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Master storyteller Highsmith ( Mermaids on the Golf Course ) offers an eerily up-to-date collection of modern horror tales. On the cutting edge of technology are "Operation Balsam; Or Touch Me Not," about the government's problems in disposing of nuclear waste and an ingenious bureaucrat's solution, and "Rent-a-Womb vs. the Mighty Right," where surrogate mothers unionize and take on the religious fundamentalists. "President Buck Jones Rallies and Waves the Flag" culminates with the end of the world, while "Trouble at Jade Towers" embodies one of the city dweller's worst nightmaresenormous, unkillable roaches. Most of the stories take current trends to their logical and horrific conclusions, as in "Sweet Freedom! And a Picnic on the White House Lawn," which concerns the wholesale release of "harmless" patients from mental institutions. Highsmith looks at our civilization with a remorseless eye. Almost anyone trying to change things for the better is destroyed, even the Pope in "Sixtus VI, Pope of the Red Slipper," who is martyred trying to bring justice to the poor.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The richly imagined but brutal fables in Highsmith's newest collection are gothic horror tales mixed with a dash of macabre humor. One is a reprise of Moby Dick told from the furious whale's point of view; another shows scientists experimenting on cancer-ridden corpses. When the corpses are buried in the cemetery behind the hospital, enormous blobs of fungi grow from themeventually to become a great tourist attraction. For Naomi, 190 or 210 years old, there is truly "No End in Sight." She is without one redeeming quality, prompting Highsmith to imply that it is too bad that "they don't push the old folks over cliffs anymore." In Highsmith's grim, sardonic view, people pollute the earth and carry evil within them. Not for the squeamish or the escapist.Marcia Tager, Tenafly, N.J.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.