Brett's Books

Pop. 1280

Let's Get Our Killing On!

Pop. 1280

Vintage Crime / Black Lizard
October 1990

Thoughts Going In

It's a reprint of a classic... or at least, that is what they are selling it as. I like the cover, the size, the look, the feel... and I like the Black Lizard Logo.

In the cover illustration (probably, more formally a photo), the gun is not smoking. But hopefully, that will change before long.

I want grisly death.

And if I don't get it, I might just start writing it on my own.

Also (and finally), I'm looking for some light reading, to let my mind go. It's a major reason for this selection. It looks light. I hope it is easy, as well. After all, that's just the way I like my gun-play.

I'm smart enough not to say my women.

After all, there's only one woman for me.

A Solid Quote

Starting at the second paragraph in the book:
And yet I was worried. I had so many troubles that I was worried plumb sick.

I'd sit down to a meal of maybe half a dozen pork chops and a few fried eggs and a pan of hot biscuits with grits and gravy, and I couldn't eat it. Not all of it. I'd start worrying about those problems of mine, and the next thing you knew I was getting up from the table with food still left on my plate.
I wasn't planning on including a second quote. But I can't help myself.
You can't fault a jug for bein' twisted because the hand of the potter slipped.

Running Thoughts

The Debriefing

I take the final paragraph (those last forty-five words) as being directed square-on at the reader with good old Jim Thompson doing the talking. I do not find it to be a Satisfying Sayonara.

You know, I could kick the book... in that the entire premise is faulty. It's like the writer stepped into an existing situation... and then, changed said existing situation around beyond all recognition. Which is, likely, not clear... or overly fair, either. So, let me say, very near the beginning, I started to think how certain aspects of the story didn't make sense. It was as if one were playing a computer game and had selected a pre-generated character; but then, preceeded to play that character in a way that was altogether inconsistent with their back story. Well, so, there was that. And then, here at the end, I'm wondering if we couldn't improve the cohesiveness of the story by simply hitting the eject button and dropping out of the game.
And that's when I dropped out and let the screen fade to black. I mean, I could have played it through further. But any fool could see I wasn't going to be getting a High Score. And at that point, one Game Over is just as good as the next.
They made it into a movie (Coup de Torchon), so opinions (obviously differ) on the quality of the story and the cohesiveness of the plot.

In other regards, Jim tells a good story, wraps a joke up nicely, and the killing is clean, and the sex... abundantly off-screen.

In short, word for word, Pop. 1280 by Jim Thompson was a delightful read. And then, the words stopped, without any meaningful resolution.

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I'd read his next one... maybe. But I wouldn't hunt it out. The problem is that I now know in advance there's (likely) no satisfying conclusion... just an ending. And there is a profound difference between the two.

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