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Little Tales Of Misogyny [Paperback]

Patricia Highsmith
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Aug. 27 2002
Long out of print, this Highsmith classic resurfaces with a vengeance. The great revival of interest in Patricia Highsmith continues with the publication of this legendary, cultish short story collection. With an eerie simplicity of style, Highsmith turns our next-door neighbors into sadistic psychopaths, lying in wait among white picket fences and manicured lawns. In the darkly satiric, often mordantly hilarious sketches that make up Little Tales of Misogyny, Highsmith upsets our conventional notions of female character, revealing the devastating power of these once familiar creatures—"The Dancer," "The Female Novelist," "The Prude"—who destroy both themselves and the men around them. This work attesets to Highsmith's reputation as "the poet of apprehension" (Graham Greene).

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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.

About the Author

Patricia Highsmith is the author of such classics as Strangers on a Train and The Talented Mr. Ripley. She died in 1995 in Locarno, Switzerland.

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First Sentence
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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4.0 out of 5 stars More misanthropic than misogynistic Dec 20 2002
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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 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
5.0 out of 5 stars 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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 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.
5.0 out of 5 stars 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.
5.0 out of 5 stars Completely Strange June 24 2013
By K. E. Rayne - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed these "little tales" but I'm not sure if that's because I know these women or because I'm undoubtedly one of them. A superquick read!
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