Having just missed one hundred books in the first year of The Book Challenge, in 2010, I made the full tonne. Still reading, but without the challenge, take a look at the reviews for the books that I have read this year.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Book 80 - The Grifters

Book - The Grifters
Author - Jim Thompson
Year - 1963
Genre - Pulp Fiction/Crime

As the New Year deadline rapidly approaches, I am really having to put in the hours, and have managed to whip through this latest book, Jim Thompson's The Grifters.  Knowing that it was, in part, an inspiration behind Hustle - one of the best programmes on the television - it was something that I was quite looking forward to.  A tale of con artists and the interesting ways in which they ply their trade seemed like a cracking read.

Unfortunately, this book is light on the cons and heavy on an Oedipal relationship between the protagonist and his mother, and some seemingly random character developments.  Despite being a con artist as a profession, our lead - Roy Dillon - is plagued with guilt over treating someone badly.  Relationships seem to change on a dime, and at some points you lose track of how certain people feel about others.

There are also times whereby sections of the plot seem to make no sense.  I defy anyone who has no knowledge of not just horse racing, but bet rigging in horse racing, to understand that section of the book.  All I was aware of was the incidence of this occurring, but three pages of useless descriptions did little to interest me.

The plot does remain interesting enough in itself, and the occasional twist in it is great, however, if you are expecting something of the exquisite touch that TV's Hustle employs, then it will become a bit of a disappointment.


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