We sent Rob Hart, the associate publisher of MysteriousPress.com, all 25 of the Jim Thompson paperbacks that we reissued in August. He wrote in to report on what he did with them.
Working in publishing comes with a few perks.
Say, for example, you’re grabbing breakfast with a pal and you profess your love for Jim Thompson. Turns out, that pal masterminded the re-release of a good portion of Thompson’s oeuvre in paperback and eBook.
Then one day you come home from work to find this pile of beauties sitting on your doorstep:
That is a lot of Jim Thompson. And it begs the question: What exactly does one do with such a giant pile of books? Not wanting to miss an opportunity, I came up with a couple of ideas…
Post a picture of the stack to Facebook so that your friends will seethe with jealousy.
Use them to get to hard-to-reach spots… like a locked window.
Load them into a pillowcase. They’re softer than locks, but still good at delivering a message, without the risk of breaking bones.
They’re great for smuggling weapons.
Use them to weigh down a gas pedal. This is especially helpful if you need a car to go over a cliff and then explode so that any lingering trace evidence will be burned up.
Thompson rakes his fingernails across your soul. I mean that in the best way possible.
I remember my first: Pop. 1280, recommended to me by a writing instructor. It’s a slim volume, and such a slow burn. The narrator, Sheriff Nick Corey, comes off as a buffoon—at least, in the beginning. But as the story shambles forward, you learn there’s something very dark beating under the floorboards of Corey’s soul. To say any more would be a disservice to those who haven’t read it. Luckily, while it’s not pictured here, it’s one of the 25 Thompson books re-released by Mulholland.
I’m not going to pretend like I’m not jealous—I would have loved to have these books available in our catalogue of backlist titles at MysteriousPress.com. But I’m happy to see that they’ll be more easily accessible to a new generation of readers. Thompson transcends genre and is truly one of history’s great writers. His prose is so immediate, his descent into the depths of the human condition so complete, he’s one of those writers who deserves to be read.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some reading to do…
Rob Hart is associate publisher at MysteriousPress.com and class director at LitReactor. He is the author of The Last Safe Place: A Zombie Novella, and his debut novel, New Yorked, will be released by Polis on June 9. Learn more at his website, www.robwhart.com