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Ing he stuck to his guns unwilling to change it to something realisticThompson was also hired to write a novelscreenplay called Cloudburst but as he often did he veered way off the plan for the work The book ended up being another Lou Ford alternate universe though the protagonist s name would be changed to Tom Lord to avoid rights issues and there would be no screenplay In time he was able to wrest control of the project from the filmmaker and publish the book as The Transgressors Also published during this time was The Grifters and Pop 1280 but these works would be the ast to show off Thompson s powers After this his work when he could sell it would descend into nostalgia andor needlessly The Spirit of Intimacy lurid sex and violence as in Texas by the Tail South of Heaven and King Blood theatter of which would be pulled by the publisher before seeing publication in the United States and would not appear until after his death His ast book published as Child of Rage would be similarly tainted as if as Pulito claims Thompson was struggling still to shock in a culture that was now sexually iberatedStill other work involved writing novelizations of films and televisions shows which he did a few of for standard feesDrinking during this time took its toll also and Thompson ended up in the hospital and near death several times Told to stop drinking and smoking he d resume both soon after The Amory Wars, Volume 1 leaving the hospital each time Poverty too was a problem since hospital bills stacked up and he wasn t selling much work He resented the fact that he was not better known and that his work was not fully accepted Most was out of print and when he did manage to sell a book it was for the same sum as he d made for years unlike other big pulp writers who seemed to be making for each publicationStill there was interest in his work for film adaptation Several novels would be optioned at various times Thompson didn t own copies of most of his books so he had to scrounge them up from a used book store or send photocopies when producers asked to see and consider his work A big break came with the sale of The Getaway Thompson wrote the first two drafts of the screenplay but in the end someone else took over the project and he ended up with no credit but a nice paycheck though not as nice as he would have gotten writing the screenplay The book in the film became merely an action flick with a happy ending not a tolerably great adaptation but still well grossing for the yearStruggling still to write Thompson would face multiple strokes until he could barely talk Eventually tired and knowing he could write noonger he starved himself to deathThrough it all his wife Alberta stuck with him and he with her He complained about her a One Night with The Sheikh lot but when asked why he wouldn t divorce her he said that he could never do that to her Given his drinking it s a wonder she didn t divorce him He was the one to cook each night but otherwise it appears she took care of managing theirife When she had a heart attack he was as devoted at her bedside as she had been with him through his various ailments It was Mismatch (Love Match, loveThe ending to thisife seems to come uickly when it finally comes he s a man who should have died years earlier one gets the feeling The real joy of the read for me involved Thompson s communist sympathizer days and the ushering in of his midlife success The dreariness of Family Wanted life thereafter made the book a rather sad slog in itsast hundred pages or so but such one might say is Keys to Tulsa life most especially Thompson s I don t get all the haters for this book Perhaps it s because Jim Thompson isn t depicted as an alcoholicaddict Supermanike Charles Bukowski or William S Burroughs and instead sounds Secret Africa like a whiny drunk Who cares He s still the greatest writer of noir in my opinion I really enjoyed Robert Polito s analysis of Thompson s psychotic novels if you re a Spoiler Nazi youl have a seizure so stay out and I also Crush (Awkward, liked reading about his aborted novels and TVmovie script projects too and yes at one time even Orson Welles was on board It kills me to think of what might have been but Hollywood can be cruel Jim Thompson sife was مهارت در بازی زندگی like one of his books Bummer for Jim Thompson More than aittle exhaustive I could have done without much of it especially his early The Dragon in the Clock Box life which I found to be a yawn Butater when the novels and their circumstances were discussed things perked up And then there was the picture of him with the cat That alone was worth working through countless yawns One of the best biographies I ve ever read Even the early slow parts are interesting I would wager that everything you would ever want to know about Thompson is in this book Some might say it would make an interesting film but no it has to be a book Read it and you My Amazing Dinosaur (Tib Tumtum, ll see what I mean I was going through a tough time back when I read this book and it helped pull me through The photos included are excellent I had my reservations about diving into another Jim Thompson biography because theast one I read Michael J McCauley s Sleep with the Devil felt The Nazi Revolution like a meandering thesis than a true account of its subject sife Thankfully Robert Polito did some hardcore research on Thompson for Savage Art giving us a direct path into his head as well as a greater Bloods a Rover (American Underworld Trilogy look at the circumstances that shaped his writing Thoseooking for insight into Thompson s existence during his most prolific period might be a bit disappointed because these are the years Thompson s personal ife and alcoholism were under control giving Polito not much to report on But Thompson s first stab at being an author through distinctly eftist Grapes of Wrath type subject matter is covered in thorough detail as is his relationship with the Communist party and the politics of the unions he took part inSavage Art falls victim to the same problem a Wylde Bears (Wylde Bears, lot of biographies suffer from and spends an exc Incredibly exhaustive biography of the now celebrated author of great crime noirsike The Grifters After Dark My Sweet The Getaway and The Killer Inside Me those are the only four I ve read While the early chapters go waaay into his grandfather s and father s Cooking Light Lazy Gourmet lives than I really cared about this is a well written and often than not interesting account of a conflicted rather tragic man a writer of genuine cult status who was simply not appreciated to the extent he deserved during hisifetime Now that I ve finally finished this bio I ve got some real catching up to do with Thompson s oeuvre and I ook forward to it Jim Thompson wrote such classics as THE KILLER INSIDE ME NOTHING MORE THAN MURDER and THE GETAWAY amongst so many other great worksThis searing non holds barred account of his ife and death is at once tragic and inspiring It s a downer because Thompson never received the acclaim he deserved during his Archies Americana, Vol. 1 lifetime it s aift because if ever a writer spewed his psyche onto the printed page and The Book Thief lived eternally because of it Jim Thompson is The ManIf youove Thompson this is a must rea. F our collective psyche Savage Art is an exemplary homage to an American original A National Book Critics Circle Award winner 57 photo.
In the early 7os after years of battling the bottle churning out dime store pulp fiction which barely covered his iuor bill author Jim Thompson had finally struck paydirt Hollywood had come a knockin Tinsel Town s 1 box office draw Steve Mcueen wanted the movie rights to Thompson s 1959 crime noir classic The Getaway Broke out of print and unable to write Thompson stood to make dough from the film rights to his book then he d earned in his entire career as a novelist After a ifetime of hard knocks fate had finally smiled upon Jim Thompson well not really Before a deal could be inked in a twist as sardonic as the plot of one of his novels it was discovered that Thompson had signed away the rights to his publisher a decade earlier So was the savage Silver Mortal (The Gracen Chronicles, life and art of Jim Thompson a master of crime fiction who ranks among the giants of the genre Raymond Chandler Dashiell Hammett James M Cain Robert Polito shines the gumshoe s flashlight on a uniuely gifted writer a man whoseife was as sordid and tragic as any character out of film noir An exhausting revealing and cumbersome biography of one of the greatest and at times most uninspired American crime writers Polito doesn t hold back detailing the Thompson family prior to the writer s birth and painstakingly moves ahead into his troubled childhood no not as wretched as some might expect It becomes clear to the reader that Thompson was a sensitive observer with an eye towards the gutter whether working at a seedy hotel in Texas or Educating for the New World Order later when he became involved with the Communist Party in Oklahoma Soon the boozeatched onto Thompson and while he Living in Little Rock with Miss Little Rock lived out what was a rather normal Americanife his addiction and the despair to follow fed his classic 1st person novels of the fifties the classics Supposedly he wrote the bulk of this cherished work in a two year span and it s a mad work ethic that some writers would envy or downright dismiss for after the completion of several of these novels he had suffered from nervous breakdowns one The Character Of An Upright Man lan On Savage ArtThis definitive biography of the writer Jim Thompson starts with a short assessment of his work of what makes it so powerful so different from other crime fiction namely that Thompson subverted the normal means of telling crime stories by taking their cliches to the extreme He found an audienceater probably because his rather nihilistic portraits worked better for readers of the Mr. Malcolms List late twentieth century than for the early We get crooks with no saving graces and cops who are crooks And yet disturbing as the portraits are we do sometimes feel with themNext Pulito delves into Thompson s familial background some Native American and the rest going back to the early days of the United States migrating over the generations from east to west Thompson himself was the son of a sheriff born atop the city jail He grew up for much of his youth in Oklahoma but his father had good times and bad times financially A big spender unable to save he provided a home that was feast or famine During the famine times as he traipsed off to find a betterife his wife would often go to GURPS Conspiracy X live with relatives in Nebraska and hence that too became a home for the young JimFinally Thompson s dad hit it big for a while in the oil trade and the family moved to Fort Worth There however fortunes eventually sank and Thompson went to work as a bellhop where many of his experiencesed to events recounted in his novels Here he Just One Golden Kiss learned the grift he served as the getter and giver of drugs hookers alcohol and other things bellhops were oftenooked to for Meanwhile he went to high school all the while working eight hours a night doping and especially drinking and smoking to stay alert Eventually by age nineteen still in school it The Tyranny of Guilt led to a breakdownThompson s relationship with his dad was not a good one Dad was a mover a worker Thompson was uiet and big on books writing was not real work in Dad s view Dad hadittle respect for Jim And Jim Phantom Encounters lacked respect for the dad whoeft the family by turns and spent out the family fortune whenever it come to be During his time as bellhop Thompson saved 1100 which he d planned to use to support the family after he got out of the hospital and was unable to work for a while his father stole it investing it in another get rich scheme that went nowhere The family sufferedThompson spent a couple of years after that in the oil fields working various jobs These adventures would become part of his writing Eat Your Way Through the USA later His mom even came down and joined him helping to set up a restaurant that uickly went nowhere Eventually Jim headed to college in his mid toate twenties There he majored in agricultural journalism doing well in the writing and English classes and abominably in just about everything else He met a My Dirty Janitor Book 4 lot of other writers howeverDuring this time he began to court the sister of his brother inaw The father of the girl really Stories from Spain / Historias de España liked him but the mother not so much Hence when the father died the mother did her utmost to break them up The girl married someone else and Thomposon went into a spate of depression broken up eventually by a blind date arranged by that brother inaw The woman he eventually married also had a family that didn t much care for him and in this case Thompson s family didn t much care for her The issue seemed to be one of class these women were from better off families and Thompson would not be able to provide the kind of Spanish-American Short Stories / Cuentos hispanoamericanos living these women were accustomed to or in the case of the first gal needed as she was semi invalid from an accident she d had as a young girl Nevertheless Thompson and his girlfriend eloped thenived apart thereafter for a few months eventually being caught as the wife came to visit Thompson alone at various times During this time Thompson worked and went to college keeping a schedule much Broken Bear like he had in high school only now his father was in the throes of whatw as probably Alzheimer s and neededots of care But as the Depression years came on strong even the work dried upJim tried his hand at writing any he could scrounge up He sold a fair number of pieces to newspapers and crime journals often under other names But the work was not consistent He tried to get jobs editing for newspapers and finally one of these attempts Enna Burning led to a job with the Oklahoma WPA After being hired on by a man who would become a good friend Bill Cunningham Jim would work on a guide for the state He d also become involved with the Communist Party an involvement that wouldead to a schism between different people involved with the WPA This would eventually oust Cunningham as head of the Oklahoma division and Thompson would take his place Among writers Thompson would work with was Louis L AmourThompson s writing at this time consisted still of various pieces for crime magazines under pseudonyms folk stories gathered for the WPA and Depression era proletarian type stories One of the Hatter latter would garner enough attention toand Thompson a book deal with. Robert Polito recounts Thompson's relationship with his father a disgraced Oklahoma sheriff with the women he adored in ife and murde.
Viking but though he completed the novel sending it in in installments it would never be published in part because it would ack cohesivenessEventually Thompson s communist Wayne leadings combined with ironically a milktoastabor history that others commissioned Thompson s agency to write that Thompson actually didn t want to do would The Perfect Resume lead to his dismissal from the WPA The state guide Thompson has worked so hard on would sit for nine months until another head was appointed and the agency got back to work that writer would then take the bulk of the credit for editing of the guide Thompson meanwhile came up with a book idea for which he got sponsorship and off of which heived for a year The book was a series of storiesinterviews with various The Centurion Code laborers it too wouldack cohesiveness straddling a Antropologia da Criança line between nonfiction which it was supposed to be and fiction It would never be publishedAfter this came a stint in San Diego The expectation was that Thompson might scrounge up some work in screenwriting but nothing materialized After some dead end jobs and a few Thompson was good at but hadittle enthusiasm for Thompson sent his family back to Nebraska and headed off to New York where many of his Air Terisak Membelah Batu labor and writing friends were now residing The idea was that there was a job there waiting for him but it was gone by the time he got there Instead Thompson tried to sell his work again visiting various publishers Eventually he got a publisher to take him up on his pledge to write a novel in ten days if they dend him a typewriterThe work completed in about five weeks was his first published novel Now and on Earth It was heavily autobiographical and still focused uite a bit on Canned labor issues In fact in his personalife Thompson was moving away from the communist GIFTED--2005 POETRY COLLECTION leanings he had had wanting to write something different something that would both sell and say something something grittier andess idealized Underneath the novel s characterizations were hints of the crime novel protagonists to come It received decent reviews but didn t sell very wellOld WPA friends in New York helped Thompson find a home for his next book Heed the Thunder which was a kind of epic Okie historical novel written under a similar deal as the first Meanwhile Thompson had written and rewritten a masterpiece called The Unholy Grail Eventually it the eighth draft would be published as Nothing More than Murder but not before he had to take newspaper writing gigs in San Diego and Los Angeles His firing from the atter gig happened as he finally sold said novel and received for once the critical and popular attention he d needed to become a novelistStrangely the success of the book however didn t ead to opportunities in terms of book publishing Two subseuent novels The Recoil and The Golden Gizmo went unsold Thompson took day jobs again And then his agent came upon Lion Books It was a magazine publisher Lisa and David Today looking for paperback originals to sell into newstands Thompson went to work writing books for them The relationship wouldead to than half his career output as he managed to writing something Clinton, Inc. like fourteen books in the next five years The success also kept him from drinking as prolifically or uncontrollably as he had what oftened to him Dvorak Keyboard losing his day jobsThe first of these books was The Killer Inside Me Thompson was handed a plot and then told to write it But the plot was about a New York City cop who kills a woman Thompson changed the setting to small town Texas the cop to a psycho the woman to women The publisher didn t care when the editors saw the first draft of the first half they knew Thompson knew what he was doing Other books followed with such speed that it s impossible really to know what was written when Some books were still coming out yearsater Pulito opts to put the books into categories in summarizing them first person psychos multiple narrators third person novels autobiographies and cul de sacs The The Muslim Masquerade latter are the handful of dead ends dunces bad books Note to self I need to read Savage Night Nowhere Man A Swell Looking Babe The Criminal and The Kill Off as well as theater book The Getaway and the earlier Nothing More than MurderAnd then the editor at Lion Books eft and the magazine company was sold and Lion Books closed Thompson essentially was out of a job He went back to drinking heavily Other crime writers got new publishers somehow Thompson s agent could not find him a home despite the fact that Thompson generally got good reviews and sold about 250000 copies per title No reason can be determined but Thompson thought it was because his novels were so violent He attempted to pull back writing some clunkers ike The Expensive Sky and The Concrete Pasture But mostly he just drank sold short pieces and worked for short spans day jobs one copyediting at a newspaperAlong came Stanley Kubrick A fan of Thompson s Kubrick was a budding filmmaker whose first film How to Heal Your Body lacked a decent script He hired Thompson to write the dialogue for the second screeplay an adaptation of a crime novel The film became The Killing and got rave reviews Thompson wasivid however about the screenwriting credit which Kubrick took for himself dropping Thompson down as merely the dialogue writerThompson insisted if he was to write for Kubrick again he be credited fully And so it was when he came on to writing Paths of Glory for five hundred dollars a week The degree to which the final screenplay reflects anything he wrote however is up for debate The first draft was overhauled twice and the writer of the rewrites claims nothing was eft of Thompson s work but Pulito s examination of the scripts suggests that maybe half of Thompson s dialogue and many of the scenes stuck Either way Thompson s name is on the byline as the third writer After this however Kubrick moved on he didn t think Thompson appropriate for adapting Lolita or other non crime faireAbout this time Thompson managed to sell another novel not one of the clunkers written years before but something new a revisit with Sheriff Ford Wild Town Neither a preuel or seuel to The Killer inside Me the book is sort of an alternate universe with many of the same characters from the previous book The book sold to NAL But editors never gave Thompson the kind of freedom he d had at Lion They suggested he start up a detective series with the same characters for example Lou Ford Or they wanted endings that were moral wherein the book managed to show that crime didn t pay With such shackles Thompson could not flourishThompson took up writing occasionally for television but there the shackles were even greater He did not do well writing for committee In time screenplay work dried up since he was not fast and not able often to stick to plans Pulp magazine publishing also dried up since television argely replaced itMeanwhile he sold a book called The Getaway which he had to assure the publisher would end in a moral way When it ended not to the publisher s Naughty Bedtime Stories (Naughty Bedtime Series Book 2) lik. Red on the page with alcohol would be censors and Hollywood auteurs Unrelenting and empathetic castingight into the darker caverns
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Robert Polito born 1951 is an American academic critic and poet He has been Director of the Writing Program at The New School since 1992 He received the National Book Critics Circle Award and an Edgar Award for Savage Art A Biography of Jim Thompson