Eleven Paperback – Jan 18 1994
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'Fabulous, in all senses of that word' Paul Theroux 'Miss Highsmith is a novelist whose books one can re-read many times. There are very few of whom one can say that' Graham Greene 'What is striking about these stories is their integrity: they are all of a piece ... a brilliant collection' Sunday Times 'The mood of nagging apprehension is consistent, skilfully underplayed so that just the right amount of chill is induced with an economy of means' New York Times --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
About the Author
Patricia Highsmith was born in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1921. Her first novel, Strangers On A Train, was made into a film by Alfred Hitchcock in 1951. The Talented Mr Ripley, published in 1955, was awarded the Edgar Allan Poe Scroll by the Mystery Writers of America and introduced the fascinating anti-hero Tom Ripley, who was to appear in many of her later crime novels. Patricia Highsmith died in Locarno, Switzerland, in February 1995. Her last novel, Small g: A Summer Idyll, was published posthumously just over a month later. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Her stories range from the macabre to the suspenseful. What makes them particularly chilling is that many of them take place in otherwise mundane everyday settings with people who may be either quite ordinary or slightly bizarre, but to whom something extraordinary happens. These are stories that will capture the imagination of the reader. Some even reminded me a little bit of the stories of H. P. Lovecraft, as some of them contain a strong element of horror, crafted, however, in a most delicate, sublime fashion.
These eleven compelling short stories will keep the reader turning the pages of this marvelous little book. It is a book well worth having in one's personal collection. Bravo!
My two favorite stories are "Cries of Love," and "The Empty Birdhouse."
I've read a couple of critics and several readers who have suggested she was not as good a writer of stories as novels, but from this collection, at least, I would have to disagree. Now I prefer her novels, but these stories were as good as any writer's. A few times the reader is given the character's past in a lump dose that hurts the strength of the story, such as "The Heroine," and "The Empty Birdhouse," but that is an inherent obstacle of the short story format. I still had a good feel for those characters, and I still felt the overall impact of the story. Some truly great stories.
As with most collections of short stories, 'Eleven' is a hit-and-miss affair. The stories are at minimum competent, with a couple being quite interesting (, creepy, weird, et al). Unfortunately unlike with her novels, these compact stories do not play to Highsmith's strengths - that is, dissecting her characters and their phobias.
However I do recommend 'Eleven' for those who simply don't have the time or patience to read Highsmith's novels. It certainly makes for excellent commuting reading material.
Most recent customer reviews
Patricia Highsmith has enjoyed a higher profile recently almost entirely due to the film adaptation of her novel "The Talented Mr Ripley". Read morePublished on Aug. 24 2002 by C. J. Hormann
Patricia Highsmith has enjoyed a higher profile recently almost entirely due to the film adaptation of her novel "The Talented Mr Ripley". Read morePublished on July 15 2000