Frank "Dolly" Dillon has a job he hates, working sales and collections for Pay-E-Zee Stores; a wife named Joyce he can't stand; and an account balance that barely allows him to pay the bills each month. Working door-to-door one day, trying to eke money out of folk with even less of it than he has, Dolly crosses paths with a beautiful young woman named Mona Farrell. Mona's being forced by her aunt to do things she doesn't like, with men she doesn't know - she wants out, any way she can get it. And to a man who wants nothing of what he has, Mona sure looks like something he actually does.
Soon Dolly and Mona find themselves involved in a scheme of robbery, murder, and mayhem that makes Dolly's blood run cold. And as Dolly's plans begin to unravel, his mind soon follows.
In A Hell of a Woman, Jim Thompson offers another arresting portrait of a deviant mind, in an ambitious crime novel that ranks among his best work.
©2012 Jim Thompson (P)2012 Hachette
I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - Salinger ^(;,;)^
There is only so much Jim Thompson one should read in a summer. Even an Arizona summer starts to seem dark under the weight of too much Thompson. Finishing this book makes me want to punch someone. Hard. Look, this isn't his best pitch. I get it. He's done better stuff. Things that will hang with you longer. Stories that were a bit more dynamic. But still, reading this Dimestore Dostoevsky is going to bend you no matter how this book measures up to Thompson's other stuff. This novel reads like a linear, painful nervous breakdown. The women hurt and the money doesn't help.
Just remember folks. Life isn't fair. Women are hard. Money is damn slippery. It all becomes that much more complicated when you are beat down and a bit crazy to boot. Some people never get a lucky roll. Some people never catch an easy day. This book is for the poor, the misunderstood, the downtrodden. It is a book to remind those poor sons-of-bitches that not only could their lot be worse, but yeah baby, someday it most certainly WILL be worse.
Yes. Because of the narrator. Thomas Kelly is performance is perfect. He actually makes the story come more alive. Usually, it's the other way around, where reading the story is better. But, not this time. This is a GREAT listen.
Thomas Kelly's perfect narration.
I know Jim Thompson mostly from the movies that have been made from his books. The Grifters. After Dark, My Sweet. And, my favorite, The Getaway (both versions). This is my first Jim Thompson novel outside of those movies, and I absolutely loved it.
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