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The Nothing Man

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  843 Ratings  ·  54 Reviews
Clinton Brown isn’t such a bad guy. He’s a typical intelligent, handsome, divorced man. Well, there is his ex-wife who won’t leave him the hell alone, but besides that he leads a pretty normal life. Except … he’s missing something. He is so desperate to recover it that he may have been driven to murder. He’s trying to get himself charged with murder, but did he do it or di ...more
Kindle Edition, 224 pages
Published (first published 1954)
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Aug 10, 2013 orsodimondo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: noir, americana
Immagino che lascerà di stucco il lettore medio di gialli classici. Ma forse è giusto che quel lettore resti sconcertato. Magari la voglia di intrattenimento lo costringerà alle temibile occupazione di pensare.
Così scrive Jim Thompson di questo suo romanzo, scritto nel 1954 al culmine di una felicissima e fulminea fase creativa: dodici romanzi (tra cui una mezza dozzina di capolavori) in un anno e mezzo, seguendo i ritmi forsennati dei paperback da edicola.

Romanzi com
Aug 06, 2008 Andy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: jim thompson fans
Shelves: pulp-fiction
Psychotically slapstick tale of an ace reporter who lost his private parts in the war, unfortunately the newshound is handsome as hell, so the ladies all chase after him like nobody’s business. What’s a hostile, castrated hunk to do but kill all the women?
Best scene in the book is when the boss’ babytalking wife gets her fat ass handed to her by our dickless hero. Shortly after he throws up her nauseating dinner of frankfurters cooked in mayonnaise (dig the phallic symbolism). One of Thompson’s
Sep 08, 2010 Erik rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Classic nihilistic Thompson. Clinton Brown is work-a-holic, alcoholic, sociopathic wiseass, void of all emotion, and capable of fooling all of his small-town, lame brained coworkers into doing just about anything he wants. He drinks whiskey around the clock, uses his good looks to manipulate women, yet has no problem in resorting to extreme acts of violence when he feels that his cherished loneliness is in danger. When Clinton gets personally involved in the death of his former wife, a mystery u ...more
Jun 17, 2011 Melody rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Melody by: anyone who likes to read the same story over and over
Shelves: creepy, crime
Ok. That's my last Jim Thompson. Even if we have another one at the house I will not read it. It's the same dang story anyway. I'm not even going to put a spoiler alert here because if you've read one of them you need to know you have pretty much read them all. Or at least the one's I've read. The main character kills women. Then he uses his much greater intellect to confuse and trick the dumb people who are around him to believe that he could not possible have been the murderer.

The only new th
Che fatica finirlo! Non mi è piaciuto, la storia non incalza, resta in superficie e sembra sempre che manchi qualche dettaglio, i personaggi sono buttati lì a caso, compreso il protagonista. Eppure l'autore è stato uno sceneggiatore di successo (ha lavorato anche con Kubrick). Per me bocciato.
Nov 24, 2007 Paige rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
God, I love Jim Thompson. On a whim, I decided to reread some of my favorites. The Nothing Man is a blast. A poetry-writing newspaper man, fifths of whisky downed in a few hours, women who fall in love easily and quickly, and murder. What's not to love?
Mar 12, 2014 Ron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thompson is one of the unsung greats of the crime genre in his time who has gained popularity in the 80s and since and had numerous novels adapted for film with great success.

He was pushing the boundaries of violence and the portrayal of alcohol addiction by the mid 50s when this was published, far superseding the luminaries who influenced him originally (Hammett, Chandler). This book is no exception, featuring a lead character who believes alcohol has no effect on him, while living his life in
Sara Mazzoni
Nov 24, 2014 Sara Mazzoni rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Noir da manuale, Un uomo da niente è narrato dalla voce del protagonista Clinton Brown, saldamente ancorato alla spirale discendente delle proprie azioni. L’intreccio, filtrato dal suo punto di vista, presenta fatti aperti ad interpretazioni sempre nuove, rendendo impossibile stabilire cosa sia reale e cosa no. Brown sprofondando in se stesso atterra nel caos, dove l’esistente è un vortice nauseante privo di punti di riferimento.
Scritto nel 1954, pubblicato per la prima volta in Italia nei Gial
Jul 16, 2013 Kittaroo rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
La devo poi smettere di credere a tutte le campagne pubblicitarie che magnificano l'ennesimo capolavoro...
Infatti non ci siamo.

Un uomo da niente è noioso e risente degli anni che ha sulle spalle. È una trama interessante, il protagonista è interessante, la scrittura è interessante, ma tra due settimane me lo sarò scordato del tutto.
Alla fine viene venduto come una sorta di noir psicologico, e ne risulta un libro che come noir è una palla, come indagine profonda negli abissi della disperata psic
Jan 06, 2010 Stephen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My personal favorite Jim Thompson novel. Guy comes back from the war with a little secret wound that he will kill to keep secret.

Loaded with a few first-hand insights into the life of an alcoholic newspaper reporter of the time.

I think it is amazing that he got away with writing this back in the 1950s, when I believe screen kisses were still timed and limited to no more than 5 seconds!!

This is simply good stuff. Read it, guys, you'll enjoy it.
Feb 03, 2014 Larry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Typically nutty Thompson novel. The protagonist is a compellingly sardonic writer who got his, um, parts, blown off in the war and is so consumed with shame that he'll do *anything* to keep it quite. Black humor and violence abound. It's not as sharp as Thompson's best; I've seen speculation that the publisher insisted on a twist ending that doesn't really fit with the rest of the book and it certainly feels that way.
Dec 20, 2007 Gary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
the NOthing man. it's shakespeare. lear and hamlet have a lot in common with the drunken slob of an anti-hero in this novel.

a lot of walking and talking in this, as well.

i'd love to see a screenplay for this.
Dug Gly
Aug 09, 2008 Dug Gly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read this book six or seven times, and it just keeps getting funnier every time.
Mariano Hortal
Publicado en

Una recopilación de novelas de Jim Thompson. La escisión de la identidad

Aprovechando que acabo de terminar la biografía del escritor norteamericano, una joya de la que tendréis noticias en este blog en no mucho tiempo; se me ocurrió la posibilidad de hacer un pequeño monográfico con las obras que me quedaban por leer del escritor; ha valido mucho la pena, sobre todo porque gracias al análisis de la biografía, es indudable que ayudan a disfruta
Nov 30, 2016 Erik rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Nothing Man is a clever twist on a murder novel. In it we see the classic Thompson confrontation between the (A) existentially troubled, intellectually sophisticated (but impotent) Thompson character versus (B) the sly good ole boy and his old fashioned human corruption, and you can guess who ultimately wins.
Jun 25, 2015 Giorgiop rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Su Jim Thompson ammetto la mia colpevole ignoranza invece, ho visto un film tratto da L’assassino dentro di me (The Killer Inside Me) ed è stato uno di quelli che per vari motivi (Winterbottom su tutti) ha lasciato qualcosa dentro (e non fate i cattivi su che fate blink blink nudge nudge perché c’era Jessica Alba) di disturbante, cosa che i grandi film riescono a fare se ti si incastrano nello stomaco.
Un uomo da niente è come dire, un libro della Madonna, differentemente da Cain (siamo nello ste
Feb 21, 2015 Kenneth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Nothing Man reads like a fraternal twin of The Killer Inside Me in which Lou Ford is an alcoholic newspaperman rather than a sheriff. Like Ford, The Nothing Man's narrator Clinton Brown is deeply damaged, but in a different way. Whereas Ford suffers from psychosexual personality disorders, Brown suffers psychologically because of a physical injury - his penis was blown off in the war (hence the title: The No-thing Man) and no one else knows about Brown's condition except his former commandin ...more
Jun 18, 2013 Stephen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoy Thompson, but. man, he can put you through the wringer. His protagonists are just so flat-out im- or at least amoral that the reading can be, well, uncomfortable. This book is no exception, with a war-wounded dissolute and embittered newspaperman, whose rage at the world is taken out on all those around him - ex-wife, colleagues, chief of police, etc. The characters are good, and even if not likeable are enjoyable. There's a real sense of place and period... it's a good, engaging, ...more
Guy Salvidge
This is a clever book, but I can't say I enjoyed it as much as at least 5-6 of Thompson's other novels. So many of his books are one and the same, really. There's a psychopathic protagonist who kills for no particular reason (normally women) and then kills more people to cover up the initial murder/s. There's always a lot of sadistic conversation with other characters who are being duped/framed for the crimes of the protagonist. And our antihero nearly always cops it in the neck in the end. This ...more
Nov 20, 2012 Peter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel surprised me. I had never heard of it before, having only come across it in a three-novel compilation that I picked up for three dollars in a used bookstore in Boston. About halfway through, it was starting to seem like the protagonist's murders were rather gratuitous, not unlike those which soured me on Thompson's revered The Killer Inside Me. But then the ending hits, and suddenly the book is not what it had seemed. Clifton Brown is indeed a nothing man, not really existing as his o ...more
Antonella Montesanti
Un bel noir scritto molto bene da un autore di cui non
avevo ancora letto nessun libro.
Thompson ha saputo fondere in modo magistrale
ironia e schizofrenia del personaggio principale, un
giornalista del Courier separato dalla moglie e reduce
da una missione militare che lo ha lasciato menomato
della sua virilità.
Forse a causa di questo egli non riesce ad instaurare con
nessuna donna un rapporto normale di coppia e si
trova invischiato in una serie di omicidi che lo vedono
protagonista sotto vari punti
Jul 18, 2015 Alok rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author is a top class writer of crime genre and most of his book including this one is from the view point of a criminal and has lot of thought process of a person who has no inhibition to do the wrong doing. The writer generate a few leads and hint about a situation and later picks it up to generate the storyline. The protagonist does the wrong doing and describe the same in his point of view and continue to escape the situation till the end. Jim Thompson novels are the only one where good ...more
Apr 16, 2014 Roger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

The wit & clever word-play immediately draws you in and endears the narrator to you. This is in spite of the character's, inferred, cringe-inducing injury & apparent nonchalant manner in which he kills the women in his life.

But what elevates the book is the "call to action" in the end; forcing the reader to exam how he/she uses his/her own perceived lackings/handicaps to insulate and excuse him/her from trying/doing/feeling whatever it is from which he/she is guarding his/herse
Jun 21, 2013 Stunatra rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: overrated
Took a while to get going, and I wanted to quit several times during those 40 pages, but I kept on, because I've tried to read a couple other Thompson novels and couldn't finish them, and I wanted to at least finish one of his novels, given all the hype surrounding this guy.

This was okay, it was a chore to read at times, but around page 40 it sucked me in and I vowed to finish it. The good parts were few and far in between, the narrator not that likeable. The book felt longer than it needed to
Nathan Alderman
Jul 25, 2007 Nathan Alderman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You've never read a mystery novel like The Nothing Man, an upside-down, backwards, brilliantly structured bit of crime noir. The story begins as the protagonist's confession to three murders -- but is he really guilty? Or just so self-loathing, so consumed with hatred and rage over the unspecified but implicitly horrific war wound he's sustained, that he's talked himself into believing he's a monster? It's a black-hearted slog through the very worst of human nature -- which makes its quiet, stri ...more
Massimo Carcano
Feb 19, 2015 Massimo Carcano rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lo ammetto, non conoscevo Jim Thompson, mi sono solo piaciute la copertina e la trama ma ora posso dire di aver fatto una grande scoperta. Scrittura fluida e potente, trama avvincente e originalità della narrazione fanno senza dubbio innamorare fin dalle prime pagine di questo libro. Chi è Clinton Brown? Qual è il suo problema? Fin dove ci trascinerà con la sua follia? Domande alle quali urge dare una risposta e alle quali Jim Thompson ci inchioda con sapienza. Ora urge assolutamente dare seguit ...more
Wendy Crittenden
I read someone's review here that this book is the same as every other Jim Thompson novel and she was done with him, but I disagree, and I also disagree that every Jim Thompson book is the same premise over and over again. In fact, I am pretty sure she didn't read this one to the end, as there is it doesn't finish as one might expect. It's not my favorite Thompson novel, but it is good.
Oct 13, 2015 Dustin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
First of all, Jim Thompson is one of my top 5 favorite authors. While The Nothing Man is not his best, it is a twisted, psychological tornado of a book with an incredibly smart, entertaining protag who drags you along on his gleeful journey. For me, Thompson's pulp is still fresh as it was in the 50's because he enters the mind of a small town psycho like no other writer.
Jul 16, 2008 Gregg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: noir, crimefiction
Salud to Jim Thompson, second to none in suspense noir writing. An emasculated newspaper reporter murders his ex-wife...or does he? Turns out there are clues behind that don't jibe with what he did. And then he murders more to cover his tracks...or does he? Is the drink getting to him? Or is someone else covering his tracks, in a twisted effort to implicate him even more deeply? Good stuff.
Jan 13, 2017 Steve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the first Jim Thompson books that I read, is also my favorite. The story keeps you riveted and constantly guessing, right up to the surprising end. Surely one of Thompson's crime fiction masterpieces.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

James Myers Thompson was a United States writer of novels, short stories and screenplays, largely in the hardboiled style of crime fiction.

Thompson wrote more than thirty novels, the majority of which were original paperback publications by pulp fiction houses, from the lat
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“The phone rang. Softly, in actuality, yet it seemed loud and ominous, as phones do at night in dark hotel rooms.” 2 likes
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