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Jim Thompson (Author)
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    (September 27, 1906-April 7, 1977)
    Born in Anadarko, Oklahoma
    Wrote over 25 crime pulp fiction novels
    Titles include 'The Killer Inside Me' (1952), 'Savage Night' (1953), 'After Dark, My Sweet' (1955), 'The Getaway' (1958), 'The Grifters' (1963), 'Pop. 1280' (1964) and 'Child of Rage' (1972)
    Starved himself to death after suffering a series of strokes that left him unable to write
    In his author's bio, he claimed to have sold his first short story to 'True Detective' magazine at the precocious age of 14 -- an especially impressive feat considering that 'True Detective' would not exist until he was 18.
    While working as a bellhop in his teens, he supplemented his wages by procuring bootleg liquor, marijuana, heroin and prostitutes for the hotel guests.
    He suffered a couple of nervous breakdowns (1926,1946).
    He blamed his alcoholism on the fact that he was one eighth Cherokee.
    He joined the Communist party (1935).
    His novels are extremely bleak, with one critic noting 'James M. Cain and Raymond Chandler are optimists compared to Thompson.'
    At the time of his death, none of his novels were in print in the US.
    While he was recovering from his first nervous breakdown, his father embezzled money from his bank account.
    He worked as a newspaper reporter until he was blacklisted during the 50s.
    He wrote most of the script for 'The Killing' (1956), but director Stanley Kubrick hogged the credit, giving Thompson only an 'additional dialogue' mention.
    His books were critically acclaimed in France, where he was called an 'American Dostoyevsky.'
    He accurately predicted to his wife, 'Just you wait. I'll be famous after I'm dead about ten years.'
    Several of his novels, notably 'The Grifters,' were made into critically successful films.
    James Ellroy said, 'Thompson not only writes great dialogue, but he's great at capturing the psychology of his characters.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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