Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
Pop. 1280 Paperback – August 5, 2014
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
WWW.TANGLED-WEB.CO.UK featured a review of POP. 1280 on their site from the 21st March 03. This included a summary of the plot. WRITER'S JOURNAL will be publishing a large feature on Jim Thompson and will be mentioning our new titl --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Inside Flap
As high sheriff of Potts County, Nick Corey spends most of his time eating, sleeping and avoiding trouble. If only people--especially some troublesome pimps, his foul-tempered wife, and his half-witted brother-in-law--would stop pushing him around. Because when Nick is pushed, he begins to kill . . . or to make others do his killing for him! --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
The protagonist here is a spin-off of Lou Ford in his 1950's novel _The Killer Inside Me_. This time, Thompson took a "humorous" approach, but the humor doesn't make things any more pleasant. Thompson is a phenomenal writer, but his stuff is so bereft of anything positive or redeeming, I simply can't stomach it.
We all know that a significant percentage of the human race is comprised of selfish, amoral deviants. This universal truth has been addressed by Mark Twain and Ambrose Bierce, and it goes back to Shakespeare.
The protagonist here is so depraved, I simply felt nauseated after I finished reading the book. I'm sure that is Thompson's intention, to make us feel nauseated by the depravity of the human race. And I understand his satirical approach to existentialism. But he's unable or unwilling to give us even a shred of anything hopeful. Sorry---Too dark for me.
I'm fascinated by dark writers. I want to know about them as people, and what made them so depressive. After reading some of Chester Himes' work, I wanted to know more about him as a person, so I read his two autobiographies. I just ordered Robert Polito's biography of Thompson, and maybe I'll get some insight into his persona. I guess I'm an amateur psychologist.
Thompson is certainly a great prose artist. And there's actually a lot of humor in this book. This man can write. But mine is not a formalistic criticism; it's about the content, which is as bleak as any I have ever read.
I would recommend this book as great writing, but not as great inspiration. I can dig realism, but not absolute pessimism.
Essentially, there are two definitions for the literary term "voice": the first determines what makes a writer's style unique and sets him or her part from others in the same genre; and the second relates to how we experience the story from a character's point of view (POV), as expressed in their singular speech patterns, actions, and thoughts.
While POP. 1280--published in 1964--exemplifies Thompson's voice as an author; it serves as an even greater example of how writers should give characters their distinctive voice--and maintain it throughout the novel.
POP. 1280 is the first-person story of Nick Corey, a small-town Southern sheriff in the early days of the 20th century. In his own words, Corey tells us--without saying so directly--that he is a lazy, unmotivated fellow who prefers eating and sleeping all day to doing any real law enforcement work. He presents himself to the reader and everyone he meets as a no-account simpleton. But through his own words, we learn that on the contrary, he's quite cunning, clever, and conniving. He cheats on his nagging wife and is adept at covering his tracks, no matter what malfeasance he commits. In one unnerving scene, he confronts a victim with a speech that defies his down-home, awe-shucks persona and exposes to the reader his real self: He's a homicidal sociopath with a flair for twisting words and meanings to deflect suspicion and cast blame for his misdeeds on others.
Throughout the novel, Thompson maintains Nick Corey's voice to the point you feel as if you're living inside the man's head. It's that effective.
In POP. 1280, Nick Corey speaks and thinks like a yokel; at no point does Thompson betray this characterization by suddenly putting 50-cent words in his mouth. Instead, by giving Nick his individual voice both in word and thought, Jim Thompson made him real--almost too real.
Sure, on the surface it follows the formula of a merely great Jim Thompson novel: we the readers follow the storyline as it unfolds in the mind of a confused narrator, who solves his problems by killing. It all seems perfectly rational to the narrator until he gradually comes unhinged -- and we the readers realize the story is not quite as the narrator has told it.
In POP 1280, small-town sheriff Nick Corey tries to think his way out of personal and professional problems, armed only with a keen understanding of human nature. Unfortunately, every move he makes seems to box him in further. The more he is trapped by his actions, the more he takes an expansive view of the universe and his place in it. The more outrageous his actions become, the farther he goes to justify them to himself.
Most of the Thompson books I've read confine themselves to psychology, with fine portrayals of oedipal complexes, mental illness, and alcoholism. But POP 1280 takes a grand leap into philosophy. At the beginning, it looks like Corey is redeemable. We see his inner ethical dialogue represented by the three women in his life. He bounces between deliberate meanness, raw emotion, and an educated conscience. But as the story develops, Corey reflects on the way God governs the universe and its parallels to his own work as sheriff. By the end of the story, we begin to wonder if anyone or anything is redeemable at all.