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Publisher's Summary

To his friends, to his coworkers, and even to his mistress, Moira, Roy Dillon is an honest, hardworking salesman. He lives in a cheap hotel just within his pay bracket. He goes to work every day. He has hundreds of friends and associates who could attest to his good character.

Yet hidden behind three gaudy clown paintings in Roy's pallid hotel room sits $52,000 - the money Roy makes from his short cons, his "grifting". For years, Roy has effortlessly maintained control over his house-of-cards life - until the simplest con goes wrong, and he finds himself critically injured and at the mercy of the most dangerous woman he ever met: his own mother.

The Grifters, one of the best novels ever written about the art of the con, is an ingeniously crafted story of deception and betrayal that was the basis for Stephen Frears' and Martin Scorsese's critically acclaimed film of the same name.

©2011 Jim Thompson (P)2011 Hachette

What listeners say about The Grifters

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Thompson at his best.

This is a marvelous twist-a- thon where nobody is even close to the way they appear. The plot is so easy to "spoil", I'll just say you won't be disappointed.
Barbara Rosenblat is a genius narrator. She does men convincingly, making boy-girl conversations seem like two actors working. But the voices she gives the women, whiskey-soaked and cigarette damaged, recall noir femme-fatales from Lauren Bacall to Kathleen Turner.
I listened to this book in black and white!

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Sags in the Middle, But Great Narrator

I was expecting this to be an example of Thompson's best work. In my mind, it is the most popular, probably because of the movie.

It starts off good, and it has a good, Thompson-esque ending. But, the middle sags and sags badly.

The movie is close but different from the book. I think the movie is better than the book.

Barbara Rosenblat, the narrator, is flat out fantastic. She's a perfect fit for this material. She even does the male voices well.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

one of JTs best

i agree. this is one of his best, maybe the best. Killer Inside Me is near the top too.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Barbara Rosenblat is the BEST

Excellent noir, a classic. But better than the story, BARBARA! She is officially my favorite reader. Looking for other books she's done right now.

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Excellently crafted

I saw the movie years back and faintly recalled the plot, but still enjoyed every minute of this tale. I actually had planned to listen to another Jim Thompson novel but was swayed the top marks given to the narrator. Barbara Rosenblat is a master with voicings. I look forward to hearing more of her work. She may be on par with the great Will Patton.

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Barbara Rosenblat Rocks this Book!

Pair a great story with Barbara Rosenblat-- hell, PAIR THE PHONEBOOK WITH BARBARA ROSENBLAT--and you've got lightning in a bottle. You forget that there is only one person reading--she is a vocal chameleon. This is such a great book which I've read a few times. It really came alive with her reading it. Can't wait to re-see the movie. Just Brilliant!!

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Couldn’t finish

Some potentially interesting plot lines, but many dull diversions. Cheap stereotypical characters. Stopped after an hour.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Uneven!

This was a decent book but nothing great! It was uneven and scattered. The narrator was very good.

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Leave it in the cardboard box from the 50's

Grifters! So much promise in a title. Unfortunately this pulp fiction from 60 years ago does not keep up with the novel writing we have come to expect in the 2000's. Do yourself a favor and let this slow moving iceberg slide into the tropics of time and melt away.
Tedious, slow, dated...

2 people found this helpful