The Selected Stories of Patricia Highsmith

The Selected Stories of Patricia Highsmith

Book - 2005
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In a cruel twist of irony, Texas-born Patricia Highsmith is only now, six years after her death, being recognized for her inestimable genius in her native land. With the savage humor of Evelyn Waugh and the macabre sensibility of Edgar Allan Poe, she brought a distinct twentieth-century acuity to her prolific body of noir fiction. Called "the poet of apprehension" by Graham Greene, Highsmith was unrivaled in capturing the ways in which our seemingly benign neighbors can become the psychopaths next door. Now, five of her classic short story collections are combined in a single volume, The selected stories of Patricia Highsmith, with a foreword by Graham Greene.
Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton, 2005
ISBN: 9780393327724
Branch Call Number: FICTION Hig
Description: x, 724 pages ; 24 cm


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Jan 25, 2016

To be clear, I'm basing my rating on approximately half of the book as I did not read the rest.

The first section of stories are from an animals view point, I only read one of them before deciding that these were not my kind of stories. I don't and never have liked stories told by animals. Based on the section title describing beastly murders, I assume all of them include murder.

The second set of stories are about misogyny and for the most part are super short, two pages long for the majority of them. I liked these better, they were sarcastic and pointed. I also find it impressive that such elegant stories can be written with such a limited amount of space.

The next part are stories that I'm not sure how to categorize, I didn't like these ones much. Most of the characters were unlikeable because they were insufferable or inept. Woodrow Wilson's Necktie was the best of them.

By the time I got to the end of that part I was tired of the stories and thought it was time to put down the book, so the last two sets I did not read any of.

I think that Highsmith is a very talented writer, stories like Slowly, Slowly in the Wind and The Prude are fascinating looks into the human psyche. I could imagine real people acting like this but in the end, they just couldn't hold my attention. Maybe it would be better to take these stories in smaller doses, rather than a large collection like this one.


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