The Getaway

The Getaway➶ The Getaway Free ➬ Author Jim Thompson – Doc McCoy knows everything there is to know about pulling off the perfect bank job But there are some things he has forgotten such as a partner who is not only treacherous but insane and a wife who is Doc McCoy knows everything there is to know about pulling off the perfect bank job But there are some things he has forgotten such as a partner who is not only treacherous but insane and a wife who is still an amateur Worst of all McCoy has forgotten that when the crime is big and bloody enough there is no such thing as a clean getaway. I didn't believe a word of this and it's not like this was a first novel it was his 19th so I'm thinking that he was maybe drunk in charge of a typewriter or was just having a real bad month or something First off I don't like characters called Doc Even if they're doctors This is a personal uirk so I tried to disregard it Second if this Doc McCoy is such an all round criminal mastermind – and that is the very term used on p 58 groan – how come he got caught and went down for a 20 stretch in the first place? Third didn't he notice that his right hand man for the bank heist was a drooling psycho who was uite likely to fuck up the whole caper? Fourth I don't think a clan of hill people rebels and outlawspeople with a very real sense of honor the boss of which is a six foot woman called Ma of course she is would be old friends with this superior criminal mastermind at all since all he does is dishonourably rob kill and smirk I think Jim Thompson just couldn't be bothered and called up Central Noir Agencies in 1958 and said Yeah I need a brainy criminal a tough guy with mental problems a cute wifey type you know perky blonde yeah and a bunch of honourable hill people how soon can you get them over here?Fifth every so often Jim Thompson likes to impart his knowledge of the underworld to the reader so he will say things like Doc prowled about the cabin automatically inspecting it as he did any place that was strange to him He was looking for nothing in particular Simply looking Most top drawer criminals have this habit Eyes must be rolled and a chorus of you think Jim you think? spring spontaneously from the lips of even the most well disposed reader Sixth the last 20 pages of this absurd melodrama change gear so violently that I think the gear stick must have come right off The spray on tough realism of the first 120 pages is abandoned and now we get some kind of Kafkaesue dreamy symbolism all about ultimate justice or karma or sumpin At this point my eyes were beyond rolling They could roll no 35 out of 5 stars”The French seem to appreciate best Thompson’s brand of terror Roman noir literally ‘Black novel’ is a term reserved especially for novelists such as Thompson Cornell Woolrich and David Goodis Only Thompson however fulfills the French notion of both noir and maudit the accursed and self destructive It is an unholy picture that Thompson presentsThompson’s male leads are almost always schizophrenics plagued by erratic behavior haunted by an unpredictable demon; this split personality emerges as well in the writing itself marking the author as recognizably as he marks his confused characters” Barry Gifford Jim ThompsonTraditionally the French have always appreciated American contributions to literature music Jazz and Blues in particular and art than the country from which these talented individuals were spawned Americans tend to look on edgy uncomfortable writing unusual groundbreaking music and complicated exciting art as forms of degeneration The French find these aspects of the creative arts stimulating intoxicating Experiencing something new or unusual is not something to be suspicious of or condemning of but exhilarated by If these artists writers and musicians can live long lives they might eventually be seen by Americans in the same way as they are revered in Europe and then againmaybe not Fortunately for Jim Thompson occasionally Hollywood would come along and buy the rights to one of his books to make a movie The Getaway is one of those books Thompson was even asked to work on the script but was fired over creative differences with Steve Mcueen The movie is loosely based on the book and I’m sure that Thompson had a movie script in mind that was something closer to the way he originally wrote the story Mcueen was probably interested in making a movie that would be a box office success The movie came out in 1972 and was the second highest grossing film of the year so Mcueen may have been right and Thompson may have been too drunk and stubborn to see reason I can just hear Thompson while arguing with Mcueen saying something like”Hey I’m the writer; you’re just a f bomb actor” My active imagination sees Mcueen pushing Thompson into the pool and then Mcueen having to dive in and save a drunk Thompson as he flounders about unable to find the edge of the pool I watched the movie first because I have been wanting to watch some Sam Peckinpah movies and my son had a copy of The Getaway and he with his film degree is an astute movie watching companion So circumstances dictated that I ended up watching the movie before reading the book but the movie only stoked my interest in the book The basic premise of the book is used in the movie The relationship between Doc and Carol is one of the fascinating aspects of the book and the movie When Doc is sent away to prison it doesn’t even cross Carol’s mind to divorce him or go her own way She puts her life on hold waiting for the day that Doc walks out of that prison Carol was a mousy librarian who blooms under the influence of Doc Why would she ever want to go back to being who she was before Doc started paying attention to her? ”Reform Change? Why and to what? The terms were meaningless Doc had opened a door for her and she had entered into adopted and been adopted by a new world And it was difficult to believe now that any other had ever existed Doc’s amoral outlook had become hers In a sense she had become like Doc than Doc himself More engagingly persuasive when she chose to be Harder when hardness seemed necessary”When Doc is denied parole after serving four years all hope leaches out of him He can’t afford the time it will take to play by the rules He asks Carol to go see a guy named Beynon on the parole board and make a deal He is willing to do anything to get out of jail and what Beynon needs him to do is rob a bank Trust is something that is hard to come by in the criminal profession and not only does Doc not trust his fellow gang members supplied by Beynon but there is a niggling concern about exactly whether he can trust Carol What exactly did she do to get Beynon to agree to let Doc out? How far did she go? Did she sleep with him? Does he ultimately care? Does she and Beynon want Doc out of the way? As a reader and as a watcher I want Carol to be the loyal Bonnie to Doc’s Clyde It’s a better story but we are talking about Jim Thompson a writer with a notoriously dark view of human interactions So as the plot unspools I’m kept on pins and needles wondering about Carol as well It’s an aspect that in my opinion lifts the movie and the book to a higher level of appreciation The ending of the book is odd One reviewer speculates that Thompson must have been drunker than usual when he dashed off the final pages of the book I wonder if he was actually trying to get sober when he wrote those pages He seems to write just fine while snookered but who knows what he would pound out of those typewriter keys if he were trying to formulate paragraphs through a haze of pink elephants I enjoyed the finale of the movie better than the book The baffling conclusion of the book was replaced by a new ending with Slim Pickens which actually turns out to be an unexpectedly charming final scene The Getaway from 1972In my mind I’ve blended the movie and the book together to form a perfect union The story has simply become larger and better crafted with the benefit of several visions This is certainly a cerebral Bonnie and Clyde cross country escape with double crosses double dealing and plenty of mayhem to make this a classic of the genre If you wish to see of my most recent book and movie reviews visit also have a Facebook blogger page at Doc McCoy Rudy Piehead Torrento and an accomplice rob the Beacon City Bank and immediately begin double crossing each other Can Doc McCoy and his wife make it to Mexico before Torrento takes them down or the police catch them?The Getaway it the tale of a bank heist and its aftermath told in Jim Thompson's bleak style Actually it's really light compared to the other four Thompson's I've read up to this point akin to Richard Stark's Parker series than The Killer Inside me Doc McCoy is a planner and a smooth operator always ready for a hitch His wife Carol is like him than either of them care to admit The twists kept coming view spoilerI was pretty surprised when Torrento turned up alive and again when the thief stole the bag containing the money at the train station hide spoiler What the fffaaaThat’s not the endingI saw the moviethat’s not what happenedMy initial response to the ending of The Getaway was not positive I think I needed to digest it for a while before writing the review I was on board until that last chapter So I thought about it read an interesting review that focused on the ending of the book re read the last chapter andI’m cool with it All these smart as hell authors with their high falootin’ metaphors that are typically lost on a dummy like me I’m a literal guy Thankfully someone smarter than me explained a couple of things and I pretty much did a 180 view spoiler The symbolism of the underwater holes as coffins the rotting pile of manure as their putrefaction and the boat trip to El Rey as their ride across the River Styx to hell was amazing after somebody spelled it out for me I’m a dummy hide spoiler I really enjoyed reading this book; first printed in 1958 and reissued in new editions several times The Getaway is one of the most original and rather funny crime novels I've ever owned This is one of the better Jim Thompson noirs I've read It's a twisty chase novel with the expected double crosses close calls and violent clashes Then toward the end the story veers into something else but in an intriguing way Doc McCoy the bank robber is a nice guy psychopath I've read and heard that Thompson wrote fast and didn't revise his output If so he did a bang up job with his first drafts because he's delivered the goods 45 stars The Getaway begins with what would usually be the middle of most heist stories and is mostly about the aftermath of the crime hence the title But the story is not your usual Bonnie and Clyde type thriller This highly suspenseful yarn is ultimately about the disintegration of this couple's relationship as their journey leads them into some deep shit literally The only disappointing thing is the build up of a great character with lots of potential that ultimately goes nowhereThis is my 2nd Jim Thompson novel and it turns out to be just as haunting bizarre and all out ballsy as my first A Hell of a Woman And just like in that book The Getaway has an ending that will first make you pause and think to yourself Wait what in the fhold on did I just read that? and then make you want to go back and read the entire book again I definitely can't wait to see what his other books are likeYou tell yourself it is a bad dream You tell yourself you have died you not the others and have waked up in hell But you know better You know better There is an end to dreams and there is no end to this YO GUYS FROM DUSK TILL DAWN IS BASICALLY A REWORK OF THIS 1958 BOOK????? Two robbers on the run one of them recently out of prison being chased down by the law in a manhunt taking hostages and trying desperately to get to the border in order to cross over to a mythical Mexican paradise city called El Rey? Robert Rodriguez just added fucking vampires See El ReyI am so charmed by this realisation It's a cool read though I definitely languished in the middle as the pace slows down hence taking such a long time to finish It's still well written though the violence is punchy and unsettling and it delves into the stress and strain and tension of being on the run the situations and tight spots literally that Doc and Carol get themselves into the paranoia and mistrust that starts festering when you're both criminals desperate to survive but also still in loveThe last chapter is extremely interesting and uite the tonal shift and apparently has been omitted from both movie adaptations which I really want to see now regardless The ending is surreal and nightmarish and totally unexpected which is what tipped this from a 3 to a 4view spoilerEl Rey is like a Kafkaesue Tartarean dystopian nightmare which is so unbelievably ironic and fitting considering the lengths to which so many criminals have gone to get there not getting what you bargained for indeed hide spoiler It begins as a typical terse thriller and in the last chapter suddenly turns into a surreal hybrid of Kakfa Borges andermSteely Dan Highly recommended Thompson’s strength is his uncanny ability to create chillingly credible portraits of criminals and misfits at the far edges of society This story of a bank robbery and its aftermath is a common enough plot but write with such style and originality that it leaves the reader calling out for but at just under 200 pages it’s the perfect length and gripping throughout Unlike the films the novel has a savagely twisted and even surreal ending that though out of context somehow fits the sadistic action of the rest of the book

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  • Paperback
  • 192 pages
  • The Getaway
  • Jim Thompson
  • English
  • 03 March 2016
  • 9780679732501