Jim Thompson Books In Order

Standalone Novels In Publication Order

  1. Now and on Earth (1942)
  2. Heed the Thunder (1946)
  3. Nothing More Than Murder / Murder at the Bijou (1949)
  4. Cropper’s Cabin / Sharecropper Hell (1952)
  5. The Killer Inside Me (1952)
  6. Bad Boy (1953)
  7. The Criminal (1953)
  8. Recoil (1953)
  9. The Alcoholics (1953)
  10. Savage Night (1953)
  11. The Golden Gizmo (1954)
  12. A Swell-Looking Babe (1954)
  13. The Nothing Man (1954)
  14. A Hell of a Woman (1954)
  15. Roughneck (1954)
  16. King Blood (1954)
  17. After Dark, My Sweet (1955)
  18. The Kill-Off (1957)
  19. Wild Town (1957)
  20. The Getaway (1958)
  21. The Transgressors (1961)
  22. The Grifters (1963)
  23. Pop. 1280 (1964)
  24. Texas by the Tail (1965)
  25. South of Heaven (1967)
  26. Ironside (1967)
  27. The Undefeated (1969)
  28. Nothing But a Man (1970)
  29. Child of Rage (1972)
  30. The Rip-Off (1989)

Collections In Publication Order

  1. ireworks: The Lost Writings (1988)

Anthologies In Publication Order

  1. City Sleuths and Tough Guys (1989)
  2. The Mammoth Encyclopedia of Modern Crime Fiction (2002)

Standalone Novels Book Covers

Collections Book Covers

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Jim Thompson Books Overview

Now and on Earth

An underaged bellboy thrust into an awful intimacy with grown up vice. An alcoholic writer trying to postpone a crack up just long enough to finish his next book. A wildly dysfunctional Okie family floundering on the edge of mutual destruction amid the deceptive plenty of wartime California. These are the ingredients of Jim Thompson’s devastating and eerily autobiographical first novel. In Now and on Earth, America’s hard boiled Dante ushers readers into his own personal hell and limns its suffering inhabitants with bleak humor and compassion. With an introduction by Stephen King.

Heed the Thunder

Old Lincoln Fargo has spent his life engaging in almost every vice imaginable and his only regret is that he once stole a horse. His son Grant, a shiftless dandy with a resemblance to Edgar Allan Poe, is conducting an affair with his voluptuous and volatile cousin. And behind everyone’s back, Grandmother Pearl has just signed the family property over to the Almighty. In the literature of the American prairie, few families are as brawling, as benighted, or as outrageously vital as the Fargos of Verdon, Nebraska. And when Jim Thompson chronicles their life and times, the result suggest Willa Cather steeped in rotguut and armed with a . 45.

Nothing More Than Murder / Murder at the Bijou

Sometimes a man and woman love and hate each other in equal measure that they can neither stay together nor break apart. Some marriages can only end in murder and some murders only make the ties of love and hatred stronger. This book proves just that.

Cropper’s Cabin / Sharecropper Hell

For Tommy Carver, a short tempered Okie sharecropper penned up in a sweltering cabin with a brutal father and a stepmother whose affection is anything but maternal, the question isn’t when he’ll explode, but who he’ll take with him when he does. ‘My favorite crime novelist often imitated but never duplicated.’ Stephen King.

The Killer Inside Me

Everyone in the small town of Central City, Texas loves Lou Ford. A deputy sheriff, Lou’s known to the small time criminals, the real estate entrepreneurs, and all of his coworkers the low lifes, the big timers, and everyone in between as the nicest guy around. He may not be the brightest or the most interesting man in town, but nevertheless, he’s the kind of officer you’re happy to have keeping your streets safe. The sort of man you might even wish your daughter would end up with someday. But behind the platitudes and glad handing lurks a monster the likes of which few have seen. An urge that has already claimed multiple lives, and cost Lou his brother Mike, a self sacrificing construction worker fell to his death on the job in what was anything but an accident. A murder that Lou is determined to avenge and if innocent people have to die in the process, well, that’s perfectly all right with him. In The Killer Inside Me, Thompson goes where few novelists have dared to go, giving us a pitch black glimpse into the mind of the American Serial Killer years before Charles Manson, John Wayne Gacy, and Brett Easton Ellis’s American Psycho, in the novel that will forever be known as the master performance of one of the greatest crime novelists of all time.

Bad Boy

‘I was going to catch hell whatever I did. I might as well try to enjoy myself.’ Jim ThompsonAt thirteen Jim Thompson was learning how to smoke cigars and ogle burlesque girls under the tutelage of his profane grandfather. A few years later, he was bellhopping at a hotel in Fort Worth, where he supplemented his income peddling bootleg out of the package room. He shuddered out the DTs as a watchman on a West Texas oil pipeline. He outraged teachers, cheated mobsters, and almost got himself beaten to death by a homicidal sheriff’s deputy. And somewhere along the way, Thompson became one of the greatest crime writers America has ever known. In this uproarious autobiographical tale, the author of After Dark, My Sweet and Pop. 1280 tells the story of his chaotic coming of age and reveals just where he acquired his encyclopedic knowledge of human misbehavior. Bad Boy is a bawdy, brawling book of reprobates and an unfettered portrait of a writer growing up in the Southwest of the Roaring Twenties.

The Criminal

A teenage girl is raped and murdered. A father turns his back on his son. A vicious press lord turns justice into a carnival. A terrified boy is railroaded. In the twisted world of Jim Thompson, everyone is guilty, and the worst crimes are unpunishable.


Pat Cosgrove was a convict in the state’s vilest prison, and Doc Luther gave him his freedom. Cosgrove had never been loved, and Luther gave him two mistresses one of them the beautiful Mrs. Luther. Cosgrove owed Luther his life…
and now Luther was going to collect.

The Alcoholics

Dr. Peter S. Murphy runs a clinic to cure alcoholics. But his charges believe that the only thing that will fix them is another drink. To this bitter struggle of wills, add an orderly who doubles as a quack practitioner, a nurse who is both alluring and ingeniously sad*istic, and a misplaced patient whose main problem is his lack of a frontal lobe, and the result is one of Jim Thompson’s most harrowingly funny yet deeply sympathetic novels.

Savage Night

Is Carl Bigelow a fresh faced college kid looking for a room, or is he a poised hit man tracking down his victim? And if Carl is really two people, what about everyone around him? Savage Night is Thompson at his best, with plot reversals and nightmarish shifts of identity.

The Golden Gizmo

Toddy Kent was born with a talent for finding easy money, but Toddy’s gift has the habit of deserting him when he needs it most. When he discovers a seemingly limitless and illicit source of pure gold, Toddy’s wife suddenly is murdered and he himself is on the run from a sinister man with no chin and a singing Doberman.

A Swell-Looking Babe

The Manton looks like a respectable hotel. Dusty Rhodes looks like a selfless young man working as a bellhop. And the woman in 1004 looks like an angel. But sometimes looks can kill, as Jim Thompson demonstrates in this vision of the crime novel as gothic.

The Nothing Man

‘If Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett and Cornell Woolrich could have joined together in some ungodly union and produced a literary offspring, Jim Thompson would be it. ‘ Washington Post Clinton Brown is smart, good looking, and the best rewrite man on the Pacific City Courier. The wife he divorced is still in love with him, as is the alluring and well heeled widow who will do anything to make him happy. But Brown is missing something, and without that one thing there’s no possibility of happiness no possibility of anything but knocking back the booze and punishing anyone foolish enough to try to take away his loneliness. What Clinton Brown lacks may be enough to make him murder. Is Brown a killer or the victim of a sad*istic frame up? And if he’s innocent, why is he so intent on being caught? Deviously plotted, fearfully acquainted with the psychology of rage and guilt, The Nothing Man is further proof of Jim Thompson’s mastery of the crime genre.

A Hell of a Woman

Young, beautiful, and fearfully abused, Mona was the kind of girl even a hard man like Dillon couldn’t bring himself to use. But when Mona told him about the vicious aunt who had turned her into something little better than a prostitute and about the money the old lady has stashed away Dillon found it surprisingly easy to kill for her.


Incorrigible author Jim Thompson retraces his wild swath across America during the great Depression and World War II. Whether he’s getting drunk in a funeral home or drafting a manuscript with the help of a big hearted prostitute, Thompson is a mesmerizing guide to hard times his country’s and his own.

King Blood

The most important new literary journal to emerge since Granta, Open City has published some of the best work by major writers and artists such as Mary Gaitskill, Denis Johnson, Jeff Koons, David Foster Wallace, Irvine Welsh, Terry Southern, Patrick McCabe, Sam Lipsyte, and David Berman. Edited by the writers Thomas Beller and Daniel Pinchbeck and originally published by the late Robert Bingham, writing from Open City has been included in many prestigious anthologies, including Best American Short Stories and The Pushcart Prize. Known for launching the careers of today’s best new writers, the editors are also committed to printing important unpublished work by writers from past eras, such as Richard Yates, Delmore Schwartz, Jim Thompson, Cyril Connolly, Edvard Munch, and Gregor von Rezzori. With its innovative and daring mix of the old and the new, Open City combines undiscovered writing by classic authors with a fascinating portrait of a literary generation in the making. Open City 12 includes ‘After the Wall’, a special section on Berlin’s new generation of fiction writers; a story by Lewis Cole on the end of radicalism; and debut fiction by Sam Brumbaugh and Heather Lorimer. This issue features a previously unpublished story by Ford Maddox Ford.

After Dark, My Sweet

William Collins is very handsome, very polite, and very friendly. His is also dangerous when aroused. Now Collins, a one time boxer with a lethal ‘accident’ in his past, has broken out of his fourth mental institution and met up with an affable con man and a highly arousing woman, whose plans for him include kidnapping, murder, and much, much worse.

The Kill-Off

Luane Devore’s days are numbered. All her neighbors in the declining seaside resort town of Manduwoc want her dead. Some, like her young husband Ralph and his girlfriend Danny, want the thousands of dollars she keeps hidden under the mattress she spends her days resting on. Others want her to stop her malicious gossip some of which could ruin lives. Told from multiple perspectives, The Kill Off tells the story of a woman not long for this earth but who will finally take matters into their own hands, and when? THE KILL OFF was the basis of Maggie Greenwald’s critically acclaimed film of the same name.

Wild Town

The place is a frontier boom town where the graft gets collected more regularly than the trash. The hero is Bugs McKenna, slow witted, hot tempered man with manslaughter in his past and much worse in his immediate future. The much worse begins the moment McKenna gets promoted from ex con to hotel detective without bothering to ask why. Because in Wild Town nobody does you any favors and the price of advancement is always a little higher than what you can afford.

The Getaway

Lou Ford is the deputy sheriff of a small town in Texas. The worst thing most people can say against him is that he’s a little slow and a little boring. But, then, most people don’t know about the sickness the sickness that almost got Lou put away when he was younger. The sickness that is about to surface again. An underground classic since its publication in 1952, The Killer Inside Me is the book that made Jim Thompson’s name synonymous with the roman noir. From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Grifters

Roy Dillon is young, good looking and devastatingly charming. He’s also a completely amoral con man. Lily, his mother, works for the mob. Moira Langtry, Roy’s mistress, is always looking for the main chance, and so is Carol Roberg, the nurse brought in to look after Roy when a bad choice of mark means he has an unfortunate encounter with a baseball bat and a bad case of internal bleeding. Together they make up a perverse quadrangle of love and greed in a coruscating novel of corruption. THE AUTHOR Jim Thompson 1906 1977 was born in Oklahoma. He wrote nearly thirty novels, including The Grifters and THE GETAWAY, which has been filmed twice, and two screenplays for the Stanley Kubrick films ‘The Killing’ and ‘Paths of Glory’.

Pop. 1280

As high sheriff of Potts County, Nick Corey spends most of his time eating, sleeping and avoiding trouble. If only people especially some troublesome pimps, his foul tempered wife, and his half witted brother in law would stop pushing him around. Because when Nick is pushed, he begins to kill…
or to make others do his killing for him!

Texas by the Tail

Mitch Corley has a girlfriend with expensive tastes and a ruthless wife who refuses to become an ‘ex’ without major compensation. He needs big money and he needs it fast. Which makes Texas Mitch’s natural destination, since nowhere are rich men more inclined to stake huge sums on a roll of the dice. The only problem is that Texans are sore losers and they have cruel and ingenious ways of getting back at anyone who cheats them. Texas by the Tail is a high spirited, sexy, and ingeniously plotted novel of the grifting life, by a writer who is a virtual encyclopedia of the con, the scam, and the double cross.

South of Heaven

In the 1920s the worst place you could be was in that part of Texas that some people call ‘South of Heaven,’ and the worst thing you could be doing there was laying a gas pipeline, along with six hundred other hoboes, juice heads, and jailbirds. But that’s exactly what Tommy Burwell was doing, even though he wasn’t smart enough to know better. Even though ‘South of Heaven‘ is another term for hell. Combining a tale of escalating savagery with a dead eyed group portrait of men at the edge, Jim Thompson has produced a masterpiece of the American dissolute.

Child of Rage

Child of Rage is one of Jim Thompson’s most bitter and sexually explicit novels. Includes an interview with Thompson’s paperback publisher, two color photographs by Harry O. Morris, photographs of Thompson, and a bonus novella by Thompson, this is the definitive edition. Signed by Ed Gorman and Harry O. Morris.

ireworks: The Lost Writings

A brilliant collection, this book telescopes six decades of Thompson’s best writings into one volume. Containing many ‘lost’ pieces, it is a compendium of suspense from the pulp magazines of the ’20s to his last efforts in the ’70s. Fine.

The Mammoth Encyclopedia of Modern Crime Fiction

Never before has there been a comprehensive, inexpensive reference guide and overview to the genre of crime fiction like The Mammoth Encyclopedia of Crime Fiction. Veteran editor Mike Ashley’s historical introduction gives an overview of the crime genre, showing the background and development of crime fiction from the earliest days with Agatha Christie and Raymond Chandler through to the modern exponents of the craft such as Elmore Leonard and Ian Rankin. His A to Z covers five hundred entries on the major writers in the crime fiction field, from Edward S. Aarons to Mark Zubro, from the cult favorites to the best known, including Marjorie Allingham, Patricia Cornwell, Colin Dexter, Jim Thompson, and Minette Walters. The Mammoth Encyclopedia of Crime Fiction packs more information into its author entries than more expensive hardcover reference works. Each entry gives a brief biographical background with highlights for the cross referenced key works, provides a full bibliography, and notes significant films/series adapted from their works. There are also added bonuses of a crime fiction glossary that defines the genre s special terms and expressions, such as hardboiled, impossible crime, and police procedural and four appendices covering key characters, key books and magazines, key films and TV series, and awards and award winners, including the Edgar Awards, the Dagger Awards, the Shamus Awards, and other important awards. Crime fiction buffs, mystery booksellers, and anyone interested in crime fiction will find The Mammoth Encyclopedia of Crime Fiction to be an indispensable reference and an unbeatable bargain.

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