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POP. 1280 Paperback – 3 Aug 2006

4.3 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (3 Aug. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752879618
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752879611
  • Product Dimensions: 13.6 x 1.5 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 233,463 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

WWW.TANGLED-WEB.CO.UK featured a review of POP. 1280 on their site from the 21st March 03. This included a summary of the plot. WRITER'S JOURNAL will be publishing a large feature on Jim Thompson and will be mentioning our new titl --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

A classic crime novel from 'the best suspense writer going, bar none' New York Times

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Pop 1280 is noir farce, with Thompson taking the sheriff of The Killer Inside Me back in history 50 or so years. In the latter at least he knew he had a killer inside himself. This sheriff only realises, or descends into full blown mania, towards the end. Before that he 'didn't know what to do', so he improvised lethally.
Some of the humour in both books comes from him disguising his natural intelligence under a folksy cornpone dumb act to fool or wrongfoot the townspeople. As in all farce (though the comedy here is pitch black) the humour comes in the unravelling of complex and not entirely sane plans, in everything going wrong and then being cleverly brazened out.
Taking things back to 1900 or so allows Thompson to expose the murderous racism bigotry misogyny and hypocrisy of the white population of this 'arm-pit of civilization' Southern town even more explicitly than he does in the 1950s book.
This isn't pulp fiction; it's the real literary thing.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading ten of Mr Thompson's novels, this ranks as the best. An astonishing mix of callous murder and comedy. Sheriff Nick Corey is up for re-election in the 47th smallest county of some south western state. His desire to keep his job reveal Nick as everything from idiot savant to Deputy Dawg.

He struggles to understand what the townsfolk want from their Sheriff and his attempts to oblige them oscillate between the comic and the horrific.
This is not pulp fiction, it is challenging and memorable.
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Format: Paperback
I have read and savoured quite a few novels by Thompson, the master of hardboiled nastiness, but nothing, not even the readers' comments on this page prepared me for "Pop. 1280." Its funny! Outrageously so.

The author has decided to take the mickey out of his own genre, writing a novel that hilariously spoofs so much else that he has written (The Killer Inside Me is an obvious target). Thompson has consciously followed that tricky logic of theatrical farce, crafting a tighly plotted novel that seems like Philip Marlowe-meets-Jacobean murder drama. The zany narrative is driven by event after event creeping up on the sheriff as he is trying to clear away the last one: wild comedy mixed with brutal murder.

Its as if Thompson has read The Revenger's Tragedy, which pushed to crazy excess the Jacobean Revenge tragedy, with corpse after corpse mounting up, and decided to do the same within his own literary terms. Murder after murder takes place, all committed by the sheriff himself, as he is crazily running back and forth through the town to maintain a respectable veneer, while secretly trying to run rackets and also bedding the many women who desire him (shades of Jonson's The Alchemist here - or the 60s update Boeing-Boeing). And, of course, the wily sheriff is running rings around everyone, drawing them unwittingly into his bloody crimes.

A terrific, outrageously funny, murder story. DO DO DO read it.
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Format: Paperback
A lazy and corrupt sheriff in a small town (population = 1280) is not getting any respect neither from the local farmers and hoodlums, his superiors nor his wife (who is cheating on him with his "brother in law"). Suddenly something snaps and he starts to clean house in a devious and vicious way.
The reason I picked up this book was because it is the basis for one of my all time favourite french movies "Coup de torchon" with Philippe Noiret in the leading role. The director (Bernard Tavernier) changed the surroundings from a sweltering southern US county to Algeria right before the outbreak of the second world war, but otherwise remains extremely close to the storyline of the novel. It was great fun to read the novel with the scenes of the movie in the back of my mind and to notice the smart adaptations that had to be made to make the story work in this different context.
The novel is great : ingenious, dark, brooding and with not a single likeable character in sight. Thompson's style is unique : cynical, twisted, tongue in cheek and dialogues that are just too good to be true. Take just this sample, it comes out of a speech the sheriff gives to an obsequious black man before he shoots him : "(...) people who go around sniffing crap with their mouth open, and acting surprised as hell when somebody kicks a turd in it."
When I had finished this novel, I went out to buy a stack of Thompson's books and I was not disappointed. Great stuff.
Be sure not too miss neither the novel nor the movie.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an odd fish. As the novel starts, it plays out like a comedy as we're invited to mock the narrator, Good Ol' Boy Sheriff Corey, as he floats around his small town basically avoiding any hard work and talking like a Deep South caricature. As the book continues, however, it appears that Sheriff Corey is smarter than the average bear and he begins to manipulate the people around him, acting as occasional executioner and general inciter of trouble and lies. He exists as a beatific siren, pulling the townsfolk to their messy ends, tweaking their greed, jealousy and general dunderheadedness. He never really lets the curtain drop though, appearing to be the same simple creature he was at the beginning. His justifications are little more than local aphorisms that obscure his true intent and nature.
It's pretty funny and it snaps along at a real pace. It also gives you a Sopranos style ending where you can take from it what you wish. What is Sheriff Corey? A man, or something much worse? Is this a comedy? I'm not entirely sure to be honest. What I do know is that it's occasionally hilarious, really clever and refreshing. Isn't it nice to be treated like an adult in the delivery of something interesting and funny? Yes. Yes it is. Buy this and drink it in.
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