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By the time Jim Thompson was sixteen years old, he had been a newspaper boy, a burlesque show hawker, a plumber’s helper, a comedian in two-reel pictures, a night bellboy in a luxury hotel and over a dozen other occupations. By the time he was eighteen, he was driving across America in a broken-down Ford without a penny to his name and his mother and his kid sister Freddie in tow, looking for just one more paycheck to keep them all alive.
A bittersweet comedy of a hard-won American life, ROUGHNECK chronicles the many jobs, near-criminal escapades, and downright unlawful grifts of the man who would become one of crime fiction’s most enduring writers, in a larger-than-life literary memoir–or wildly entertaining tall tale–as only Thompson could tell it. Hard times have never sounded so good.