What can I say about a book that, when I checked out the last chapter after having read the first chapter, as is my usual way of reading a work of fiction, I didn’t understand anything and was left thinking this book was going to be a hell of a ride. Thank God it was only short.
I really didn’t like any of the characters in this book and think that while Jim Thompson is an amazing story teller, his characters in my humble opinion, are bloody awful. It is a testament to Mr Thompsons writing that I wanted to know what happened to these people, even though I didn’t like them at all, even Ruthie.
I am very character driven, sometimes to the detriment of the plot and Jim Thompson writes a mean story. I knew from the first page that Carl Bigelow was a dubious character and probably a hit man. Whilst his back ground story would have usually elicited sympathy, from the start I never cared for him and was pretty sure he was going to meet a messy end.
The target, Jake, whilst having only a small role to play in this novel was unlucky enough to be married to a woman who, whilst a right bitch, made the best of a bad situation. Getting her pleasure where and when she could. Looking at her situation from the perspective of a woman in the millennium, her circumstances are probably similar to many others who are trapped in a marriage that is destructive and unsavory to a man who you wish would just go away.
Thompsons understanding of how a woman feels when in the throes of a major crush are spot on. However, his seeming dislike for both women and the violence used against them while disturbing, was also a pretty accurate assessment of how Bigelow would respond to the opposite sex. I enjoyed his surprise at his feelings for Ruthie and her role in his ending was deeply satisfying in a disturbed kind of way.
Mr Kendall was a nice diversion and Carl’s suspicions gave the story the suspense I was expecting . I won’t give anymore away just in case somebody wants to read it as there are a few twists and turns especially towards the end of the story. I’m not sure I would recommend this book but Jim Thompson is definitely a master story teller and for anybody who doesn’t give a damn about liking the characters (even one of them) then you will most likely enjoy his books. As for me, I look forward to reading my next novel, A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood
I love to read, seriously, words are life and all that. As a child Enid Blyton’s George was my hero, I just loved her!
Having said that, I would love, love, love to tell you I read the likes of Voltaire and Homer, plough through Shakespeare on my days off and devour literature like a premenstrual pissed off woman eats chocolate but alas… I mainline smut. I read short fiction on the internet that is of an undesirable nature and would never tell a soul, meaning you, the genre that has helped me to get through a year that I probably would wish on my worst enemy :)
I explain to my son who reads Fitzgerald and Homer that I, even to my horror, treat reading like I treat wine tasting. Just set up a drip and let the vino do it’s work, please don’t make me sip and swirl and sniff. I feel the same with words, just get me a smutty story that is at best well written with no other purpose than to entertain and I am a very happy and slushy person.
I don’t need to find meaning in anything I read and don’t expect it to change my life, although that is not to say a book hasn’t.
So, the reason for this tumblr is for my WEB101 unit at Curtin University and I have decided that going into a new unit and year:
- I will read a real paper book with pages and words;
- I will read whatever my 18 year old son recommends;
- I will finish said book and then;
- Write a review on my blog and repost on this site.
I look forward to sharing my thoughts with you and if you too have read the reviewed book please feel free to discuss your thoughts with me. Oh I will be continuing to fit in the smut so let’s hope I don’t get the readings mixed up.