Betrayals gPatricia Highsmith is an author that has been on my roster of authors to try for years I have finally begun the journey and I am solad This book contains 11 short stories that kept me on the edge of my seatMy favorite are as followsThe very first story The Snail Watcher has changed the way I will look at snails It is about a man who is fascinated by snails to the point they completely take over his study and he suffers the conseuences of his obsessionThe next story Terrapin is about a young boy who lives his mother She brings home a turtle like animal called a Terrapin to make into a Her son plays with the animal and then watches in as drops it in boiling water The ending Her son plays with the animal and then in horror as she drops it in boiling water The ending won t Betrayals: The Unpredictability of Human Relations give away but it was wonderfully shockingAnother story The uest For Blank Claveringi is another tale involving snails seriously I think I ametting a phobia about snails These snails are huge and a scientist discovers them on an island He finds himself in a battle for survival I knew how it would end but I could not look awayThe Heroine comes next this one is about a young woman who becomes a Bat Ode governess to try and escape her past We find out that her mother was in a hospital for mental illness and she is terrified it is hereditary This one surprised me at how it turned out but it was a wonderful surpriseThese are my favorites but every story is incredibly enjoyable I am a fan of this writer after one book and I am looking forward to reading all herreat works so patricia highsmith and i have a very complicated relationship for a long time i kept mixing her up with patricia cornwell who is the kind of run of the mill contemporary mystery writer you find a lot in supermarkets and places like that but THEN i also kept mixing up patricia cornwell with the various trashy romance writers who stock those same supermarket aisles SO for the life of me i could not understand why people were making such a big fuss over some trashy romance author THEN i found out that highsmith was the one who wrote strangers on a train BUT then i kept mixing up strangers on a train with snakes on a plane and thus found it impossible to take her seriously what can i say my brain is very susceptible to rhyme THEN i found out that highsmith was actually this crazy person who wrote all these crazy thrillers including the talented mr ripley but since i only knew about the talented mr ripley through movie trailers where matt damon Bitter Choices: Blue-Collar Women in and out of Work goes around killing people but in what seemed like a not so interesting way this new revelation did not really make me want to read anything by her BUT THEN THEEEEN i found out that she was a contemporary of truman capote and a kind of twisted successor to raymond chandler and dashiell hammett et al and suddenly my interest in her shot up AND THEN then i realized that i had actually read a short story of hers ages ago the terrapin that had both horrified and fascinated me but so much so that i must have blocked out the memory from the sheer trauma that is when i decided that i needed to read things by this woman like right now so i chose this book mostly because the library copy of strangers on a train hasone missing and because this volume has Barrio: Photographs from Chicago's Pilsen and Little Village got the terrapin in it what can i say about this book i can say first of all that highsmith reminds me a lot of joyce carol oates but a crueler andleefully ruthless version if you can believe it NOW I MUST MAKE ANOTHER LONG DIGRESSION every now and then i have a recurring dream usually when i m stressed out about something where i m driving a car that doesn t move as i want it to just think mario kart and the desert world i try to turn left and the car swerves in horrible long arcs i try to slow down but the brakes don t uite work i try to speed up but the car Beyond Redemption: Race, Violence, and the American South after the Civil War gets stuck in sand i know where i moing and i know i will Blank Darkness: Africanist Discourse in French get there but not without causing a lot of damage first and on a path not entirely under my control reading patricia highsmith was a lot like being in that dream following her broken characters make wrong decision after wrong decision is like bracing yourself inside a moving vehicle that has somehowotten away from your control something that is heading inexorably to a familiar and awful end you can t stop it and you can t escape it the only thing you can do is sit back and relish that mounting sense of dread and apprehension for some people that s enough i haven t yet decided if it is for me I want to read everything Patricia Highsmith ever wroteI loved these stories Highsmith has a very twisted view of humanity and I love itHer prose is so crisp I want to roll around in her sentences There s so much contro. The legendary writer Patricia Highsmith is best remembered today for her chilling psychological thrillers The Talented Mr Ripley and Strangers on a Train A critically acclaimed best seller in Europe Highsmith has for too long been underappreciated in
Patricia Highsmith ¸ 8 Read & downloadEen Braes If I had to pick this one would be my least favorite not because it s bad but rather because it completely failed to make an impression one way or the other I had to check my book to even remember what it was about A well mannered middle aged lady consults a psychiatrist on behalf of her husband The Heroine My other favorite in the collection was actually the story against which Highsmith measured all of her writing in the 1940s she was so pleased with it that she eventually came to see it as a curse as she felt that it overshadowed her output for a whole decade A young and eager nanny loves her new family and the children in her care so much that she wants nothing than a chance to prove her devotion Another Bridge to Cross Yet another instance where I had to check the book to remember what this one was about I enjoyed it while reading it but it clearly wasn t very memorable An American man is adrift in Europe following the loss of his wife and son The Barbarians I can imagine this being one of the overlooked ones but it was one of the tales that made me the most anxious perhaps because its mundanity made it all the relatable It explores what s essentially bullying and the strain that a constant threat of violence puts on someone The Empty Birdhouse In a story that was a bit of a suburban nightmare come true featuring a slight touch of the supernatural an unknown evil looking animal spotted first in their empty birdhouse reminds a couple old their repressed Back to the Breast: Natural Motherhood and Breastfeeding in America guilt All my book reviews can be found here Buy on BookDepository Eleven is a collection of short stories written by one of the most iconic female authors of the crime fictionenre the American Patricia Highsmith The anthology is prologued by another top crime writer Graham Greene who juxtaposes the Highsmithian universe with that of classics Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett writes This is a world without moral endings It has nothing in common with the heroic world of her peers Hammett and Chandler and her detectives have nothing in common with the romantic and disillusioned private eyes who will always we know triumph over evil and see that justice is done This is an accurate description of Highsmith s literary world and characters and this is the most appropriate context to have in mind when reading those dark often borderline disturbing short stories I enjoyed most The Snail Watcher The Terrapin and The Heroine If you are a Highsmith fan this is a must for you I was won over as I read the Foreword by Graham Greene Her characters are irrational and they leap to life in their very lack of reason suddenly we realize how unbelievable rational most fictional characters are as they lead their lives from A to Z like commuters always taking the same train The motives of these characters are never inexplicable because they are so drearily obvious The characters are as flat as a mathematical symbol We accepted them as real once but when we look
back at them from Miss Highsmith s side of the frontier we realize that our world was not reallyat THEM FROM MISS HIGHSMITH S SIDE OF THE FRONTIER from Miss Highsmith s side of the frontier realize that our world was not really as all that Suddenly with a sense of fear we think Perhaps I really belong here and At Stake: Monsters and the Rhetoric of Fear in Public Culture going out into the familiar street we pass with a shiver of apprehension the offices of the American Express the centre for so many of Miss Highsmith s dubious men of their rootless European experience where letters are to be picked up though the name on the envelope is probably false and travelers cheues are to be cashed with a forged signature Eleven short stories comprise Eleven Each original some creepy and all unable to be discussed here because it doesn t take much to reveal spoilers in a story 10 or 15 pages long She can capture anxiety and suffering better in a few paragraphs than many can do with a novel But without wanting to reveal too much included are two fantastic stories about snails and a warning to moms who make their sons wear short shorts I thoroughly hated these stories I love Highsmith s writing but this book was just awful I didn t care for any of the themes or characters and overall this was a disappointment Molluscopobia is the irrational or ridiculous fear of members of the mollusc family such as slugs or snailsWhile demonstrating her talent for observing and portraying the darker complexities of human psychology throughout at least two horrifying tales in this striking and uncanny anthology ought to leave you uestioning whether the aforementioned phobia really is so ridiculous after all Side note Irascible and deeply contemptuous of people Patricia Highsmith reportedly harboured a deep affection for snails keeping 300 of them as pets. Naturalists meetruesome ends and unhinged heroes disturb our sympathies This is a captivating important collection from “one of the truly brilliant short story writers of the twentieth century” Otto Penzler Includes an introduction by Graham Gree. L here She knows exactly what she s doing every word of every sentence It s amazing I love this book Highsmith reminds me of Shirley Jackson Same obsession with people who overestimate their capabilities make bad decisions and become ensnared in some unspeakable horror For perhaps obvious reasons I had to stop reading But excellent writing Reading this book also makes me want to finish my Jackson article another reason naturally to stop reading the book Fantastic collection Almost every story left me shocked and impressed with a lingering sense of dread and closure Most of these should be counted directly horror stories to be honest they hit harder than a reat many scary collections and the terrapin story is just heartbreaking Two of the stories also involve terrifying snail encounters and they re both awesome Dealing with our own personal mental traps and the effects of casual callousness Every story cuts just as you re catching your breath on a knife edge of shocked realisation In short these are seriously impressive and I can t recommend them highly enough This was Patricia Highsmith s first collection of short stories and each tale seems to focus on her specialty which was that of obsession and compulsion Much like her second collection Little Tales of Misogyny in which every story in some way focuses on attributes or archetypes of femininity that society teaches us to disdain each "of the eleven stories in Eleven explores bizarre urges and dark corners of the human mind you " the eleven stories in Eleven explores bizarre urges and dark corners of the human mind you much rather look away from While nowhere near as memorable as her novels these still provide small limpses of the strangeness this brilliant but unlikable woman was fascinated by and some will certainly unsettle Graham Greene describes Highsmith s forte better than I ever could in his excellent introduction Miss Highsmith is the poet of apprehension rather than fear Fear after a time as we all learned in the blitz is narcotic it can lull one by fatigue into sleep but apprehension nags at the nerves ently and inescapably We have to learn to live with it What struck me most at the nerves ently and inescapably We have to learn to live with it What struck me most this collection is that despite her usually trading in psychological crime and these stories being miniature psychological thrillers in their own right uite a few of them were firmly rooted somewhere in a hard to define horror enre her prose is carefully planned no word is wasted or misplaced and the result are stories of such a disturbing intensity that they engulf the reader to the point that they feel claustrophobic despite the often very mundane subject matter The Snail Watcher Highsmith kept something like 300 snails as pets and this autobiographical element might in part be responsible for making this one while perhaps not the best certainly the most memorable of all the stories included A broker watches the increasing number of snails he keeps at home with a curiosity that comes to border on voyeurism and turns into a fixation I read it with mounting horror while feeling the deepest levels of physical revulsion I can t recall any other short story that managed to disgust me to such an extent with so little and I m not at all surprised that it took her over a decade to find someone willing to publish it The Birds Poised to Fly Inspired by Highsmith s own holiday affair with a female British doctor who then never replied to her letters it s the story of a man who reacts to being disappointed in love with a cruel deception One of the stand outs for me The Terrapin The most brutal of the stories included it s about a child standing up to his overbearing and belittling mother when
she brings home a turtle he mistakes as an unexpected present of a pet but which is actually meant tobrings home a turtle he mistakes as an unexpected present of a pet but which is actually meant to cooked for dinner Violent and irrational the ending to this one was superbly chilling When the Fleet Was in at Mobile Graham Greene singles this one out as his favorite in the introduction and I m inclined to agree A woman chloroforms her tyrannical and alcoholic husband leaving him for dead and makes a break for freedom but as we should by now know there are rarely happy endings in Highsmith s mind The uest For Blank Claveringi Easily the most bizarre of the bunch it s about a man who travels to a remote island with the dream of discovering a new species of snails to name after himself It s another story where the protagonist is menaced by shelled astropods in this case Blood Runs Green: The Murder That Transfixed Gilded Age Chicago giant man eating ones The Cries Of Love Another odd but ultimately rather forgettable one Two elderly women who desperately fear dying alone and can t bear being apart take delight in destroying the other s most prized possessions Mrs Afton Among Thy Gr. He United States Starting in 2011 Grove Press will begin to reissue nine of Highsmith’s works Eleven is Highsmith’s first collection of short stories an arrestingroup of dark masterpieces of obsession and foreboding violence and instability Here.