South of Heaven (Paperback)
Vintage Books, 9780679740179, 229pp.
Publication Date: October 4, 1994
In the 1920s the worst place you could be was in that part of Texas that some people call "South of Heaven," and the worst thing you could be doing there was laying a gas pipeline, along with six-hundred other hoboes, juice-heads, and jailbirds. But that's exactly what Tommy Burwell was doing, even though he wasn't smart enough to know better. Even though "South of Heaven" is another term for hell.
Combining a tale of escalating savagery with a dead-eyed group portrait of men at the edge, Jim Thompson has produced a masterpiece of the American dissolute.