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Jim Thompson Biography

(1906–77), The Killer Inside Me, Savage Night, The Nothing Man, A Hell of a Woman

crime

American crime novelist, born in Oklahoma, educated at the University of Nebraska. Little-known in his lifetime, in later years Thompson was reassessed as a classic ‘pulp’ writer, a genre now being revived. Like Charles Willeford or John D. MacDonald, Thompson wrote a great many crime stories which are now seen as collector's items in the ‘hardboiled’ school. His most characteristic style is first-person narrative, in which an abnormal or psychopathic character laconically relates a bizarre career. Thompson's mixture of melodrama, irony, and black humour is used with tremendous skill in The Killer Inside Me (1952), Savage Night (1953), The Nothing Man (1954), A Hell of a Woman (1954), After Dark, My Sweet (1955), and Pop. 1280 (1964). Frequent film versions of his novels, including Sam Peckinpah's The Gataway (1972) and Stephen Frear's version of The Grifters (1990), have gained him prominence.

Sam Thompson Biography - (1916–65), Over the Bridge, Mixed Marriage, The Evangelist, Cemented with Love [next]

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