The Grifters is a fine book. Still reading, the third person narrative I have mentioned before speaks in the mature and knowing tone of a confident writer. A writer who teases with his sardonic and often tasteless wit, but who also makes apparently light asides that reveal other avenues of thought. A close friend told me the other day to stop looking for ‘good’ characters in Thompson’s books, and he may well be right. But we’ll both agree there is plenty of good writing, and writing that is even better:
Moira watched as he hurried away, her carefully composed features concealing an incipient snicker. Now, wasn’t that something, she thought. No wonder the world was going to hell when a grown man pranced around in a monkey suit, brown-nosing dames who made a big deal out of ordering a belt of booze. Where had it all started? she wondered. Where the beginning of this detour which had sidetracked civilisation into mixing drinks with one hand and stirring up bombs with the other?