Robert Polito: Savage Art A Biography of Jim Thompson



Evealing and cumbersome biography of one of the greatest and at times most uninspired American crime writers Polito doesn t old back detailing the Thompson family prior to the writer s birth and painstakingly moves ahead into Never Go Back (Jack Reacher, 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 seedyotel in Texas or later when The Temple of Death he became involved with the Communist Party in Oklahoma Soon the booze latched onto Thompson and whilee lived out what was a rather normal American life Venus Blueprint his addiction and the despair to follow fedis classic 1st person novels of the fifties the classics Supposedly Shame On Her Volume 3 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 novelse Bisk CPA Review had suffered from nervous breakdowns one landingim in Bellevue NYC While I A Crazy Kind of Love had to slog through some of this 500 page opus I still think it s an important work and one that showed the successes and many failures of a writer who at first wanted to be William Faulkner and then coinedis own style of uniue pulp madness that even today is jarring raw and vicious read the climaxes of Savage Night The Getaway and Hell of a Woman and you ll know why More than a little exhaustive I could The Medieval Forest have done without much of it especiallyis early life which I found to be a yawn But later when the novels and their circumstances were discussed things perked up And then there was the picture of im with the cat That alone was worth working through countless yawns 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 olds barred account of Backlash his life and death is at once tragic and inspiring It s a downer because Thompson never received the acclaime deserved during Bloody Bones (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, his lifetime it s a lift because if ever a writer spewedis psyche onto the printed page and lived eternally because of it Jim Thompson is The ManIf you love Thompson this is a must read. F our collective psyche Savage Art is an exemplary omage 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 is liuor bill author Jim Thompson In Defense of Food had finally struck paydirt Hollywoodad come a knockin Tinsel Town s 1 box office draw Steve Mcueen wanted t Jim Thompson s life was like one of is books Bummer for Jim Thompson Incredibly exhaustive biography of the now celebrated author of great crime noirs like 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 is grandfather s and father s 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 Black and White he deserved duringis lifetime Now that I ve finally finished this bio I ve got some real catching up to do with Thompson s oeuvre and I look forward to it On Savage ArtThis definitive biography of the writer Jim Thompson starts with a short assessment of The Color of Water 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 audience later probably becauseis rather nihilistic portraits worked better for readers of the 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 Unite 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 کسی به سرهنگ نامه نمی‌نویسد has to be a book Read it and you ll see what I mean I was going through a tough time back when I read this book and itelped pull me through The photos included are excellent I don t get all the Cake Pops haters for this book Perhaps it s because Jim Thompson isn t depicte. Robert Polito recounts Thompson's relationship withis father a disgraced Oklahoma sheriff with the women e adored in life and murde.

D as an alcoholicaddict Superman like Charles Bukowski or William S Burroughs and instead sounds 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 you ll ave a seizure so stay out and I also liked reading about The Name of the Rose 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 mightave been but Hollywood can be cruel I ad my reservations about diving into another Jim Thompson biography because the last one I read Michael J McCauley s Sleep with the Devil felt like a meandering thesis than a true account of its subject s life Thankfully Robert Polito did some ardcore research on Thompson for Savage Art giving us a direct path into Memories of My Melancholy Whores hisead as well as a greater look at the circumstances that shaped Pakistan his writing Those looking for insight into Thompson s existence duringis most prolific period might be a bit disappointed because these are the years Thompson s personal life and alcoholism were under control giving Polito not much to report on But Thompson s first stab at being an author through distinctly leftist Grapes of Wrath type subject matter is covered in thorough detail as is Pitch Dark his relationship with the Communist party and the politics of the unionse took part inSavage Art falls victim to the same problem a lot of biographies suffer from and spends an excessive amount of time tracing each member of the Thompson family s journey through Dont Forget Your Spacesuit, Dear history before finally arriving at Jimimself But after the dense intro Polito shows Thompson s life was as arrowing as those of is characters and Thompson s own autobiographies whitewashed the sadness alienation and suppressed rage that served as the engine for The Green Pharmacy his finest books Above all Savage Art portrays Thompson as a brilliant and incredibly sensitive man who was capable of so much but managed to sueeze out some brilliant works inis brief moments of stability It shouldn t need to be said at this point but Savage Art is igh recommended for any Thompson fan An exhausting Red on the page with alcohol would be censors and Hollywood auteurs Unrelenting and empathetic casting light 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