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After Dark My Sweet (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) Paperback – 16 Nov 1993


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Paperback, 16 Nov 1993
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Product details

  • Paperback: 45 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Books; Black LizardVintage Crime ed edition (16 Nov. 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679732470
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679732471
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 0.8 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 173,600 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Published as part of the Crime Masterworks series, this reissue showcases one of Thompson's greatest criminal treasues. (GOOD BOOK GUIDE)

One of a series of crime masterworks, past classics that have clearly stood the test of time and are being re-issued... Thompson's work is often categorised as hard- boiled and violent but there's a depth to it that takes it beyond pulp fiction. After Dark, My Sweet is well worth seeking out. (MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS)

'This celebrated pulp thriller, brought to a new audience courtesy of Orion's splendid Crime Masterworks series, features three of his most memorable creations... Thompson portrays his people with light and shade and the ending is one that will linger in many readers' memories.' (Martin Edwards TANGLED WEB)

'This is a classic 1950s pulp fiction from a master of the genre...Call him hard-boiled or noir as you will, Thompson is at heart simply a fine writer, and a master of the art of exposing the frailty of the human psyche.' (Ian Morson TANGLED WEB) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

'A blisteringly imaginative crime novelist...violent, amoral, terse and fast-moving...a classic American novelist' Kirkus Reviews --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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I rode a streetcar to the edge of the city limits, then I started to walk, swinging the old thumb whenever I saw a car coming. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 10 April 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A kidhapping that begins to ravel then unravel, twist, turn, get up, sit down, jump, walk, run and heave. Each page brings forth a new revelation as Jim spins a story with a delicate weave that gets more throws and tumbles than a high speed washing machine ripping through your favorite silk shirt. This yarn shreds the nerves.

The story is written in the first person and is an intense piece of caustic soda, kept in suspense, as you gaze through the eyes of man who has jumped an asylum but appears strangely sane in a world where nothing is what it seems. Everyone has another side to them. Alcoholism; the power of the medicine men to intervene, local town hierarchies, the child rearing practices of the rich; all get the microscopic eye.

Jim's story gallops with pace but the richness lies within the small details as he relates the debilitation of being termed mad and bad. It has its own constaints as applied within the label.

In between is the most wayward love story from a bi polar world. The only piece of melting ice bobbing on the raging current under the boiling hot sun has these players locked upon it.

Jim has managed to conjure a great novel from the threads of Americana. He has deftly threaded a piece of noir that lies beyond any form of redemption. Good, Bad, Beautiful and the Sick live bare loveless lives where money provides a beckoning salvation but the door leads back to paranoia, isolation and desolation. This is the jump into the gaping abyss, the torrent that lies underneath the stage set when the heart stops ticking and eternal silence decends.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 23 Jun. 1999
Format: Paperback
After Dark, My Sweet is Thompson's tightest and least dated work. His trademarks-- flawed, mentally imbalanced first-person narrators; "Jim Thompson women"; plans gone horribly, horribly wrong-- are here in there most accesible forms. Pitch black, pitch perfect noir.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 18 Mar. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This a tense crime thriller about three low-lifes plotting a kidnapping that goes wrong and the characters get trapped in a descending spiral. They begin to doubt each other, no one is sure who is deceiving who, however it's the author who is the trickster here, Thompson is playing with his reader's mind, you begin to doubt whether the narrator himself is insane or willfuly deceiving you. Classic noir fiction with a short jab to the jaw!
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Format: Paperback
Jim Thompson often employed a first person narrator of dubious mental stability for his novels and 'After Dark, My Sweet'is one of those books. The narrator is on the lam from a psychiatric institution, hitching rides and sleeping rough when he meets a femme fatale who, along with a manipulative conman, proceeds to lure him into doing the dirty work in a daring kidnap. The unhinged anti-hero is not too bright, which makes him appear easy fodder for the villainous duo. However, he is very handsome, which brings tension to his relationship with the woman, and pretty handy with his fists, which makes the conman think more than twice about his plans. The reader knows that the novel will end brutally - yet it is hard to know exactly how. I would not say that 'After Dark, My Sweet' is Thompson's best novel but it is an excitingly good read.
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By Warren Stalley on 4 Feb. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a typical powder keg of a Jim Thompson story. A punch drunk drifter with mental problems falls in with an ex cop and a drunken woman to form an uneasy triangle. A half formed kidnap plan goes very wrong and no one gets out in one piece. The real strength in Thompson's work is the ability to create small fragile worlds where things can go bad then tragic. There's a feeling that some people just never find peace no matter how hard they try. At times the character of Collie reminded me of Lennie from Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men. Collie is a tough guy with a soft heart. This is another Thompson master class in the crime noir genre. Read The Getaway and The Grifters first but then come looking for this book too.
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Format: Paperback
Let's face it, most thrillers are clichéd, nowadays pitiless and amoral, entertainment trash.
Not a genre then to consider seriously mental illness, how it co-exists with sanity and morality in the same person, not a genre to give serious thought to the problem of evil in ordinary venal people.
So that must make Jim Thompson (that as well as his fine plain prose and superb plotting) a modern Dostoevsky, a very serious and estimable novelist.
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