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Extended Audio Sample A Swell-Looking Babe Audiobook, by Jim Thompson Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (628 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jim Thompson Narrator: Brian Troxell Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2011 ISBN: 9781611137309
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It was supposed to be only a temporary job—something to pay the bills until Dusty could get his feet back on the ground and raise enough money for medical school. After all, there’s nothing wrong with being a bellboy at a respectable hotel like the Manton—that is, until she came along.

Marcia Hillis. The perfect woman. Beautiful. Experienced. Older and wiser. The only woman to ever measure up to that other her—the one whose painful rejection Dusty can’t quite put from his mind.

But while Dusty has designs on Marcia, Marcia has an agenda of her own. One that threatens to pull the Manton inside-out, use Dusty up for all he’s worth and leave him reeling and on the run, the whole world at his heels.

A richly-imagined crime narrative of the Oedipal and betrayal, A Swell-Looking Babe is Thompson at his very best—a cornerstone in Thompson’s enduring legacy as the Dimestore Dostoyevsky of American fiction. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • The best suspense writer going, bar none. The New York Times
  • My favorite crime novelist-often imitated but never duplicated. Stephen King
  • If Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett and Cornell Woolrich would have joined together in some ungodly union and produced a literary offspring, Jim Thompson would be it...His work...casts a dazzling light on the human condition. Washington Post
  • Like Clint Eastwood's pictures it's the stuff for rednecks, truckers, failures, psychopaths and professors ... one of the finest American writers and the most frightening, [Thompson] is on best terms with the devil. Read Jim Thompson and take a tour of hell. The New Republic
  • The master of the American groin-kick novel. Vanity Fair
  • The most hard-boiled of all the American writers of crime fiction. Chicago Tribune

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kris | 2/6/2014

    " My least favorite Jim Thompson novel. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Thomas | 2/3/2014

    " Made me feel icky and miserable, like a good crime novel should. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Roy | 1/26/2014

    " 2-1/2 stars for a book I was not overwhelmed by, but the pages of this short noir novel raced by quickly enough. Thompson's prose, at least in this particular book which is the first by him that I've read, didn't resonate as powerfully as say Raymond Chandler or Walter Mosley or Chester Himes. But he did a fine job putting the reader into the confused mind of a lead character trying to figure out the constantly shifting whirlwind going on around him, and slowly revealing the young man's true character and motivations. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gordon | 1/15/2014

    " LOVE JIm Thomson. His dialog can't be matched. And the way he gets inside his characters. Any of his books are great. Most famous: The Killer Inside Me. Highly recommend that! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Phillip Frey | 1/15/2014

    " Blackmail and murder. What more could a crime-book reader want? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mister | 1/11/2014

    " I would rank this amongst my favorites of Jim Thompson's works. Really well put together story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stephen | 1/8/2014

    " Well, this book IS what Thompson is known for - very dark and very grim. The last 40 or so pages is a pure anxiety-ridden, white knuckle ride. Briskly paced and hard boiled from start to finish. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eddy Allen | 12/14/2013

    " The Manton looks like a respectable hotel. Dusty Rhodes looks like a selfless young man working as a bellhop. And the woman in 1004 looks like an angel. But sometimes looks can kill, as Jim Thompson demonstrates in this vision of the crime novel as gothic. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Donald | 12/3/2013

    " I really liked this at the start, but as the main character's mental health declined, so did my interest. It seemed like all the characters are pretty feeble minded, and not very likable. Kind of made it hard for me to care about them. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ian | 10/17/2013

    " They don't even eat their eggs scrambled in this one; that's how hard-boiled it is. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tom | 9/20/2013

    " dark spirals of badness - great! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rob Hart | 8/15/2013

    " oddly conventional, still good though. as always with Thompson, the ending is a kick in the lunch-bucket. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Aaron Renfro | 6/2/2013

    " This book is likely inspired by Thompson's tenure as a concierge at the Hotel Texas which is now the Hilton in downtown Fort Worth. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Grant | 5/3/2013

    " very creepy, with the unreliable narrator & the glimpses of utmost depravity, but after about a third of the way in as said narrators mental equilibrium cracks and falls to pieces, it aquires a can't look away quality. not his best book but still the best crime writer ever. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chas Andrews | 4/7/2013

    " Good, not great story about a guy working the night shift at a hotel who gets roped into a plan to swindle money and yes, a woman is involved. Great style. Good ending. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy | 2/17/2013

    " 3.5,really. Gotta love Jim Thompson! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alex | 8/30/2012

    " Pretty good, kind of a letdown after the Getaway, though. As always, a quick fun read though. Makes me wish I lived in a simpler era where the expensive rooms at the classiest hotel is $15 a night. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andy | 7/14/2012

    " Some nutty goings on in a hotel told from the perspective of a bellboy (not Jerry Lewis). There's cliche-type gangsters in there, too. Most of the action takes place indoors - Thompson should have turned this into a play! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sheldon Russell | 6/9/2012

    " A short but excellent read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 BoBandy | 11/27/2011

    " I am a fan of Thompson, but this one is a little sloppy. "

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About the Author
Author Jim ThompsonJim 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 co-wrote two screenplays (for the Stanley Kubrick films "The Killing" and "Paths of Glory"). 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).
About the Narrator

Brian Troxell is an Atlanta-based actor and voice talent who can be seen and heard on television, film, radio, podcasts, and the live stage. Brian is a regular cast member of the Sketchworks sketch comedy troupe, and performs regularly with the Atlanta Radio Theatre Company. He can also be heard as a cast member of the Harry Strange Radio Drama.