Maureen's Reviews > Pop. 1280

Pop. 1280 by Jim Thompson
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Mar 08, 13

bookshelves: favourites, novels, noir
Recommended for: who haven't i recommended this to? :)
Read on January 01, 2006

some people prefer the killer inside me, jim thompson's earlier take on this story, to pop. 1280, but i am not one of those people. this is my favourite jim thompson novel, by turns and all at once charming, horrifying, funny, and wise. i posted this quote, this flashpoint of the novel for me, really, on myspace many moons ago, where this book was first recommended to me, after i chose the "wrong" jim thompson book as my first jim thompson book. i have it posted it up on my wall, and i read it over, and think about it a lot. the wisdom of nick corey:

***********

"Yeah?" I said. "So ain't we all relatively inanimate, George? Just how much free will does any of us exercise? We got controls all along the line, our physical make-up, our mental make-up, our backgrounds; they're all shapin' us a certain way, fixin' us up for a certain role in life, and George, we better play that role or fill that hole, or any goddang way you want to put it or all hell is going to tumble out of the heavens and fall right down on top of us. We better do what we were made to do, or we'll find it being done to us."

"You mean it's a case of kill or be killed?" Barnes shook his head. "I hate to think that, Nick."

"Maybe that's not what I mean," I said. "Maybe I'm not sure what I mean. I guess mostly what I mean is that there can't be no personal hell because there ain't no personal sins. They're all public, George, we all share in the other fellas' and the other fellas all share in ours. Or maybe I mean this, George, that I'm the savior himself, Christ on the Cross come right here to Potts County, because God knows I was needed here, an' I'm goin' around doing kindly deeds -- so that people will know they got nothing to fear, and if they're worried about hell they don't have to dig for it. And, by God, that makes sense, don't it George? I mean obligation ain't all on the side of the fella that accepts it, nor responsibility neither. I mean, well, which is worse, George, the fella that craps on a doorknob or the one that rings the doorbell?"
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Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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William Thomas A Swell-Looking Babe is the best Thompson novel, followed closely by After Dark, My Sweet.


Maureen you mention the two major novels i haven't read yet. :)

glad to hear that i have them to look forward to. are they as wise as pop. 1280?


Mike Lester Mo, have you seen the film version of this, Coup de Torchon? (I think that's the correct spelling...)


Tuck if you get a chance check out his bio too, somewhat enlightening Savage Art: A Biography of Jim Thompson


Maureen Tuck wrote: "if you get a chance check out his bio too, somewhat enlightening Savage Art: A Biography of Jim Thompson"

aha! yes! i guess i never added this to my goodreads shelves but i have that book! and it was enlightening! he had a tough life, and a great thirst, and i think the drink was too much for him. as the daughter of a man who got the gout from alcoholism, i've always been wary of the relationship that our society has with alcohol, and i'm not really a big fan of it though i recently started drinking socially again after a four year hard stop, where i was just sick of poisoning myself, and of the artifice of alcohol.

that's probably a too-heavy comment in response to a biography recommendation, but i do feel for jim, i do, and i understand -- i have so much experience in this vein. :)

mike: no i never have seen that film. i will keep my eye open for it at the repertories!


Neil McCrea A couple of years ago I read The Golden Gizmo, and when I finished I became rather melancholy as I realized there were no more Jim Thompson novels left for me to read.


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