Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Enjoying a deftly handled tale of double-crossing con artists

"Because grifters, it seemed, suffered an irresistible urge to beat their colleagues. There was little glory in whipping a fool -- hell, fools were made to be whipped. But to take a professional, even if it cost you in the long run, ah, that was something to polish your pride."
The above passage by JIM THOMPSON sets the scene for his 1963 tale of double-crossing con artists, "THE GRIFTERS."
I am reading the novel, part of an exploration of Thompson's work this summer.
Many people know the novel only through its 1990 film adaptation.
I honestly haven't seen the film starring John Cusack and Annette Bening, and I am glad -- it means I can take Thompson's work on its own merits.
That said, the novel seems cinematic, like a great FILM NOIR where you are surprised by the deftly handled plotting.
It's a highly enjoyable read, and I find it difficult to put the book down.


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