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Jim Thompson (1906 - 1977)
added by PatrickConejo
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James Myers Thompson (September 27, 1906, Anadarko, Oklahoma Territory–April 7, 1977, Los Angeles, California) was an American writer of short stories, screenplays and novels, largely of the pulp fiction kind.
Thompson was best-known for his novels, of which he wrote more than thirty. Most of his output occurred between the late 1940s and mid 1950s. Despite some positive reviews (the writer and critic Anthony Boucher, for example, reviewed many of Thompson's novels in the New York Times), Thompson was little recognized during his lifetime. His stature grew only after his death, when, in the late 1980s several of his novels were republished in the Black Lizard series of rediscovered crime fiction. Thompson was an admirer of Fyodor Dostoevsky and was nicknamed "Dimestore Dostoevsky" by writer Geoffrey O'Brien. Film director Stephen Frears, who filmed The Grifters, also identified elements of Greek tragedy  in his themes.
Thompson's books are populated by grifters, losers and psychopaths, some on the fringes of society, some in the very heart of it. His nihilistic worldview was best served by first person narratives, revealing an almost frighteningly deep understanding of the workings of warped minds. There are practically no "good guys" in Thompson's works, nearly everyone is abusive, opportunistic, or simply biding their time. Screenwriter Donald E. Westlake, who adapted The Grifters for the film version, once observed that alcohol abuse played a large role in Thompson's work, though the abuse was often not explicit. Westlake described typical personal relationships in a Thompson novel as starting out pleasant in the morning, becoming increasingly argumentative through the afternoon, and downright abusive at night. This, he observed, was the effects of an alcoholic lifestyle, which Thompson often lived, and which he "airbrushed out" of his stories .
Thompson's writing culminated in a few of his best-regarded works: The Killer Inside Me, Savage Night, A Hell of a Woman and Pop. 1280. In these and other works, Thompson turned the often derided pulp genre into literature, into art. Some of his work features unreliable narrators, odd structures, and flirtations with surrealism.
His own life was nearly as colorful as his fiction, and much of Thompson's work was semi-autobiographical, or at least inspired by his own experiences.
taken from Wikipedia