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Crime Novels: American Noir of the 1950s: The Killer Inside Me / The Talented Mr. Ripley / Pick-up / Down There / The Real Cool Killers (Library of America) (Vol 2) Hardcover – September 1, 1997
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Frequently Bought Together
Patricia Highsmith's The Talented Mr. Ripley is the source for René Clément's bristling Purple Noon, a movie that features Alain Delon's quintessential performance. David Goodis's Down There inspired François Truffaut's neo-noir masterpiece Shoot the Piano Player. Jim Thompson, the brilliant author who scripted The Killing and Paths of Glory for Stanley Kubrick, wrote several novels that have been turned into movies, including The Grifters and The Getaway. He is represented here by one of his most uncompromising works, The Killer Inside Me, which was filmed by Burt Kennedy in 1976. Charles Willeford's Pick-Up and Chester Himes's The Real Cool Killers have not yet been made into movies, but the blistering prose and nihilistic worlds of these authors, and of all the writers represented in this volume, is astonishingly cinematic. This lovely hardcover edition contains biographical, textual, and explanatory notes.
From Library Journal
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
The first story is from the demented mind of Jim Thompson. This story, called The Killer Inside Me, is much better than The Grifters, a book by Thompson that I read some time ago. The Grifters seemed to be pretty one-dimensional with respect to its characters. This story is the exact opposite. A deputy sheriff in a Texas city has a terrible secret. He plays dumb on the outside, but inside he is a cunning sociopath. A long simmering resentment leads to a terrible revenge. Bodies quickly stack up as a result. This seems to be the story that Thompson is best known for and it's no surprise why. This is a dark, twisted tale with a grim ending.
Patricia Highsmith wrote a whole series of stories concerning Tom Ripley. The one included here is The Talented Mr. Ripley, probably better known due to the recent film with Matt Damon. This tale isn't as noir as I would have liked, but it still has enough twists and turns to keep anybody in suspense. Ripley is a low class conniver who ingratiates himself into a wealthy family who wants him to go to Italy and bring back their son. Ripley sees the potential for bucks and meets up with the kid and his lady friend. Of course, things take a turn for the worse and the bodies start stacking up. This story was probably my least favorite out of the entire collection.Read more ›
"The Killer Inside Me" - Jim Thompson's most popular work is a memorable tale of a Texas law enforcer with a sinister past whose dark and psychotic nature is cunningly veiled behind a genial facade that barely contains "the sickness" which the main character has successfully concealed. A sudden turn of events unleashes the beast inside leading to a tragic odyssey of disillusion, violence, and murder. Pioneering in it's time for revealing the inner mind of the serial killer, the bracing prose and chilling character development makes this work one of the best in the genre.
"The Talented Mr. Ripley" - Tom Ripley is a con artist successfully making ends meet through one of the most reprehensible professions in New York City. A drifter and social outcast, one night in a bar he comes across a parent of an old acquaintance he barely recalls and is asked to do a favor. When he consents, his true nature unfolds in this story of murder, sexuality, and identity. Made into film in 1999 starring Matt Damon in the leading role, this cosmopolitan travelogue with a Decadent touch in the end introduced the world to one of the most oddly sympathetic and diabolical characters in Literature.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
No words wasted, just sharp, straightforward crime novels, full of twists and surprises.Published 13 months ago by Howard Grady Brown
These are great gems from a time when authors knew how to write dark stories in the realm of subtle shifting shadows.Published 22 months ago by Paul Williamson
If you like 50's-style, this is the book. The book is just packed with full novels that give the classic feel of the crime stories and films of that period.Published 23 months ago by Iva Biggun
These novels are interesting because, while they are not the same as modern crime novels, you can see where they influenced what came later.Published on February 3, 2014 by S. Gordon
The books published in the Library of America series have the goal of capturing American writing and the American experience in all its variety. Read morePublished on August 6, 2012 by Robin Friedman
The Library of America has several interesting compilations of Noir novels. I had read Himes' Real Cool Killers separately and also have just watched his "Cotton Comes to Harlem"... Read morePublished on December 12, 2008 by Richard J. Sloan
The stories in the book should each be taken singularly. The writing itself is pure nostalgia. You should be warned: if you're easily offended by racial slurs - this book may... Read morePublished on December 26, 2007 by L. M. PASCUAL
In this area of noir, I suggest starting with Raymond Chandler. If you've whipped through his books, like me recently, as well as those of Micky Spillane and Dashiell Hammett,... Read morePublished on November 29, 2007 by RaDadIndy
The other reviewers misunderstand "Pick Up", (****warning -- spoiler****) which is a fascinating novel because the narrator is mentally disturbed and completely unreliable. Read morePublished on January 7, 2007 by Berlioz