This week I read The Getaway by Jim Thompson and I have to say it was just eh for me. The first couple chapters didn’t really grab me at all and it took me a few days to get back into it. Once I started reading again there were some developments that really brought the first couple chapters together for me and made the story a lot more interesting, but then the end left me feeling extremely deflated.
I think my biggest issue with this book is that huge things would happen but then just get brushed over. For instance, after the big bank robbery happened and got botched completely the main character, Doc McCoy, ended up killing his partner on the job, Rudy Torrento. However, he did not actually kill him and so throughout the book Rudy is trying to catch up to Doc while he’s on the run. First, I don’t get how this guy is legit a professional criminal and can’t seem to bother himself with making sure his mark is actually dead. It just seems like that would be a real pain if he wasn’t and it proved to be. Then, while we follow along with Rudy and Doc throughout the story Rudy finally catches up to Doc and Doc kills him once and for all but it was so glazed over and was done with no other mention of it. It just made me wonder why we were following Rudy’s side of the story so much when his death ended up being so anticlimactic.
Once I got into it the book read pretty smoothly I just feel like more detail could have been made overall. The author seemed to touch on really huge aspects of the story but never delved deep into anything. Even the ending was so blah for me. In the end Doc and his wife, Carol, end up escaping on this resort basically for criminals in Mexico. I guess resources are low, though, and however much money you have when you get there that’s all the money you get. There’s no way to make more money for whatever reason. As a result a lot of couples end up turning against each other so they can get the full share of the funds. So in the end Carol and Doc both go to see a doctor on the island to see if he would perform surgery on the other and “accidently” kill them. The doctor reveals to Doc that Carol had just asked him the same thing and then Doc goes to see Carol and they just have a drink together and that was the end. Of the whole book. It was just so…I don’t know. I guess it would be obvious if one of them killed the other but the book just fell so flat for me. There was strife between them throughout the book so it would have made sense for one of them to kill the other. I guess I was just hoping for more.
I did really like the Carol character. She was described as being a homely librarian before she met Doc and then he kind of opened the doors for her to a life of crime. Her family and friends all turned their backs on her when she did it which made me sad and I just thought she was an interesting character because she was willing to give up so much for one person. Even though a life of crime might not seem like the ideal route to go for someone it seemed as though Carol was going to live a dull and boring existence by herself if she hadn’t met Doc. So even though it was probably not the most moral choice, it seemed as though she was able to live a much more full life as messed up as that sounds. She really came into her own in the crime world.
Overall rating: 5/10
Would you recommend to a friend?: Probably not.
Join me next week as I read California by Edan Lepucki! As always I recommend your thoughts in the comments as well as any suggestions for books to read in the future!