Pop. 1280 by Jim Thompson

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His cynicism is profound and all-encompassing, and it rips at the superficial fantasies of American small-town life. Jim Thompson's noir fiction is challenging. And it's a hell of a guilty pleasure.
-NPR

Synopsis

Nick Corey is a terrible sheriff on purpose. He doesn't solve problems, enforce rules or arrest criminals. He knows that nobody in tiny Potts County actually wants to follow the law and he is perfectly content lazing about, eating five meals a day, and sleeping with all the eligible women.

Still, Nick has some very complex problems to deal with. Two local pimps have been sassing him, ruining his already tattered reputation. His girlfriend Rose is being terrorized by her husband. And then, there's his wife and her brother Lenny who won't stop troubling Nick's already stressed mind. Are they a little too close for a brother and a sister?

With an election coming up, Nick needs to fix his problems and fast. Because the one thing Nick does know is that he will do anything to stay sheriff. Because, as it turns out, Sheriff Nick Corey is not nearly as dumb as he seems.

In Pop. 1280, widely regarded as a classic of mid-20th century crime, Thompson offers up one of his best, in a tale of lust, murder, and betrayal in the Deep South that was the basis for the critically acclaimed French film Coup de Torchon.
 

About Jim Thompson

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James Meyers Thompson was born in Anadarko, Oklahoma. He began writing fiction at a very young age, selling his first story to True Detective when he was only fourteen. Thompson eventually wrote twenty-nine novels, all but three of which were published as paperback originals. Thompson also wrote two screenplays (for the Stanley Kubrick films "The Killing" and "Paths of Glory"). An outstanding crime writer, the world of his fiction is rife with violence and corruption. In examining the underbelly of human experience and American society in particular, Thompson's work at its best is both philosophical and experimental. Several of his novels have been filmed by American and French directors, resulting in classic noir including The Killer Inside Me (1952), After Dark My Sweet (1955), and The Grifters (1963).
 
Published December 25, 2011 by Mulholland Books. 238 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Crime. Fiction
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Excellent
Reviewed by Stephen Marche on Sep 26 2012

His cynicism is profound and all-encompassing, and it rips at the superficial fantasies of American small-town life. Jim Thompson's noir fiction is challenging. And it's a hell of a guilty pleasure.

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