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The Killer Inside Me Paperback – 3 Aug 2006

4.2 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Orion; New Ed edition (3 Aug. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752879588
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752879581
  • Product Dimensions: 13.6 x 1.7 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 34,810 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

MAGAZINESFront Review (and mention of rest of series) INTERNETShots ReviewTan --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

THE KILLER INSIDE ME has been a cult classic since its first publication in 1952. Also a major motion picture starring Casey Affleck, directed by Michael Winterbottom.

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Customer Reviews

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Format: Paperback
The Killer Inside Me is a curious read in that it manages to maintain its suspense throughout despite the unfolding of the story holding few surprises. Ford is a sociopath in the sense that at one level he appears normal and he's self-aware of his `sickness', but he's manipulative and deceitful, has shallow emotions, lacks empathy and remorse, and can flip into extreme violence. Thompson does a great job of exploring Ford's complex personality as he uses all of his sociopathic traits to exercise his revenge and cover up his trail through deception and calculated violence. The writing is tight, all tell and no show, and plotting and characterization is excellent. Where it excels is in exploring Ford's warped mind and world, without resorting to excessive description and back story, and yet being dotted with nuanced insight. I was slightly disappointed by the end, but it fitted with the rest of the narrative, and the plotting was a little forced at times. I was expecting the book to be uber-violent, but actually it's reasonably run of the mill by today's standards and is certainly not excessive. Overall, a great character driven read that's very thought-provoking.
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By A Customer on 23 Feb. 2005
Format: Paperback
The best piece of Thompson I've read. Treating his psychopathic nature as an illness, Sheriff Lou Ford draws you deep into his twisted, double-life. His self awareness making the book all the more disturbing, I was torn between sympathy, respect and disgust throughout. You'd have to be as insane as Ford himself not to be gripped until the very end.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I believe this book was first published in the 50's. I wonder if it caused a stir. If you enjoyed American Psycho, you'll probably like this as it is a view of a serial killer from his perspective. Instead of Wall Street we have a small town setting. Instead of Patrick Bateman we have a Lou Ford. The fact that Lou is a trusted and beloved Deputy Sheriff trusted by most makes it even worse when he starts in on what he calls 'the sickness' which means murder.
The writing is tight and constrained there's no relief to be found in pseudo-poetic prose because Lou's mind (of which,you're stuck in) doesn't work that way.In fact on many occasions he belittles people with false sentiment and meaningless philosophy and watches them squirm. Lou deceives everyone,even himself at times and it is in the faboulous writing skill of Jim Thompson that I kind of liked Lou even though he was doing despicable things and also in the maintaining of tension throughout the book. Lou could kill anyone at any moment and I found myself wondering who was next,how he would do it and how Lou would get away with it.
There's a little social commentary in the book and sometimes I wondered if Lou was even the real bad guy as some other characters have even less morals than him.The book may seem quite short but it is packed with action and thought,no padding or dragged out boring bits. The plot is full of twists and turns with an unpredictable but satisfactory ending. Part crime novel,part dissection of a damaged mind that might leave you wondering if that guy you know really is as nice as he seems. Thank you.American Psycho
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Format: Paperback
The Killer Inside - Jim Thompson ***

I had never heard of Jim Thompson, but browsing in a bookshop came across this. Stephen King recommended the author on the cover so I decided to pick it up and give it a try. I was surprised that it was written so long ago (1952) but I am quite a fan of the Noir period. James M Cain has to be one of most recently discovered favourite authors.

What is it about?

The book is told through the eyes of a small town deputy by the name of Lou Ford, a man who has created a fake persona as a slightly slow but lovable member of the community. We experience his paranoia and disturbed view of the world that leads him into a killing spree. Fuelled by past events from his childhood Ford meticulously plans each murder, but how long will it be before he is found out?

What did I like?

The action when it comes is very vivid, Thompson leaves very little to the imagination as we are described blow by blow the injuries inflicted on Ford's victims. I enjoyed the way that we are only allowed to experience Ford's own thoughts, this left me second guessing along with him whether or not the other characters were believing his stories or not. It was interesting to see how he perceived each situation and as his mental disease became more apparent to the reader, I also found myself looking at past events in a new light.

What didn't I like?

I understand the whole noir genre, and the need to keep language short and direct, but for me the novel was just a little too extreme. At times I lost myself in the plot and wasn't entirely sure what was happening. I admit, maybe this was just as much down to me as the author, but for me it spoilt the flow of the novel.
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Format: Paperback
This is actually a really good yarn. Written from the perspective of a fairly complex protagonist. The recent movie adaptation only serves to undermine how good this story is. This is most definitely a case of the book being better than the film. I recommend people read it to make their own judgement, not based on misguided preconceptions.
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