The Killer Inside Me
by Jim Thompson
256 pages / $14.95 buy from Powell’s
1. Lou Ford is a small town sheriff who kills people in extremely gruesome ways (though the language chosen to describe it is subdued).
2. He strikes everyone in town as a moron, and somehow when he starts killing this makes it all the more irksome.
3. Stanley Kubrick called it “probably the most chilling and believable first-person story of a criminally warped mind I have ever encountered.” And he was correct.
4. The novel’s author, Jim Thompson, was known as Dimestore Dostoyevsky, which is also correct.
5. Lou Ford takes a lot of baths and reading this in a hot bathtub is very difficult.
6. Jim Thompson is one of the most intriguing figures to ever write a story about a killer and—unlike most—he does it best in the first person.
7. The ending will probably make you wish you were still in the thick of the narrative, which is either a sign of the novel’s excellence or an observation that ending something this strange and unconventional is not-fucking-easy.
8. Lou Ford takes to bashing around a hooker named Joyce Lakeland, who likes it a great deal and encourages him to keep coming back.
9. Casey Affleck stars in a film rendition of this book that recently came out and although it’s pretty spot on I think you’ll find when reading that some things just cannot translate.
10. Though the convention of the cops being on the killer’s tail plays a part in this book you’re hardly on the edge of your seat wondering about the morality being discussed here; this is, more than anything, a work of art by an artist before it is a poorly-crafted slice of genre fiction. Continue reading “25 Points: The Killer Inside Me”