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The Grifters by Jim Thompson
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The Grifters (1963)

by Jim Thompson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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9101414,058 (3.92)47

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» See also 47 mentions

English (13)  Italian (1)  All languages (14)
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
I enjoyed this novel. It was short, simple, very straightforward but almost too straightforward. I appreciate simple prose but not when it is lazy. There were several lengthy passages that read (I'm paraphrasing here) 'He sat on the bed. He put on his shoes. He left the hotel. He got in his car. He drove around. He drove some more.' Ugh. He even ends a chapter, one where we find Roy (the main character) entering Moira's (his kind-of girlfriend) room to have sex with her, with "And they had a hell of a time." Ummm, pretty lame.

Then, out of nowhere, Thompson dropped a paragraph dripping in poetic beauty and it startled me, like looking at a pretty face with a black eye. And his characters were three-dimensional; Roy and his mother Lilly's relationship being the most interesting of all character interactions in the novel. Even with some of the lazy narrative prose, the book has a very satisfying ending, one that I didn't see coming from a mile away. I enjoyed the end very much and it gave a sadistic depth to the lows these characters would go to fulfill their needs.

I think my reluctance to give this novel a better rating is that I enjoyed "[b:The Killer Inside Me|298663|The Killer Inside Me|Jim Thompson|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1348084659s/298663.jpg|1724756]" much more, with its first-person, unreliable narrator. I think "The Grifters" would have been MUCH more interesting if it was told from Roy's perspective than the unknown narrator's perspective. ( )
  scott_semegran | Jan 29, 2018 |
A wild, unpredictable crime-noir tale that reads like Hammett or Chandler with the foot on the pedal and no working breaks. The loopiness of the plot could swing this toward either 2/5 or 4/5, and I'm choosing the latter because, while this isn't a classically excellent novel, it's memorably unique. ( )
1 vote mrgan | Oct 30, 2017 |
Dark, depressing, and beautiful. Black Lizard had yet too steer me wrong. ( )
1 vote bensdad00 | Jan 10, 2017 |
A great book that makes for a good movie too. Family, learning about life -- an exciting read. ( )
1 vote dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
Twenty five year old Roy Dillon's apple doesn't fall far from the family tree. His mother Lilly, barely 15 years older, is a con-artist and as a result Roy grew up having to hustle to make an existence for himself. By the time he turned eighteen Roy couldn't wait to strike out on his own; to try grifting for himself. Only he's not that good at it. Grifters opens with Roy badly beaten and bleeding internally, staggering back to his rented hotel room after a failed attempt to con someone. His girlfriend Moira, nurse Carol and mother all take turns nursing him back to health, each with their own con game in the works. It's a disaster waiting to happen as no one in the group is truly honest. Everyone is blinded by greed and what they think is love. ( )
1 vote SeriousGrace | Jul 14, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Thompson, Jimprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Shirley, JohnForewordmain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Martini, AnnaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Veraldi, AttilioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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As Roy Dillon stumbled out of the shop his face was a sickish green, and each breath he drew was an incredible agony.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679732489, Paperback)

Roy DIllon seems too handsome and well-mannered to be a professional con man. Lilly Dillon looks too young--and loves Roy a little too intensely--to be taken for his mother. Moira Langtry is getting too old to keep on living off the kindness of male strangers. And Carol Roberg seems too innocent to be acquainted with suffering.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:26 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Story of a con man, his mother, and his girlfriend, and the ways in which they prey on each other.

» see all 4 descriptions

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