybe it was the builder.

much if not most of the story takes the form of conversation and there is nothing wrong w/that....but it is noted. in thompson's story the reader knows where the locale is...knows where the speakers are...as there are the set/scene...action/setting....as in either walking, or maybe driving...and two characters meet and begin to talk.

there is a noted lack of open in-your-face sex...and there is no homo sex...all hetero. so two characters would meet, there's be a build up in that direction, and it'd be over, w/o any bodice ripping, throbbing body parts on display. at the same time, too, there is an almost quaint style about the way they go about it....the woman leaving ford's house after dark, but before the light of morning...although at one point a character, the sheriff as i recall, makes the point to the county attorney, who is new, that though "those kind of things" go on, they know they go on, they have been going on forever, they in central city don't focus on them. y'hear?

what else?

great story...those 'weird' things at the end have me puzzled....but maybe that was ford's mental state.
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Reading Progress

12/25/2011 page 46
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