The Rip-off (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) Paperback – 22 Jul 1999
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About the Author
Jim Thompson was born in Anadarko, Oklahoma. He began writing fiction at a very young age, selling his first story to "True Detective"when he was only fourteen. Thompson eventually wrote twenty-nine novels, all but three of which were published as paperback originals. Thompson also co-wrote two screenplays (for the Stanley Kubrick films "The Killing" and "Paths of Glory"). Several of his novels have been filmed by American and French directors, resulting in classic noir including "The Killer Inside Me" (1952), "After Dark My Sweet"(1955), and "The Grifters" (1963).
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Is Manuela Aloe a gift from heaven or the girlfriend from hell? From the moment Britt Rainstar starts seeing the curvaceous heiress, he finds himself menaced by vicious dogs, stalked by pistol-packing skeletons, and attacked by an unseen assailant in a hospital lobby. Couldn't Manny just send flowers?
My last Jim Thompson read was 3 years ago in October 2010, back when I was recording what I had read books-wise but wasn't penning any thoughts on them. The book at that time was The Alcoholics and to be truthful I can't really remember what I thought of it, good, bad or indifferent.
This time around The Rip-Off was my Goodreads Pulp Fiction group read for September. Published posthumously around 1985, the book has mixed reviews on Amazon US. The 1-star reviews outnumber the 4-stars by 3 to 2, with a couple in-between and no-one rating it as a 5.
My thoughts...... short-ish at 220-odd pages which was a plus point, particularly in view of the fact that the menacing of Britt Rainstar and the whole plot or premise of the book, I felt indifferent to. Some on-line comments on the book, regard it as an attempt by Thompson to pen a comedic novel, something I wouldn't necessarily agree with though it did have some humorous moments. I felt a lack of tension as the book unfolded and irrespective of Rainstar's ultimate fate at the end, I was already looking forward to my next read.
Thompson doesn't shy away from describing some of the bodies less savoury functions and I guess he was ahead of his time in respect of trying to push boundaries a bit further. Nothing too graphic, but did it add to the story, or was it included to satisfy his own whims? Who knows?Read more ›
It shares elements of the Kill off which is a far superior novel but still held my attention for its entirety. It's just I wasn't left in an altered state when I reached the end.
Too many loose threads made the plot unravel but far better than reading any other crime writer even though its more Agatha Christie than Jim Thompson noir.
3.5 stars on the Thompson scale
4.00 compared to any one else
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
He should not have tried.
Whereas there are a few good comic juxtapositions, the basic fact is that the characters are unbelievable, unlikeable, and forgettable. The plot contrivances depend upon outrageous coincidences, unlikely motivations, and incompetent authorities.
Imagine the Munsters mixed with Elmore Leonard and you get a sense of what this book is like.
I've read most of his work. This is the first really bad one.
I suggest you don't waste your time as I did.
A standard feature of many Jim Thompson novels is the device of pulling the rug out from under the reader. We expect one thing to happen but then, out of left field, the exact opposite occurs. That's something Thompson does better than anyone else and is a contributing factor to his enviable reputation as a cult hero.
In what would seem to be an ill advised try at self-parody, Thompson pulls the rug from out under the reader in almost every one of the 30+ chapters of The Rip-Off, thereby nullifying the effect. Instead of surprise, shock and wonderment, the reader is left to feel confusion, a minor sense of betrayal and bemused pity for the author. Don't make the same mistake I did, avoid this book at all costs.