Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Book Review: Jim Thompson, Bad Boy (1953)

Jim Thompson’s Bad Boy is tepid autobiography in the vein of Jim Tully’s early books: a series of broad-stroke anecdotes in search of a narrative. The book gets stronger as it goes, with its most famous section detailing Thompson’s encounters with the sheriff who inspired the creation of The Killer Inside Me’s Lou Ford. But this juxtaposition serves only to highlight the comparative thinness of Bad Boy: Thompson may have been haunted by his memories of this man, but in the real-life telling he is (perhaps unavoidably) the barest husk of Lou Ford. Grade: C+

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