Hello and welcome as we take a journey into Another Year of Fiction. I decided to kick off this year’s experiment with a novel that was recommended to me by several people last year: Jim Thompson’s incredible 1952 crime novel The Killer Inside Me. Having received accolades from such luminaries as Stanley Kubrick and Stephen King, Thompson’s most famous book is a terrifying dive into the psyche of a normalized serial killer. The notion that depravity lies just below the surface of a small-town demeanor is one crucial theme of this novel, but there are some very important writing lessons to take away from it as well.
This was in my estimation a phenomenal book, and one of the creepiest I’ve read in some time. While I would recommend it, I’d direct that more toward people inclined to read crime/mystery or horror novels. But if you can stomach the dark vision of humanity and what lurks underneath, it would be hard to do better than this novel.
Next up: I decided a good antidote to the bizarre, misogynistic churn of our culture would be that most classic of feminist novels, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. (But mostly it’s because my wife has been asking me to read this one for years.)
Stay tuned for the next essay in Another Year of Fiction. And thanks for reading.
John Abraham is a published author and freelance journalist who lives in the Twin Cities with his wife Mary and their cats. He is writing a speculative dystopian novel and is seeking representation and a publisher.