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The Killer Inside Me Paperback – Mar 13 1991


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Paperback, Mar 13 1991
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reissue edition (March 13 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679733973
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679733973
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 1.8 x 20 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 318 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #38,436 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Probably the most chilling and believable first-person story of a criminally warped mind I have ever encountered." --Stanley Kubrick

"Jim Thompson is the best suspense writer going, bar none." --The New York Times

From the Back Cover

"Probably the most chilling and believable first-person story of a criminally warped mind I have ever encountered." --Stanley Kubrick

"Jim Thompson is the best suspense writer going, bar none." --The New York Times

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback
I decided to read a Jim Thompson novel because of Amazon[.com] recommendations. I can honestly say that Amazon[.com] did a good job. What a great jaunt into the amazingly Normal thought processes of a killer's mind. I enjoyed this book immensly, but I think it has to be approached with a certain attitude. First and foremost, this book is noir. It's not the normal Stephen King-ish kind of thriller that most pop-culture oriented readers expect of a book with the likes of "The Killer Inside Me" as it's title. Perhaps my background helps: My parents are both clinical psychologists. I knew what sociopaths and paranoid schizophrenics were before I could write. The brilliance of this book is the simplicity of it. The plot revolves around the "sickness" of Lou Ford, but it's also about a look at a seemingly normal life. Schizophrenics tend to seem normal, and that is where Jim Thompson succeeds. Lou Ford has to "dumb himself down" to maintain a sense of power and superiority over his acquaintances and colleagues. I, personally, loved his confrontation of the doctor that was sent to his house -- he thrives on feeding him book knowledge when he is supposed to be a humble sherriff. Could Lou Ford have been a Hannibal Lector? I think he certainly could have been and was definitely as disturbing a character in his own right. The difference between the characters is that Lou Ford could be your neighbor, your minister, your lover, or your best friend--and you would never know the deprivation inside his mind. To summarize: "The Killer Inside Me" is a wonderful book because of it's noir nature of suspense and it's utter realism to the true world of a killer. I can't wait to read another Jim Thompson book.
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Format: Paperback
I think my own anticipation just murdered this book for me. I expected it be engaging and thought provoking but it was neither of those things.
I found the narrative entirely flat and completely unenticing. The killer's monologue did not provide me with anything even remotely homicidal in nature. He sees a girl, has a thought of carnage and does it. Usually, the author would maximize such a robotic human being, making him seem cold or indifferent or even using the angle that "he was just like any of us", to thrill the reader into psychological paranoia. But the author did no such thing.
There were moments where the plot just fell flat and I wondered if the author was even trying to make things seem interesting. Even the very climax of the novel was so drawn out and poorly managed that whatever redeeming quality the book could have had was completely erased.
When I finished this book, I distinctly remember saying: "What a bloody waste of time". I swear, that comment was more sinister than anything found in this book.
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By Untouchable on Aug. 22 2002
Format: Paperback
All is not as it seems as we start in on this is chilling account told by Lou Ford, a sheriff�s deputy in a small town in Texas. This easy-going, well-liked man is a respected citizen of the town and is well known for his quiet, gentle nature. But it�s all an act and as Lou tells us a little about his past, the demons in his head are revealed as are the reasons behind his secret, violent nature.
This is a serial killer book with a couple of very interesting features. The first is, it was written back when stories about serial killers weren�t very common and so, was pretty groundbreaking stuff. The second is that it is written entirely in the first person from the point of view of the killer, so we get the total range of emotions from before, during and after each murder. The thought processes that prompt every action and the way he goes about covering up his tracks really does make for interesting reading.
We get a terrific example of the grim style of Jim Thompson�s storytelling that is at once captivating and slightly horrifying. The Killer Inside Me fully deserves the praise that I�ve seen given to it and I�m adding my own to it here.
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Format: Paperback
While some of the impact of this tale has tempered in time (it was originally published in 1952), the stark brutality of the narrator draws you in slowly ... and the novel's first 150 pages are relatively slow-paced ... until the reader comes to the full realization that Officer Lou Ford isn't committing the acts of violence that he does out of any other need than to feed the killer inside him.
The last forty to fifty pages of this book are captivatingly brilliant prose -- arguably the best by Mr. Thompson -- and should be carefully read (if not reread) by serious fans of mystery or noir as well as budding mystery, thriller, and suspense writers. They serve not only as a character study into the mind of a madman who finally understand what he is but also give a definitive explanation into why the narrator will never accept what he's done (the people he's killed, those he's punished, etc.) as being morally wrong.
All in all, it's one damn fascinating character study that takes a while to get going ... but, once it does, it's one wild ride.
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Format: Paperback
'The Killer Inside Me' is my first taste of Jim Thompson, and it certainly delivers what the title says. The writing style is something like Horace McCoy and James M. Cain, but the language and setting is rural west Texas (..it sounds much like the Midland/Odessa area). In short the book is full of punchy dialogue, some of which is surprisingly crude/vulgar (for a book written in the early 1950s), and the story is compact yet forceful.
'The Killer Inside Me' is the story of deputy sheriff in a small (fictitious) Texan oil town. He narrates his thoughts and actions in controlling, and mostly not controlling, his inner rage which leads to murder. He is cold, calculating, and very intelligent. His behaviour is horrific, but fortunately Jim Thompson spares us from the technicolor graphics (as opposed to the more recent 'American Psycho' novel, based on a broadly similar story). So 'The Killer Inside Me', while a shocking and depressing read, is not like reading the screenplay of a slasher flick.
Bottom line: a simple story brilliantly told. We get to enter the mind of a homocidal maniac, witness his dirty deeds, and are left speechless. Strongly recommended.
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