Other books byJim Thompson
South Of Heaven
Orphaned by a tragic accident at sixteen, Tommy Burwell's been scraping out a meager existence working dead-end jobs for years. When he and fellow nomad Four Trey Whitey get jobs working with dynamite, making way for a new pipeline across the deserted plains of Far West Texas, disaster ensues. In a matter of days, Tommy is brutally beaten and witness to an act of cold-blooded murder the law can't be bothered to investigate. When Carol, a knockout beauty, shows up looking to follow the caravan of workers, Tommy falls for her almost immediately. There aren't any jobs for women on the pipeline, but Carol knows a few things she could do for the workers to keep afloat--an arrangement that Tommy can't bear for long. As Tommy's about to find out, when you're South of Heaven, you're far from grace--and sometimes the only way out is down.
By the time Jim Thompson was sixteen years old, he had been a newspaper boy, a burlesque show hawker, a plumber's helper, a comedian in two-reel pictures, a night bellboy in a luxury hotel and over a dozen other occupations. By the time he was eighteen, he was driving across America in a broken-down Ford without a penny to his name and his mother and his kid sister Freddie in tow, looking for just one more paycheck to keep them all alive. A bittersweet comedy of a hard-won American life, ROUGHNECK chronicles the many jobs, near-criminal escapades, and downright unlawful grifts of the man who would become one of crime fiction's most enduring writers, in a larger-than-life literary memoir--or wildly entertaining tall tale--as only Thompson could tell it. Hard times have never sounded so good.
Britton Rainstar never knew he could love a woman as deeply as he does Manuela Aloe and be so terrified of her at the same time. It's not just that he thinks she's out of his league. It's more that the longer he stays with her, the closer to death he seems to come. A vicious dog is somehow let loose in his hotel room. He's threatened at gunpoint by a man in a skeleton costume. And when he finally ends up in the hospital, someone pushes his wheelchair down the stairs. Nothing anything like this has ever happened to Britt before--and while Manuela's never around when the so-called "accidents" happen, neither can Britt prove she's behind the many threats on his life. Is a rival for Manuela's affections trying to chase him away? Is there more to Manuela herself than meets the eye? Whatever it is, Britt better find out fast--before whoever's after him hits their mark, and the man who never thought he'd land the ultimate girl ends up paying the ultimate price.
The Golden Gizmo
"Gizmo" is the GI term for the unidentifiable--and that's the way that Toddy Kent has begun to think of the reasons behind the rapid swing of his days. Somehow, Kent seems always to find himself regularly confronted with The Big Break every man would kill for--only to see it slip through his fingers. Kent's grinding out a paycheck buying gold on the cheap and selling it for the slimmest of profits when he stumbles into his latest, almost mythical discovery--pure, unadulterated gold in the form of a priceless watch he didn't exactly mean to steal. Soon Kent finds himself at the center of a whirlwind of danger involving everyone from the woman he can't seem to shake, bail bondsmen who get word of Kent's discovery, the Treasury Department, his pawnbroker, and a devious old man with a dog that may or may not be able to speak English, in a rip-roaring comedy of errors and would-you-believe-it bad luck unlike anything you've ever read. Who ever knew one lousy watch could bring so much trouble? And how many times can Kent avoid getting killed before his luck runs out for good?