Jim Thompson was born in Anadarko, Oklahoma. He began writing fiction at a very young age, selling his first story to True Detectivewhen 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).
Wild Townby Jim Thompson
The place is a frontier boom town where the graft gets collected more regularly than the trash. The hero is Bugs McKenna, slow-witted, hot-tempered man with manslaughter in his past and much worse in his immediate future. The much worse begins the moment McKenna gets promoted from ex-con to hotel detective without bothering to ask why. Because in Wild Town nobody does you any favorsand the price of advancement is always a little higher than what you can afford.
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Reviewed by Brenda Ballard for Readers Favorite In a dusty, sparse oil town, the tangled web of deceit sits patiently for its next victim. Unsuspecting Bug McKenna has his own problems: like being thrown in the clink at every town he stops. This town is different. He has never had a jail stay so luxurious (big red flag). When offered a pretty good gig as a hotel detective, he figures his luck has finally changed. Enter the mogul who owns the town, his philandering wife and a sequence of events that make him wish he were back on the road, grifting for survival. It was a lot safer at least. Jim Thompson began his writing career as a teenager, going on to write many paperbacks in this genre. His imagination utilized the people he came across in everyday life. Crime novels are filled with corruption and promising more action at the turn of every page. Thompson's books follow a certain subculture level in society. For instance, another of his books, "The Grifters", is made of the same type of seedy characters but with its own story line. "Wild Town" is aptly named with its dastardly reputation, devious plots and devastating outcomes. The phrase that came to mind while reading this ruffian novel was, "Can't see the forest for the trees." You see, sometimes the things going on right in front of your eyes are the ones you simply do not see. Bugs McKenna should have taken a step back for a better look before getting involved.