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The Rip-off (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) Paperback – 22 Jul 1999

2.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 218 pages
  • Publisher: Random House USA; New edition edition (22 July 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 037570034X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375700347
  • Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 1.3 x 21.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,864,090 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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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Customer Reviews

2.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback

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?
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By Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 20 Nov. 2010
Format: Paperback
A shaggy dog story. There is enough here for a good thriller but it lacks the twists and turns of the great novels. The police are not the psychotic twisters of small town. The take an unnatural interest in the life of a down at heel Indian. The smell of decay permeates the novel but it never ripens into noir.

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
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Format: Paperback
I've read all of Thompson's top draw classics and they are brilliant. I wouldn't have known this book was written by the same author, it's packed with badinage and the kind of trash talk you'd expect from someone soaked with booze. It reminded me of those awful James Crumley novels. It turns out this book was only published posthumously as it was rejected in JTs lifetime. Pity this mediocre effort ever made it to print, if someone were to read this oeuvre as JTs first book they'd never read a second. Thankfully he leaves us with a legacy of outstanding novels which are in a league of their own. This book is in a league of its in but for different reasons. Best avoided, it only detracts from his legendary works.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9c001aec) out of 5 stars 8 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9803b684) out of 5 stars Probably Thompson's worst 24 May 2002
By Westley - Published on
Format: Paperback
I'm a huge Jim Thompson fan, but I did not enjoy this book at all. Britt Rainstar is the protagonist. As is typical of a Thompson character, Rainstar owes lots of money and is in lots of trouble. Enter Manuela Aloe, a sexy and wealthy woman who takes a liking to Rainstar and hires him to write pamphlets for her company. Aloe is tough and when she finds out that Rainstar is married, mysterious things start to happen to him, including being threatened by a man in a skeleton costume. Is Aloe the one behind all of it? The plot could have been quite interesting, but instead is filled with unbelievable coincidences and characters. None of it really makes much sense and I didn't care what happened to Rainstar. This was Thompson's last book, and was published after his death. One can't help but wonder whether it was actually finished at the time of his death. A real disappointment. If you haven't read Thompson before, start with "The Killer In Me," "The Grifters," or any one of his other classics.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9803b7d4) out of 5 stars worth a read 7 Dec. 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
-Rip Off is worth a read, especially for the Jim Thompson enthusiast. Last thing Thompson wrote before he died. The first chapter just tugs you right in. Forget about putting it down. The protagonist is great. Any man who thinks he was meant for bigger and better will associate with him. Ok- so here's the question...I read the New Black Mask Quarterly #1 in 1985 which included the First few chapters of Rip Off. However it said that Thompson died before he could arrange the typescript. That's the problem. You can really tell that Jim Thompson couldn't go back to put his finishing touches on the story. But read it anyway. Its still better than anything Robert B. Parker ever wrote. amen
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9803b8a0) out of 5 stars Even the great Thompson blows one now and then 9 Jun. 2009
By Jeff - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is Jim Thompson's attempt to write a funny book.

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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9803b63c) out of 5 stars Unfortunately, the title fits all too well. 28 Oct. 2010
By Michael G. - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's hard to know what to say about this very silly, slapstick attempt at humor by Jim Thompson, one of the legendary grandmasters of noir. It's embarrassingly bad and the fact it was only published posthumously indicates the author himself knew it wasn't worth releasing.

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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9803be94) out of 5 stars Not standard Thompson but still worth a read 25 Jun. 2009
By Fred Nietzsche - Published on
Format: Paperback
I am a huge Jim Thompson fan. I think he is quite possibly the most under appreciated modern American fiction author. So I want to warn other fans of Thompson if you pick this book up expecting a standard Thompson novel you will be very disappointed. Where as Thompson's novels are usually dark and brooding this one is dark and comic. There are times when its a little over the top but other times where it really strikes a chord. The whole idea of the hero whose home is next to an ever expanding mountain of garbage is a great metaphor for modern America. So if you are new to Thompson by all means DON'T buy this book. Get After Dark My Sweet, or The Killer Inside Me, or The Getaway, or The Grifters. But if you have read all those books already and are a Thompson fan and want to see him take an interesting trek in a different direction check this out.
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