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Tuesday, October 06, 2015

The Killer Inside Me (1952) by Jim Thompson

Casey Affleck was by all accounts terrible in the 2010 movie version of The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson.  Also, Jessica Alba was in that movie

Book Review
The Killer Inside Me (1952)
by Jim Thompson

  Black Lizard is a speciality crime imprint that was started by publisher Random House in 1990.  Although they publish contemporary authors as well, their reprints are essential for the critical reevaluation of crime fiction that elevated writers like Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler from genre territory to canonical figures in 20th century American literature.  Jim Thompson is another writer that was swept up in the craze for crime fiction/noir in the late 80s and early 90s.  Less popular than Chandler and Hammett at the time, he had the good fortune of being singled out by the New York Times even as his books were treated as pulp fiction by their publisher.

  By the reappraisal period of the late 80s and early 90s his hyper violent books like The Killer Inside Me, about a sociopathic sheriff's deputy terrorizing a community in small town Texas, were more in tune with the zeitgeist of ultraviolence and serial killer chic.  Thompson  also used high-end literary technique in service of his violent plots- The Killer Inside Me is a riff on the classic unreliable narrator.  The Killer Inside Me is a great deal more graphic than anything else published during this period outside of Junkie by William Burroughs, which was also treated initially as pulp fiction by its publisher.

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