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Pop. 1280 by Jim Thompson
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Pop. 1280 (original 1964; edition 1990)

by Jim Thompson

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6851213,926 (4.02)19
Member:SimonLarsen
Title:Pop. 1280
Authors:Jim Thompson
Info:Vintage (1990), Paperback, 217 pages
Collections:Your library, Kindle collection (eBooks)
Rating:****
Tags:august, august 2012, 2012, kindle, ebook

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Pop. 1280 by Jim Thompson (Author) (1964)

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» See also 19 mentions

English (8)  Spanish (3)  French (1)  All languages (12)
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
I'd like to give it a 4.5 in that I don't think it's perfect, but I gave Thompson's [b:The Killer Inside Me|298663|The Killer Inside Me|Jim Thompson|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1348084659s/298663.jpg|1724756] a (deserved) 4, and I liked this one a lot better, so a "non-favorite 5" it gets, one of my rarest categories. I read it in one sitting of three and a half hours, so it's compelling to say the least.

Perhaps the main flaw of the book is that it's essentially the same narrator as "Killer," albeit more fleshed out and more consistent in tone. But the similarity in narrators and the similarity in the general plot outline (Psychotic protagonist in small southern town gets outed and attempts to kill his way back into the closet) beg the question of how well Thompson can do anything else. He did, however, execute the story much better the 2nd time around, creating a tighter plot, a more coherent protagonist, thematic profundity (with heavy religious, existential, and nihilistic allusions), social critique, and better writing, sometimes making it downright poetic. An example:I looked at her, with her hair spilled out on the pillows and the warmth of her body warming mine. And I thought, god-dang, if this ain't a heck of a way to be in bed with a pretty woman. The two of you arguing about murder, and threatening each other, when you're supposed to be in love and you could be doing something pretty nice. And then I thought, well, maybe it ain't so strange after all. Maybe it's like this with most people, everyone doing pretty much the same thing except in a different way. And all the time they're holding heaven in their hands. 148-9The narrator's voice is so authentic (much like [a:Cormac McCarthy|4178|Cormac McCarthy|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1302752071p2/4178.jpg]), it's really a joy to be in such capable hands as a reader.

Humor is one more thing it has over "Killer," and I actually can't remember a novel that ever made me laugh out loud like this one. During a large percentage of Nick's interactions, you as a reader are in on a hilarious (if sadistic) joke that he is playing on his unwitting acquaintances. [a:Chuck Palahniuk|2546|Chuck Palahniuk|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1264506988p2/2546.jpg] would be a modern-day equivalent for this type of humor, or perhaps Saramago's [b:Blindness|2526|Blindness|José Saramago|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1327866409s/2526.jpg|3213039] or [b:Seeing|47667|Seeing (Blindness, #2)|José Saramago|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1328875016s/47667.jpg|1090709] (not really the same type as much as the same amount of humor, if that makes any sort of sense).

So all-in-all it's really a delightful novel. I'd probably consider it a "favorite" if it had more of an emotional impact. Besides this lack of sentiment, it's only hampered in that it's sort of a 2nd attempt at the same story, and that it goes a little too far off the deep end in the finale. Thompson also exhibits the same tendency as "Killer" to over-explain at times, as he does for instance in Ch. 10, when Nick explains exactly how he baited Robert Lee into spreading gossip about a political rival, when you already understand exactly what happened just by reading the dialogue. It's certainly a quibble, but I still think there's one paragraph there whose absence would have made the book better.

A great read though, and I while I probably won't deliberately seek out more of Thompson -- just because I normally prefer weightier stuff than genre fare -- I would definitely read more if it somehow fell into my lap. I would also recommend this specific one to any of my twisted friends. Not my straight ones though; they'd probably just be scared of me afterwards. ( )
  blake.rosser | Jul 28, 2013 |
4.5/5

Una cittadina da 1280 abitanti, tutti con una doppia faccia: mariti che tradiscono le mogli e viceversa, eminenti esponenti della comunità che nascondono un odio per gli abitanti neri, cittadini dai segreti inconfessabili; però più di tutti una doppia faccia ce l'ha Nick Corey, sceriffo, da tutti ritenuto uno stupido fannullone, solo che, mentre vorrebbe continuare a non fare nulla, stupido non lo è affatto, anzi, è il miglior affabulatore della città.
Nel romanzo Nick avrà diversi problemi di cui occuparsi tra cui una moglie cattiva e un paio di amanti da gestire, ma, trascinato dagli eventi e da quelle illuminazioni che gli indicano cosa è meglio fare, riuscirà a gestire praticamente ogni situazione.
Nick non è un paladino della giustizia, per quanto comunque abbia una morale più solida degli altri cittadini, ma è un paladino di sé stesso, pronto a tutto per non perdere i propri privilegi e per migliorare le sue condizioni.
Romanzo molto bello, alcuni personaggi hanno caratteri estremi, altri li potremmo incontrare anche oggi (perché la doppiezza è tipicamente umana), la caratterizzazione di Nick è fantastica nel suo dare indizi al lettore di come lo sceriffo sia in realtà.

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A city of 1280 inhabitants, all double faced: husbands who cheat on their wives (and vice versa), outstanding citizens who barely hid their hate towards black people, citizens with unmentionable secrets. The one who is more ambiguous is the sheriff, Nick Corey, believed to be a stupid bum: he is the latter and he's willing to keep on doing nothing, however he is not stupid at all, in fact is the best deceiver in town.
In the novel Nick has to face various problems, a mean wife and a couple of lovers, but he will be able to set things right thanks to his fortuitous enlightens.
Nick is not a hero (despite his moral more solid than the other's), but he defends only himself and his privileges.
The novel is really good, some characters are quite extreme, others can be found nowadays (duplicity typically human), Nick's characterization is wonderful and the reader discovers slowly how the sheriff really is. ( )
  Saretta.L | Apr 4, 2013 |
High Sheriff Nick Corey acts like a simpleton, he doesn’t arrest anyone, he doesn’t stir the pot, he acts and behaves the exact way everyone wants him to act; well at least the way he thinks he should act. But this kind and gentle nature is just a cover from his sinister attitude. But has this side of Nick always been there, or was this just a result of always acting the way he thinks he should?

The way Nick Corey acts, the lies and manipulating as scary; it’s like Jim Thompson is holding a mirror up to the reader and says ‘See, this is how you act’ (well maybe it was just for me). But with all the raging I was doing at Nick Corey, I almost missed just how brilliant this book really is.

Jim Thompson is very experimental with his writing, and while he never really got the recognition he deserved when he was a live, his books are dark, gritty and always ringing an element of truth in it. No one has ever done characters quiet like Jim Thompson; characters that always hiding their true nature and acting the way people want them to act, while hiding the darkness. Fans of pulp novels will enjoy this book, but people looking for a light, easy read then this book will not do.
( )
1 vote knowledgelost | Mar 30, 2013 |
Can't say enough about this book! It's reminiscent of "A Man Without Qualities" but with more laughs and violence. Ultimately a picture of a man at odds with both himself and existence, torn between two identities and left without a soul. A brilliant work. ( )
1 vote marcfitch | Aug 21, 2010 |
Nick Corey is the lazy and cowardly high sheriff of a little southern town. He believes that he's kept in office because the town likes that he doesn't get into anyone's business, even the crooks. It isn't until Nick starts seeing that he's expected to do his job or he'll be unemployed that he starts forming plans about the local pimps, the wife-beating husband of his mistress, the morals of his other mistress, the patronizing sheriff of the next county and the mean wife who tricked Nick into marrying her. Turns out that Nick wasn't stupid, he just needed to be motivated into action.
Thompson was on fire when he wrote this one. Sheriff Nick is like Sheriff Lou Ford's lost brother and it's delightful to watch Nick praise the Lord after all his evil deeds. ( )
3 vote mstrust | Jun 18, 2010 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Thompson, JimAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Almansi, GuidoAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Briasco, LucaContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Duhamel, MarcelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Feito, EduardoIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lansdale, Joe R.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
MacGregor, NancyIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Martini, AnnaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moya, Antonio-PrometeoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prometeo Moya, AntonioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tiirinen, MikaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Veraldi, AttilioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679732497, Paperback)

As high sheriff of Potts County, Nick Corey spends most of his time eating, sleeping and avoiding trouble. If only people--especially some troublesome pimps, his foul-tempered wife, and his half-witted brother-in-law--would stop pushing him around. Because when Nick is pushed, he begins to kill . . . or to make others do his killing for him!

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:23:44 -0400)

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