By James Calemine

Jim Thompson, born September 27, 1906, in Anadarko, Oklahoma, wrote violent stories about small time criminals, alcoholics and psychopaths until his death in 1977. Thompson wrote 29 novels. Some of his best known books include The Killer Inside MeNothing More Than MurderPop. 1280,  Hell of A WomanThe Grifters, and After Dark, My Sweet.

Several of his pulp novels were adapted to film. Thompson wrote screenplays for two of Stanley Kubrick’s early films–The Killing and The Paths of Glory. Thompson lived a troubled and poverty-stricken existence; by the time he died none of his work was in print. His brutal and stark prose proves his sharp insight into the ever-present violent tendencies of human nature.

The Getaway–a story about ex-con Doc McCoy and his wife as they struggle with troubled pasts, a dangerous bank heist and grave consequences–was published in 1959. Thompson’s mean prose inspired Sam Peckinpah to direct Steve McQueen and Ali McGraw in his 1972 film. A remake of the movie transpired in 1994, starring Alec Baldwin and Georgia-girl Kim Basinger. Read more about Thompson and Peckinpah in Insured Beyond The Grave Vol. 2.

Like every Thompson novel, The Getaway epitomizes smash-mouth reading…