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Little Tales of Misogyny Paperback – Aug 27 2002

3.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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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: 14 x 1 x 20.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 113 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #445,346 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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.


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 It's not just the men who come off badly in this short, sharp shock of a collection... Each story is more appalling than the next, deadpan in tone and dripping with black humour. The Independent Very wicked, very funny and - this being Highsmith's mission in life, as far as one can tell - very unsettling Guardian --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Top Customer Reviews

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 100 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)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.9 out of 5 stars 17 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for the faint hearted June 8 2015
By PK - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ouch, Ms Highsmith had a deep sense of cruelty.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chilling and hilarious March 3 2010
By W. S. Prindle - Published on
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.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Stories May 8 2013
By Cletus Soul - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I love Highsmith's short stories. Every person will recognize the female characters in this book--the biting humor and irony transcend.
1 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Doug Hall May 12 2014
By doug hall - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
don't waste your money. real stinker
Amazon will sell anything with a name on it
word word word word word
4.0 out of 5 stars A Slice of Highsmith June 28 2009
By RCM - Published on
Format: Paperback
Patricia Highsmith is well-known for her vividly shocking tales which center around amoral or unlikeable characters. "Little Tales of Misogyny" is an intriguing collection of extremely short stories that showcase the master talent that was Highsmith. In a few pages she is able to create characters who are both real and satirical, events that are both fantastic and ordinary, and dredge up feelings of wonder and unease within the reader.

"Little Tales of Misogyny" is a misleading title since misogyny is certainly not involved in all seventeen of these short stories. What the tales all have in common are male and female characters who are either entirely unlikeable or extremely deplorable. Stand-outs in the collection include "The Breeder", the tale of a wife who keeps reproducing to fulfill her role as wife and mother, and "The Prude" about a woman who is so proud of her virtue that she is shocked when her three daughters might not want to be virtuous young women like she had been. Some stories are disturbing, such as "The Hand" and "The Victim", while others have an odd element of humor in them, such as "Oona , the Jolly Cave Woman".

The fact that Highsmith could create such unique and ordinary characters who can cause laughter and disgust within the reader in just a few short pages is a testament to her talent as a writer. For fans of Highsmith, this unique collection of stories is a real treasure.