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The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson (1952)

  1. 31
    In a lonely place by Dorothy B. Hughes (christiguc)
  2. 10
    Child of God by Cormac McCarthy (Bridgey)
    Bridgey: Both deal with a small town psychopathic killer
  3. 21
    American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis (pnorth, gtross)
    pnorth: I strongly suspect Easton Ellis is a fan of The Killer Inside Me and drew on it for American Psycho. In any case, the cold fascination you have as a reader for the killers is the same.
    gtross: I would be very much surprised if Bret Easton Ellis hadn't been influenced by Jim Thompson's first person narrative of a psychopathic mind.
  4. 00
    People Live Still in Cashtown Corners by Tony Burgess (ShelfMonkey)
  5. 12
    The Butcher Boy by Patrick McCabe (Booksloth)

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» See also 167 mentions

English (43)  Danish (1)  French (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (46)
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
Well, the title says it all! The man character is the killer in question, and he narrates the tale. Creepy, violent, and premeditated! Chapter 18 is exceptionally well written! It is muddled and cloudy, showing the killer's mind and the frenzied state he lives in. Whew! My favorite Jim Thompson book to date! ( )
  Stahl-Ricco | Jan 23, 2016 |
Not just the usual noir; the cynicism and violence are dialed up a notch, and, as a result, not the sort of book I normally read. However, I was impressed by the writing and the realism of the protagonist Lou Ford, who describes himself as a paranoid schizophrenic but is actually closer to a violent psychopath. Lou reminded me a great deal of Dexter (I've only seen the series, not read the books), in that both hide behind authority, nice guy personas, and cliches, while having little understanding of normal humans or social interaction. While Dexter is portrayed as a sort of kinder, gentler nutball, though, Lou is presented as a deeply diseased man and is much more believable and thus much more disturbing--probably everyone has met a Lou Ford or two without (hopefully) knowing it. ( )
  Michael.Xolotl | Nov 11, 2015 |
Started December 01st, 2012. Reading the foreword by S. King and having read Chandler, Woolrich, etc. and The Grifters by the same author, this will be a great classic. The only question is, will I spoil it by watching the film before finishing it? I do not expect to be the film nearly as good as the book, and try not to read to many comments on a film before seeing it.
Finished the book yesterday short of midnight today.
Great, but not perfect. But fits in the Noir-Series, raw power, hard men, hard women and an ending I find other books lacking too often.
Trying to see the (newer) film in the next days so I can compare it with the book fresh in memory.
( )
  Ingo.Lembcke | Oct 27, 2015 |
Lovely and horrendous. ( )
  ChewingPencils | Oct 21, 2015 |
The Killer Inside - Jim Thompson ***

I had never heard of Jim Thompson, but browsing in a bookshop came across this. Stephen King recommended the author on the cover so I decided to pick it up and give it a try. I was surprised that it was written so long ago (1952) but I am quite a fan of the Noir period. James M Cain has to be one of most recently discovered favourite authors.

What is it about?

The book is told through the eyes of a small town deputy by the name of Lou Ford, a man who has created a fake persona as a slightly slow but lovable member of the community. We experience his paranoia and disturbed view of the world that leads him into a killing spree. Fuelled by past events from his childhood Ford meticulously plans each murder, but how long will it be before he is found out?

What did I like?

The action when it comes is very vivid, Thompson leaves very little to the imagination as we are described blow by blow the injuries inflicted on Ford's victims. I enjoyed the way that we are only allowed to experience Ford's own thoughts, this left me second guessing along with him whether or not the other characters were believing his stories or not. It was interesting to see how he perceived each situation and as his mental disease became more apparent to the reader, I also found myself looking at past events in a new light.

What didn't I like?

I understand the whole noir genre, and the need to keep language short and direct, but for me the novel was just a little too extreme. At times I lost myself in the plot and wasn't entirely sure what was happening. I admit, maybe this was just as much down to me as the author, but for me it spoilt the flow of the novel. Also I wish the author had explored Lou's early life a little more especially as the events directly related to his present day frame of mind. I love the character of Lou, but can't but help wonder what more have become if Cormac McCarthy had got his hands on him. Reminds me more than little of Child of God.

Anyway, by no means a poor read, just didn't hit enough buttons for me to be able to give it more than 3 stars. Looking at Amazon it has more than it's fair share of 5 star reviews so I am willing to accept that the fault is likely to be with me. I don't think I will actively seek out any more of Thompson's works, but if one 'fell' into my lap I would possibly give it a try. ( )
  Bridgey | Jan 12, 2015 |
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I'd finished my pie and was having a second cup of coffee when I saw him.
Striking at people that way is almost as good as the other, the real way. The way I'd fought to forget--and had almost forgot--until I met her.
Did you ever stop to figure that there's all kinds of ways of dying, but only one way of being dead?
The stupid son-of-a-bitch was always doing that. Not just stories about me, but everything. He'd clip out cartoons and weather reports and crappy poems and health columns. Every goddam thing under the sun. He couldn't read a paper without a pair of scissors.
You ask me why I stick around, knowing the score, and it's hard to explain. I guess I kind of got a foot on both fences, Johnnie. I planted 'em there early and now they've taken root, and I can't move either way and I can't jump. All I can do is wait until I split. Right down the middle. That's all I can do...
It was like being asleep when you were awake and awake when you were asleep. I'd pinch myself, figuratively speaking--I had to keep pinching myself. Then I'd wake up kind of in reverse; I'd go back into the nightmare I had to live in. And everything would be clear and reasonable.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679733973, Paperback)

Lou Ford is the deputy sheriff of a small town in Texas.  The worst thing most people can say against him is that he's a little slow and a little boring.  But, then, most people don't know about the sickness--the sickness that almost got Lou put away when he was younger.  The sickness that is about to surface again.

An underground classic since its publication in 1952, The Killer Inside Me is the book that made Jim Thompson's name synonymous with the roman noir.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:45 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Lou Ford is the deputy sheriff of a small town in Texas. The worst thing most people can say against him is that he's a little slow and a little boring. But, then, most people don't know about the sickness--the sickness that almost got Lou put away when he was younger. The sickness that is about to surface again.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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