Everyone in the small town of Central City, Texas, loves Lou Ford. A deputy sheriff, Lou's known to the small-time criminals, the real-estate entrepreneurs, and all of his coworkers - the low-lifes, the big-timers, and everyone in-between - as the nicest guy around. He may not be the brightest or the most interesting man in town, but nevertheless, he's the kind of officer you're happy to have keeping your streets safe. The sort of man you might even wish your daughter would end up with someday.
But behind the platitudes and glad-handing lurks a monster the likes of which few have ever seen. An urge that has already claimed multiple lives, and cost Lou his brother Mike, a self-sacrificing construction worker who fell to his death on the job in what was anything but an accident. It's a murder that Lou is determined to avenge - and if innocent people have to die in the process, well, that's perfectly all right with him.
In The Killer Inside Me, Thompson goes where few novelists have dared to go, giving us a pitch-black glimpse into the mind of the American Serial Killer years before Charles Manson, John Wayne Gacy, and Brett Easton Ellis's American Psycho, in the novel that will forever be known as the master performance of one of the greatest crime novelists of all time.
©1952 Jim Thompson (P)2011 Hachette
This is typical Thompson. That is to say: it's dark, it has tempting babes, it has a straight forward plot that flips every time the listener gets comfortable. There has been discussion of the ending, but remember: this is about a crazy person!
The narration is suited to the story, his voices are perfect for the characters, and the pace is noir creepy. This is a fun listening experience.
The way the characters are so completely different and vivid. As if each were product of the imagination of a different author.
None to date
Howard Hendricks the lawyer
jail cel interview between Hendricks and Ford
Great story, great characters, great narration.
Ears picking up the slack so my eyes can work.
I’ve little to add about this classic work of noir. If you don’t already know Jim Thompson’s work, you should. I only wanted to say something perhaps to encourage those on the fence about Thompson to take the bad reviews into account but to understand they’re completely silly (most of them). No, Jim Thompson isn’t a perfect writer. Yes, they are works of their times, like every work is. But the number of times I’ve seen Thompson’s work on Audible dismissed because of dark, disturbed characters who reviewers astoundingly suggest are “ridiculous” or “poor written” is beyond belief.
I mean to each his own. No accounting for tastes. And again, not every Thompson book is a winner. I’ve given more than one a poor review myself. (Killer Inside Me, The Getaway, After Dark My Sweet, The Grifters are all winners, btw).
These characters and plots do tend to be “twisted” and irredeemable. Immoral. That’s the point, right? If that’s too much for you, then this stuff isn’t for you. I think part of the problem is the modern understanding of “unlikeable” characters. These days the so-called unsympathetic characters are really VERY likeable and sympathetic. We find out that they’re abused and make mistakes, they have people we like who are trying to redeem them, and like in the Dexter books they end up facing characters who are “worse.” By they’re not worse because the Dexter types are really superheroes when you think about it. They’re likeable. What could be more likeable than a guy who knows he has certain tendencies and uses them for the benefit of society and loved ones? Who ever heard of a serial killer who loves others? It’s nonsense.
However, Jim Thompson writes about truly despicable people.
Beware the distinction.
That is if Audible bothers publishing this review, ha. They tend to disappear.
I was an avid reader of books before my work took most of my time so now I listen to Audible books when I'm exercising or walking my dog. I like mystery and thriller novels, particularly good serial killer novels. I'm a writer and a psychotherapist.
It took a bit of listening to get into but it turned out to be a pretty good listen, didn't want to stop until the end.
A chilling look into the mind of a serial killer. It had me hooked from the beginning. This is a "must listen" for anyone who enjoys a psychological thriller. The performer was spot on and at times gave me chills.
Seeking the Truth
Not "well-spent" but perhaps "not begrudged". I'm not a fan of the 1950s crime noir with its bleak, cynical writing and cheap women, but Thompson was certainly an over-the-top writer and I was never quite sure where the story would go next. The narrator did a nice job; in lesser-skilled hands (or voice), the story may have been just too off the wall.
No, one of his books is enough.
It has to be deputy sheriff Lou Ford: a sadomasochistic sociopath who feels no remorse for anything he does, who gets castrated by his father and pumps himself full of hormones so he can still perform brutal sex acts, a cold-blooded deviant and double-crosser who most people in town believe is a good citizen of the community, and yet someone who I just couldn't quite completely dislike. I even found myself horrified a few times when I laughed out loud at his sick sense of humor.
No; reading about it was enough.
Worth a listen if you get it on sale. Interesting story told from the killers point of view. Just don't expect miracles from this book.
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