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One of Thompson's most outrageous works of fiction, the Golden Gizmo incorporates elements of the classic American tall tale with descriptions of the particularly hardboiled criminal underclass of 1950's L.A.. Toddy Kent is a hustler, seeking out sources of easy money in the most unlikely places thanks to a sixth-sense he has, known as a 'gizmo,' after the G.I. term for something unidentifiable. He does not know how it works; if he did than maybe he could prevent the inconvenient inconsistencies that often leave him high and dry at the worst times. A transient life leaves Toddy with an extensive rap sheet and a runaround wife, eventually landing him on the gray side of legal in LA county. Then, his gizmo strikes with a hunch he cannot ignore, leading him to an unknown source of gold. Of course it comes at a price to Toddy. His wife turns up dead--murdered--and he finds himself stalked by a chinless man with a talking doberman that sings hymns before it kills. Thomspon's portrayal of the incurable criminal who has no control over his situation goes from hilarious to horrifying. Through Toddy's attempts to understand his situation, the reader is lead through the strip joints, brothels and seedy bars of a different era, when L.A. was capital of the world of illusion.
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Used availability for Jim Thompson's The Golden Gizmo
August 2014 : USA Paperback
May 1998 : USA Paperback
January 1989 : USA Paperback
July 2012 : USA, Canada Kindle edition