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Little Tales Of Misogyny Paperback – Aug 27 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: WW Norton; Reprint edition (Aug. 27 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393323374
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393323375
  • Product Dimensions: 1.4 x 0.1 x 2.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 113 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #653,340 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

The 17 tales in Highsmith's new collection are a far cry from Strangers on a Train and her other unforgettable thrillers. These stories, although written with exemplary style, make the flesh crawl but not pleasurably, as reliable suspense fare does. Each focuses on a female doing in a male or, more often, herself. "The Breeder" Elaine persists in giving birth until her husband Douglas goes irrevocably mad, trying to support 17 children. "The Victim" is Cathy, fond of claiming she's been raped repeatedly in her nubile adolescence. During her career as an airline hostess, Cathy's sexuality pays better in rich gifts than in sympathetic attention. But greed and vanity spell the lush girl's doom. From the book's overall tone, readers could infer that its origin was bitter contempt for humans of either gender. The entries fail as real satire, which is always amusing, regardless of its stings.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

These little tales are tremendous fun, glorious hand grenades lobbed at the reader by a gleeful, cackling Patricia Highsmith -- Dan Rhodes For eliciting the menace that lurks in familiar surroundings, there's no one like Patricia Highsmith Time These are extraordinary stories ... etched in acid and unforgettable ... Highsmith is a mistress of a fine and dangerous art. Let the reader beware Financial Times

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A young man asked a father for his daughter's hand, and received it in a box-her left hand. Read the first page
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Format: Paperback
Much of Patricia Highsmith's writing proceeds from one simple idea: that with intense effort and single-minded determination, even the most unremarkable people can manage to ruin not only their own lives, but the lives of everyone around them as well. One need look no further than this slim collection of short fables to make the point. Whether it's "Oona the Jolly Cave Woman," hapless Elaine in "The Breeder," or a truly malevolent creature like Thea in "The Perfect Little Lady," all of the main characters in these short stories display an insatiable appetite for destruction.
Although the title suggests that this book is misogynistic, the men in this collection aren't necessarily any better than the women. Highsmith's deep misanthropy can (and does) get monotonous, but with such gemlike stories as "The Hand" and "The Prude" in this collection, the book gives little cause for complaint.
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By Nicola Mansfield HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on May 10 2014
Format: Paperback
What a bunch of complete and utter rot. I have always wanted to read Patricia Highsmith. Strangers on a Train is one of my favourite movies, Ever! and I really enjoyed the Mr. Ripley movie. I have a lot of her books and just haven't got around to them yet. The back of this collection of extremely short, short stories labels them as "mystery/fiction". This is not mystery in any shape or form. I do not know what to make of these stories. If you read my notes that follow as I read the book you'll see my confusion and distaste for the material progress as I went along. I presume these stories are some sort of farcical feminist literature. I found them vulgar, stupid and not in the least humorous at all.

1. The Hand - Gruesome little parable as to the inappropriateness of referring to marriage as asking for "her hand". (4/5)

2. Oona, the Jolly Cave Woman - Don't get this. A "cave woman" is raped at an early age and then over the years admired by all the men, giving herself freely, maintaining the population practically by herself and then the first man to fall in love's (perhaps ever in the tribe) jealous wife kills Oona with the result that the man starts making images of Oona, then statues, worshipping her and eventually is killed himself by a jealous wife whose husband buys such a statue. Anyway I feel hate from the story but can't help feeling it might be a story made up to give a background for the famous "Venus of Willendorf" statue. (2/5)

3. The Coquette - Lying and playing around with people's hearts will turn around on yourself in the end especially when the people involved are a nasty woman and stupid men. (2/5)

4.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 14 reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
More misanthropic than misogynistic Dec 20 2002
By Timothy Hulsey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Much of Patricia Highsmith's writing proceeds from one simple idea: that with intense effort and single-minded determination, even the most unremarkable people can manage to ruin not only their own lives, but the lives of everyone around them as well. One need look no further than this slim collection of short fables to make the point. Whether it's "Oona the Jolly Cave Woman," hapless Elaine in "The Breeder," or a truly malevolent creature like Thea in "The Perfect Little Lady," all of the main characters in these short stories display an insatiable appetite for destruction.
Although the title suggests that this book is misogynistic, the men in this collection aren't necessarily any better than the women. Highsmith's deep misanthropy can (and does) get monotonous, but with such gemlike stories as "The Hand" and "The Prude" in this collection, the book gives little cause for complaint.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Black humor? Nov. 12 2000
By Allan MacInnis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
These aren't stories, really, merely vignettes that describe horrific women abusing men, rolling around in self-absorption, or just being stupid blobs; they occasionally meet richly-deserved bad ends, at which we are invited to cheer, or at least feel satisfied. The fact that the book was written by a woman, and one who, one suspects, found the writing of the project vastly amusing, makes it a must-read of sorts; Highsmith was a very unique person. A nice companion piece to her other extremely eccentric work, THE ANIMAL LOVER'S BOOK OF BEASTLY MURDER.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Chilling and hilarious March 3 2010
By W. S. Prindle - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Patricia Highsmith isn't for everyone, but this slim collection of short tales of women who meet their fates in a variety of ways, many of them disturbing, is quite a wonderful read. It proves that short fiction can be every bit as entertaining as longer forms. These tales glitter like sunlight striking the tip of a very sharp stiletto.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Grim Fables For Mature Audiences Only April 1 2014
By propertius - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The amazing Miss Highsmith presents the reader with a collection of shorts stories, truly modern fables, which will leave the reader with an excruciating sense of original sin and almost pure evil. These macabre tales seemingly written for shock value are in reality primers which will take the reader through the labyrinthian ways of modern evil.

Yes I know that she is an icon of Sapphic literature but in this collection she demonstrates a vastly under-rated vision of the ways of amoral yet human behavior. Think of the public perception of Ernest Hemingway before the publication of "The Garden of Eden." If you don't care for the Ripley novels or if you do, then be prepared for visions that will haunt you as you read the last word of each story.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Slow book about fast changing region! July 29 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I was dissapointed after being tantalized by the title. I fully expected much more anecdotal evidence that a gay lifestyle exists in Eastern Europe...instead it reinforced the sterotype of a bleak and gray people. Which is not true, Eastern Europe is fascinating and quite gay. Maybe someone will do this subject justice next time around


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