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After Dark, My Sweet Paperback – August 11, 1990


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 133 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Books (Black Lizaerd/Vintage Crime); 1st edition (August 11, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679732470
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679732471
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #508,175 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'Published as part of the Crime Masterworks series, this reissue showcases one of Thompson's greatest criminal treasues.' GOOD BOOK GUIDE One of a series of crime masterworks, past classics that have clearly stood the test of time and are being re-issued... Thompson's work is often categorised as hard- boiled and violent but there's a depth to it that takes it beyond pulp fiction. After Dark, My Sweet is well worth seeking out. MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS 'This celebrated pulp thriller, brought to a new audience courtesy of Orion's splendid Crime Masterworks series, features three of his most memorable creations... Thompson portrays his people with light and shade and the ending is one that will linger in many readers' memories.' -- Martin Edwards TANGLED WEB 'This is a classic 1950s pulp fiction from a master of the genre...Call him hard-boiled or noir as you will, Thompson is at heart simply a fine writer, and a master of the art of exposing the frailty of the human psyche.' -- Ian Morson TANGLED WEB --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

William Collins is very handsome, very polite, and very friendly. His is also dangerous when aroused. Now Collins, a one-time boxer with a lethal "accident" in his past, has broken out of his fourth mental institution and met up with an affable con man and a highly arousing woman, whose plans for him include kidnapping, murder, and much, much worse.

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Customer Reviews

Great "cosy" hard-boiled books.
Dan Allen
I thought there were some implausible twists, but if you can suspend disbelief just a bit, its a fun ride.
p thomas
The ending is very powerful and disturbing, and I find it lingering with me for a long time after reading.
Melanie Z.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Johnny Roulette on February 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
After Dark, My Sweet is one of the most coherent Thompson novels I've read. Filled with paranoia, booze, hard women, crime & treachery, ADMS is a compact punch that's set on stun. It differs from most Thompson tales in that there are no real throw away chapters. His mental aberrations don't hinder the storytelling, rather they enhance it. It's a short, exciting read that doesn't wander. Thompson didn't always color in the lines, but he sure did with this one. All of the characters are desperate, yet believable. There's Collie, an ex-pugilist & mental patient, Faye, a widowed alcoholic, and Uncle Bud, an ex-cop with no redeeming qualities. The only flaw in their well-planned crime is that they, themselves, are involved. This book reads like a super lightweight fight, you know...the little skinny guys that come out swinging for their lives at the bell and never stop until someone goes down. I've read many Jim Thompson books and I must say that only A Hell Of A Woman, The Killer Inside Me, & Now And On Earth surpass After Dark, My Sweet. A fast read with few flaws is hard to find, but this is certainly one such book. Thompson imitators always fail for one simple reason...they lack the ability to bring an element of genuine insanity to the noir landscape. There are no substitutes & this is one of the master's best efforts. There is also a decent movie adaptation starring Rachel Ward & Jason Patric, as well as Bruce Dern. Read the book first for, while the movie is good, the book is far superior. I am sorry that Jim had to suffer the demons that he did, but I am most thankful for the literary results!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Michael G. VINE VOICE on August 7, 2004
Format: Paperback
The narration in this fascinating gem of a novel is provided by the main character, Collie. Collie is an escaped mental patient and as such he is homeless, friendless and directionless. Quite by chance, he makes the acquaintance of Fay Anderson, a young widow who drinks too much. Fay introduces him to an associate of hers, an ex-cop and two-bit swindler known only as Uncle Bud.

Uncle Bud has plans for a crime which will make all three of them rich. Now Collie may be certifiably insane but he is not stupid. He sees Uncle Bud for what he is and initially steers clear. But because he is attracted to Fay and because he has no place else to go, he changes his mind and, against his better judgement, agrees to become part of their hopelessly doomed scheme.

Reading After Dark, My Sweet is much like watching a train wreck as it unfolds. You want to cover your eyes but you can't. Thompson's writing is just too compelling. He masterfully takes the reader on a relentlessly downward spiral into complete and utter chaos while simultaneously introducing unforseen surprises every step of the way.

This is a great novel. Imbued with a palpable aura of impending, inevitable disaster, it grabs you by the lapels and doesn't let go. Jim Thompson was in top form when he wrote this one. Do yourself a favor and read it.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By "leper2000" on December 23, 1999
Format: Paperback
Trademark Jim Thompson characters and twists. But in this incarnation the formula is twisted and blended into perfection. If you only could read on Jim Thompson novel (which would be a crying shame) I would recommend After Dark my Sweet. Every character is well developed and seems real. The subject matter is still very relevant,not as dated as other Thompson fare like Pop 1280 and South of Heavan.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By lazza on May 27, 2003
Format: Paperback
It seems that Jim Thompson's world of 1950s down-and-outs, alcoholics, criminals, and the mentally disturbed all come together rather nicely in this short novel, 'After Dark, My Sweet'. The story can be encapsulated as: deranged ex-fighter meets alcoholic woman and her criminally minded ex-cop friend, with whom they all embark foolish on a big crime (no spoilers here). As usual Jim Thompson captures perfectly the bleak ambiance, and the characterizations are spot on.
While the book is perfectly fine it is not in the league of the author's best works: 'The Killer Inside Me', 'The Getaway', and 'The Grifters'. All these books are somehow special in terms of pathos, horror or surprise. They are deserved to be called classics. 'After Dark, My Sweet' is not a classic, and I have no idea what the title means (..it has nothing to do with the story).
Bottom line: a worthy read, especially suited for Thompson fans.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Aco on December 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
After Dark, My Sweet actually seems like a love story, a couple days after it's finished. A wayward one at that too. But Kid Collins and Fay Anderson are star-crossed if there ever was a pair, and Thompson never lets you know, if or when they are ever alligned. Thompson keeps you guessing, about the plot between Uncle Bud, Fay and Kid, about who lives, who dies and why, and just what it is that Kid Collins has been running from for so long. Is he a mental case, or a first class con-man/actor bent on hell. There is a wonderful element of psychological chaos to Thompson's story, and it brought out of me a dimension of compassion and empathy, even as these people bang through life, toward doom.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dave Wilde on September 14, 2014
Format: Paperback
Welcome to Jim Thompson's twisted world. Thompson was one of the greatest of the 1950's pulp writers. But, Thompson wrote differently than almost anyone else at that time. His books are often narrated by grifters, conmen, and psychopaths. Often, as in "Killer Inside Me," the world doesn't realize that their local deputy is the nastiest psychopath they ever dreamed of. In his 1955 novel, "After Dark, My Sweet," the narrator is Kid Collins, a one-time boxing phenom, who left the ring after he punched one opponent so hard that the guy never got up again. Collins drifted from job to job, town to town, prison to prison, psych ward to psych ward, and, as this novel begins, he has escaped from his latest mental hospital. He knows he is nuts and can't stand everyone making fun of him (or is he just paranoid). On the way, he meets an older lush who he can't keep his eyes off of (Faye) and a troubled ex-cop (Uncle Bud) who just happen to be planning a kidnapping and need a sucker to play the fall guy.

The plot isn't filled with too many twists and turns, but what is wonderful here is Thompson's writing, which takes you inside the thinking of a guy who hasn't got all his marbles to begin with. There are, of course, those who are convinced the whole thing is a con on Kid Collins' part, but even cuckoos have moments where they think they are sane.

The world in Thompson's novel is dark and dreary. No one is picking up a hitchhiker. The bartender "slops" down a beer in front of Collins. Collins, even sitting in the bar having a drink, feels that old feeling creeping up on him. His eyes begin to burn He can't just walk away, but he can't get them to stop needling him.
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