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Jim Thompson

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ENTERTAINMENT
December 5, 1990 | SHEILA BENSON, TIMES FILM CRITIC
There's a lovely bit at the beginning of "The Grifters" (at the AMC Century 14) when each one of its three unflappable con artists--Anjelica Huston, John Cusack and Annette Bening--pauses on the way to the day's new "grift."
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ENTERTAINMENT
July 29, 2012 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
The Twenty-Year Death A Novel Ariel S. Winter Hard Case Crime: 672 pp., $25.99 Noir is, first and foremost, style. It's like kabuki, or, more to the point, the blues - a folk art defined by its conventions, by a sensibility and a form. The best noir is pointed, not so much about plot as it is about voice. It's about what happens when someone gets pushed beyond the limit, when he or she comes face to face with the emptiness inside. Think of Raymond Chandler, who helped define the genre when he started writing detective fiction in the 1930s, or Jim Thompson, whose pulp novels of the 1950s and early 1960s gave it a more desperate edge.
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BOOKS
May 5, 1991 | Tim Hunter, Hunter, director of "Tex" and "River's Edge," is still looking for a copy of "King Blood" to complete his set of Jim Thompson paperbacks
Paperback thrillers of the '50s and '60s thrived on their fall-guy heroes, sexy sirens, con men and coldhearted killers. At writing these, Jim Thompson was the best and most original of all the novelists whose first editions bore a 25-cent price tag. In his day, a few appreciative reviewers greeted Thompson's work with a series of now-familiar quotes that have appeared on the back covers of his books for years.
MAGAZINE
September 11, 2005 | Sean Mitchell, Sean Mitchell is a frequent contributor to The Times.
At the post-season party for my son's Little League team last year, one of the dads got up to express his appreciation for the volunteer coaches. "You guys don't know how important you are," he said. "Looking back, I don't remember all my teachers, but I remember every coach I ever had." Quite a thought. And true for many of us, in ways both good and bad.
BOOKS
August 19, 1990 | CHARLES SOLOMON
First published in 1955, "After Dark" takes the reader on a dark journey into the twisted brain of ex-boxer and mental patient William (Kid) Collins. After escaping from a psychiatric hospital, Collins drifts into the company of Fay Anderson and "Uncle" Bud, two small-time grafters who decide to use him in a scheme to kidnap an unhappy little rich boy. But Collins proves too difficult to manage, and their scheme backfires.
BOOKS
July 14, 1991 | Michael Harris
Cashing in on the Jim Thompson revival, Westwood's Blood & Guts Press has issued what it says is the first edition of Thompson's last novel, "Child of Rage," to adhere to the original manuscript. This version, which the publisher says "differs significantly" from the 1972 paperback edition, comes with an introduction by local crime novelist Gerald Petievich ("To Live and Die in L.A."), who calls it "one of the greatest send-ups of racial prejudice in fiction . . .
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 25, 1993 | DICK WAGNER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Jim Thompson's weathered face and ocean-blue eyes reflect his career as a Catalina seaplane pilot. His nicked, gnarled hands betray his life now as a sculptor. He is 52, unemployed and living in a friend's industrial shop in Santa Fe Springs, which also houses his latest creation: a gold statue of a dragon clutching a mermaid. "Generally, I do the mobiles," Thompson said in the shop, pointing to two of them, one of silver penguins and one of gold and blue fish. "I sell quite a few of them.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 11, 1990 | PATRICK GOLDSTEIN
A curvy bleached blonde falls to her knees, crouching over a man sprawled in a pool of blood. At his side is an open briefcase, with thick wads of blood-stained cash strewn around his body. Her face clouded with emotion, the blonde leans over and whispers softly in his ear. Then she jerks away, grabbing bloody gobs of bills, stuffing them into the briefcase. As she fills the case, she stares into his eyes, weeping convulsively. Did she kill him? Did she love him? Or both?
NEWS
June 29, 2001 | ANTHONY DAY, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
"Glory Denied" is a sad, moving book about the havoc the Vietnam War wrought with one American soldier and his family. That soldier is Jim Thompson, a Green Beret who was captured by the Viet Cong in 1964 and held until 1973, longer than any prisoner of war in American history. Told with skill and sensitivity by Tom Philpott, a military affairs columnist, Thompson's story is written as an oral history, drawing on interviews with Thompson, his family and fellow soldiers.
NEWS
January 17, 1991 | KEVIN ALLMAN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
The timing of Hollywood parties is tricky. You don't want your party, for instance, to lose luster because of something like a bigger party on the same night. The party for "The Grifters," Miramax Films' new picture based on the novel by the late Jim Thompson, was overshadowed by more momentous events. The film had its L. A. premiere Tuesday night in Century City at the hour the United Nations had set as the deadline for Saddam Hussein to withdraw from Kuwait.
NEWS
June 29, 2001 | ANTHONY DAY, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
"Glory Denied" is a sad, moving book about the havoc the Vietnam War wrought with one American soldier and his family. That soldier is Jim Thompson, a Green Beret who was captured by the Viet Cong in 1964 and held until 1973, longer than any prisoner of war in American history. Told with skill and sensitivity by Tom Philpott, a military affairs columnist, Thompson's story is written as an oral history, drawing on interviews with Thompson, his family and fellow soldiers.
BOOKS
July 11, 1993 | CHARLES CHAMPLIN
Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler and John D. MacDonald all emerged from the pulps into the prestige and relative permanence of hardcover books. But there are other writers who in their lifetimes never really made it beyond pulp magazines and paperback originals. For them recognition has come slowly and posthumously. In a slim new book of essays, Difficult Lives (Gryphon Books, Box 209, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11228-0209: $12 paper; 100 pp.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 25, 1993 | DICK WAGNER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Jim Thompson's weathered face and ocean-blue eyes reflect his career as a Catalina seaplane pilot. His nicked, gnarled hands betray his life now as a sculptor. He is 52, unemployed and living in a friend's industrial shop in Santa Fe Springs, which also houses his latest creation: a gold statue of a dragon clutching a mermaid. "Generally, I do the mobiles," Thompson said in the shop, pointing to two of them, one of silver penguins and one of gold and blue fish. "I sell quite a few of them.
BOOKS
July 14, 1991 | Michael Harris
Cashing in on the Jim Thompson revival, Westwood's Blood & Guts Press has issued what it says is the first edition of Thompson's last novel, "Child of Rage," to adhere to the original manuscript. This version, which the publisher says "differs significantly" from the 1972 paperback edition, comes with an introduction by local crime novelist Gerald Petievich ("To Live and Die in L.A."), who calls it "one of the greatest send-ups of racial prejudice in fiction . . .
BOOKS
May 5, 1991 | Tim Hunter, Hunter, director of "Tex" and "River's Edge," is still looking for a copy of "King Blood" to complete his set of Jim Thompson paperbacks
Paperback thrillers of the '50s and '60s thrived on their fall-guy heroes, sexy sirens, con men and coldhearted killers. At writing these, Jim Thompson was the best and most original of all the novelists whose first editions bore a 25-cent price tag. In his day, a few appreciative reviewers greeted Thompson's work with a series of now-familiar quotes that have appeared on the back covers of his books for years.
NEWS
January 17, 1991 | KEVIN ALLMAN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
The timing of Hollywood parties is tricky. You don't want your party, for instance, to lose luster because of something like a bigger party on the same night. The party for "The Grifters," Miramax Films' new picture based on the novel by the late Jim Thompson, was overshadowed by more momentous events. The film had its L. A. premiere Tuesday night in Century City at the hour the United Nations had set as the deadline for Saddam Hussein to withdraw from Kuwait.
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