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.
About the Author
(1906 - 1977) James Meyers Thompson was born in Anadarko, Oklahoma. He began writing fiction at a very young age, selling his first story to "True Detective" when he was only fourteen. Thompson eventually wrote twenty-nine novels, all but three of which were published as paperback originals. Thompson also wrote two screenplays (for the Stanley Kubrick films "The Killing" and "Paths of Glory"). An outstanding crime writer, the world of his fiction is rife with violence and corruption. In examining the underbelly of human experience and American society in particular, Thompson's work at its best is both philosophical and experimental. Several of his novels have been filmed by American and French directors, resulting in classic noir including The Killer Inside Me (1952), After Dark My Sweet (1955), and The Grifters (1963).