Matthew's Reviews > South of Heaven

South of Heaven by Jim Thompson
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Apr 20, 10

bookshelves: texana, detectives

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message 1: by notgettingenough (last edited Apr 20, 2010 07:05AM) (new)

notgettingenough Don't know what to say about what you have extracted from this book, which I have not read. But Jim Thompson is a really fine writer. I was astonished, when I did finally discover him, that it had taken me so long.


Matthew What's his best one you've read?


message 3: by Steve (last edited Apr 21, 2010 12:19AM) (new)

Steve I'm sure Notgettingenough a good list. Most of what I've read by Thompson is good, but I've heard there are some rough patches to be avoided. This may be one of them (I've never heard of this title before). The Thompson I've liked:

The Killer Inside Me
Grifters
Swell Looking Babe
Savage Night
Hell of a Woman
Population 1280* (This is pretty good, but I think it was just a reworking of Killer Inside Me.)

I haven't read The Getaway, probably because I've seen the movie so many times. Jason Starr's Twisted City is a very good Thompson-like novel. Also, the Ice-Harvest (which was made into an ok movie), reminded me a lot of Thompson.


notgettingenough Matthew wrote: "What's his best one you've read?"

I like Steve's list. Steve, you are quite right that there is the odd one to avoid. There was one I ended up leaving in a friend's car boot for emergency reading, but I can't recall the name.

I think The Getaway doesn't bear a close relationship to the film, so you might give it a go anyway.

One of the things I find remarkable is his descriptions of violence, they are unique and totally sucked me in. Usually I skip those bits, not out of squeamishiness but boredom...they belong in the category of car chases and a lot of scenic description. Moving right along...Unfortunately I don't have access to any of his books at the moment, or I'd give an example.


message 5: by Steve (new)

Steve There's a scene in The Killer Inside Me, which only involves a punch (to a woman), that is one of the brutal scenes I've ever read in a novel. Considering some of things I've read, that's saying something.


Matthew Thanks for the recommendations.

I get most of the books I read from a nice used book shop here in town. Part of the fun is the sloppy way they organize things. This was in the history section of all places.

These pulp writers led such colorful lives, I suppose they can be forgiven for some duds.


notgettingenough Steve wrote: "There's a scene in The Killer Inside Me, which only involves a punch (to a woman), that is one of the brutal scenes I've ever read in a novel. Considering some of things I've read, that's saying so..."

I think the point is not that it is brutal, but that Thompson writes in a way that makes it real in a way I have never come across before. What's shocking isn't the brutality but the believability of it. I don't know. There must be a better way of putting that.


message 8: by booklady (new)

booklady I haven't read anything by Thompson, but I liked your review Matthew.


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