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Pop. 1280 by Jim Thompson

Pop. 1280 (original 1964; edition 1990)

by Jim Thompson

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8151511,167 (4.01)19
Title:Pop. 1280
Authors:Jim Thompson
Info:Vintage (1990), Paperback, 217 pages
Collections:Your library, Kindle collection (eBooks)
Tags:august, august 2012, 2012, kindle, ebook

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Pop. 1280 by Jim Thompson (1964)

Recently added byachilles_cat, catherine-ldg, bensdad00, andrew7459, Estevoaei, antao, private library, M.King, Keelz09

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Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
A dark Br'er Rabbit clone does restoration comedy in the American South. Fun read until it goes off the rails in the final dozen pages. ( )
  bensdad00 | Jan 10, 2017 |
Lately I’ve been in the mood for some pulp and noirish movies. Because of that I’ve just seen the movie “Coup de Torchon” (Clean Slate) by Bertrand Tavernier, which is loosely based on the book Pop.1280 by Jim Thomson. I just had to get my hands on the book… This is pulp fiction at its darkest. The story is dark, cynical and offensive, the last due in part to the time. The abrupt ending puzzles me though but still. There is humor within these pages to lighten up things. I laughed quite a bit at some of the antics in here. It’s the darkly hilarious, savagely painful, twisted-as-hell tale of one man’s psychotic journey into self-absorption and murder. Thompson does something you might not think possible, that maybe one of his psychotics isn't all bad, that maybe does do some good. As long as you don't become part of his plan, that is.

It takes awhile for you to get your bearings, and only then do you know what you are really looking at. I was genuinely shocked at the depth lurking beneath Nick Corey and his story.
( )
  antao | Dec 10, 2016 |
Psychopathic sheriff trapped in ennui and nihilism finds comfort in food and sex, becomes murder-instrument of God, and can't rid himself of his aw shucks grin. The inspiration of tv's beloved Andy Griffith Show. ( )
  Michael.Xolotl | Nov 11, 2015 |
I've read one other Jim Thompson book, [book:Savage Night|19161892], and I was hard-pressed to believe that the same person wrote both. Savage Night didn't really appeal to me but I found Nick Corey, the small-town Texas sheriff in Pop. 1280 to be an absolute Machiavellian delight. Everybody may think he's a lazy, dimwitted good ole boy whose favorite line is "We'll, I'm not saying you're wrong but I'm not saying you're right either." Everybody would be wrong.

I was intrigued to hear that Thompson's father was a Texas sheriff. I wonder how much of this story was drawn from real life. ( )
  Unkletom | Jun 11, 2015 |
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. ( )
1 vote blake.rosser | Jul 28, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Thompson, Jimprimary 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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:31 -0400)

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