Read by Bob Walter
March 1, 2012 / ASIN: B007FN0NAW
Mystery/Noir / Audiobook (unabridged) / 6 hours and 7 minutes
by Jo Rogers
I don't know if this story is autobiographical or not, but it is
about a man named Jim Thompson who wanted to be a writer. It describes
how a troubled boy in the 1920s struggled to put the past behind
him and make it through the Great Depression.
Young Jim Thompson was always getting into trouble as a boy. The
main reason was his friend, Alley. Alley was a born grifter, a con
artist extraordinaire. He was always coming up with a scam and conning
Jim into participating in it. Jim knew they would be in big trouble
if something went wrong. Even though something always went wrong
eventually, Jim was the only one with egg on his face. And no matter
how far away Jim moved, he always ran into Alley in time. And he
always had a scheme he wanted Jim to help him with, and Jim always
did. But, darn it, he really liked the guy!
When the Thompson family's money ran out, Jim Thompson Sr. moved
to Texas to try his luck in the oil fields there, even though the
oil industry had suffered a setback in Oklahoma. The biggest setback
to the family's fortune was the father's penchant for helping others
without thought for his family's future or taking time to check
out the people he helped. Some took advantage of his generosity.
Roughneck is well-written, a dark side to the depression.
It shows the struggle to just stay alive, without resorting to a
life of crime. Many succumbed to the forces that combined to make
their lives miserable. The characters are so real; they are undoubtedly
modeled on people he knew. The plot was perfectly done, and required
no suspension of disbelief. The end is a real shocker. Listen to
Roughneck and learn about how to live through a depression
without benefit of welfare.