Patricia Highsmith - Nothing that Meets the Eye - Little, Brown Book Group

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Nothing that Meets the Eye

The Uncollected Stories of Patricia Highsmith: A Virago Modern Classic

By Patricia Highsmith

  • E-Book
  • £P.O.R.

A fantastic collection of twenty-eight stories spanning almost fifty years of Highsmith's career

'These tales should not be glanced at by those with even the slightest history of poor mental health . . . Highsmith's dark humour oozes through this new collection like a particularly delicious poison' Andrew Wilson, Independent on Sunday

This volume of stories spans almost fifty years of Highsmith's career, allowing us to see how she evolved from a struggling freelance writer in New York to one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century.

The stories assembled in Nothing That Meets the Eye, written between 1938 and 1982, are vintage Highsmith: a gigolo-like psychopath preys on unfulfilled career women; a lonely spinster's fragile hold on reality is tethered to the bottle; an estranged postal worker invents homicidal fantasies about his coworkers. While some stories anticipate the diabolical narratives of the Ripley novels, others possess a sweetness that forces us to see the author in a new light.

These are suspenseful, playful, taut and psychologically gripping stories, evidence of an extraordinary talent.

Biographical Notes

Patricia Highsmith (1921-1995) was born in Fort Worth, Texas. Her first novel, Strangers on a Train, was made into a classic film by Alfred Hitchcock in 1951. The Talented Mr Ripley, published in 1955, introduced the fascinating anti-hero Tom Ripley, and was made into an Oscar-winning film in 1999 by Anthony Minghella. Graham Greene called Patricia Highsmith 'the poet of apprehension', saying that she 'created a world of her own - a world claustrophobic and irrational which we enter each time with a sense of personal danger'. Patricia Highsmith died in Locarno, Switzerland, in February 1995. Her last novel, Small g: A Summer Idyll, was published posthumously, the same year.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9780349004778
  • Publication date: 06 Mar 2014
  • Page count:
  • Imprint: Virago
Virago

Strangers on a Train

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith
Sphere

Plotting and Writing Suspense Fiction

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith
Virago

The Two Faces of January

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith

Now a major motion picture starring Viggo Mortenson and Kirsten Dunst.'Highsmith is a giant of the genre. The original, the best, the gloriously twisted Queen of Suspense' Mark BillinghamTwo men meet in the picturesque backstreets of Athens. Chester MacFarlane is a conman with multiple false identities, near the end of his rope and on the run with his young wife Colette. Rydal Keener is a young drifter looking for adventure: he finds it in one evening as the law catches up to Chester and Colette, and their fates become fatally entwined.Patricia Highsmith draws us deep into a cross-European game of cat and mouse in this masterpiece of suspense from the author of The Talented Mr Ripley.

Virago

This Sweet Sickness

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith
Virago

People Who Knock on the Door

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith

People Who Knock on the Door, is a tale about blind faith and the slippery notion of justice that lies beneath the peculiarly American veneer of righteousness.'A border zone of the macabre, the disturbing, the not quite accidental . . . Highsmith achieves the effect of the occult without any resources to supernatural machinery' New York Times Book ReviewIn a pitiless story of prying suburban self-righteousness, Patricia Highsmith introduces the Alderman family as they descend into moral crisis. When small-town insurance salesman Richard Alderman becomes a born-again Christian, his once tight-knit family quickly begins to rip apart at the seams. He and his youngest son, Robbie, embrace their newfound faith, while his elder son Arthur rejects it. Caught in the middle of the ensuing web of lies, his wife, Lois, tries to keep the family together, but when the church elders start to interfere in Arthur's love life, events spiral toward violence. In this masterful late work, Highsmith weaves a powerful tale about blind faith and the peculiar ideas of justice that lie underneath the veneer of respectability.

Virago

Small g: A Summer Idyll

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith

Completed just months before Patricia Highsmith's death in 1995, Small g explores the labyrinthine intricacies of passion, sexuality, and jealousy in a charming tale of love misdirected.'What is most remarkable in this novel is the empathy . . . with which Highsmith writes about gay men . . . one can imagine the small g existing, a piquant mixture of bohemianism and respectability, exactly as Highsmith describes it' Francis King, SpectatorAt the 'small g', a Zurich bar known for its not exclusively gay clientele, the lives of a small community are played out one summer.Rickie Markwalder is a designer whose lover Petey was brutally murdered. Rickie and his performing dog Lulu are regulars at the bar, as are vindictive Renate, a seamstress, and her teenage apprentice Luisa. Into their lives comes Teddie, impressionable and beautiful, and a catalyst for the series of events that will change everything.Patricia Highsmith's final novel is an intricate exploration of love and sexuality, the depths of spite and the triumph of human kindness. It is a work that, in the tradition of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, shows us how bizarre and unpredictable love can be. Small g, in the words of her biographer Andrew Wilson, is an 'extended fairy tale suggesting that...happiness is precarious and...romance should be embraced.'

Virago

Found in the Street

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith
Virago

A Dog's Ransom

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith
Virago

A Game for the Living

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith

'I love Highsmith so much . . . What a revelation her writing is' Gillian Flynn'Ramón had done it. Obviously! He thought about Ramón, his Catholic soul trapped in his passion for Lelia. He'd find Ramón and see that he paid with his life for what he had done.'In A Game for the Living threads of sexual jealousy and guilt are shot through with all Patricia Highsmith's uncanny talent for the unexpected.Mild-mannered Theo is a wealthy German expatriate; hot-tempered Ramón was born into poverty in Mexico City. The two men are unlikely friends - especially as they are in love with the same woman. When Lelia is found brutally murdered, both lovers are suspects - and each suspects the other. But then they discover that a thief was seen at Lelia's apartment, and their hunt leads them on a frantic chase to sun-drenched Acapulco. Theo begins to get the uneasy feeling that his every move is being watched.

Virago

The Boy Who Followed Ripley

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith
Virago

Deep Water

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith

Contains an interview with Gillian Flynn.To everyone around them, Melinda and Vic Van Allen are the perfect couple - young, wealthy and attractive. But when their love sours, their mind games reach a twisted, dangerous climax.'If I really don't like somebody, I kill him . . . You remember Malcolm McRae, don't you?'Melinda Van Allen is beautiful, headstrong and sexy. Unfortunately for Vic Van Allen, she is his wife. Their love has soured, and Melinda takes pleasure in flaunting her many affairs to her husband. When one of her lovers is murdered, Vic hints to her latest conquest that he was responsible. As rumours spread about Vic's vicious streak, fiction and reality start to converge. It's only a matter of time before Vic really does have blood on his hands.

Virago

The Tremor of Forgery

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith
Virago

The Blunderer

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith

'My suspicion is that when the dust has settled and when the chronicle of 20th-century American literature comes to be written, history will place Highsmith at the top of the pyramid, as we should place Dostoevsky at the top of the Russian hierarchy of novelists' A. N. Wilson, Daily TelegraphThe Blunderer was written by Highsmith in between Strangers on a Train and The Talented Mr Ripley. The novel follows the young, successful and handsome, Walter Stackhouse who seems to have it all, that is, until the day his wife's body is found at the bottom of a cliff. Under the intense scrutiny of the investigation he commits one mistake, then another, until - in true Highsmithian fashion - Walter finds his perfect life derailed. Now Walter is running from the obsessions of the murderer, and the suspicions of the lead cop, not to mention his own increasingly life-threatening blunders.

Virago

Edith's Diary

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith

'Edith's fall takes the form of a psychological chiller, but there is also something larger, the poignancy of her struggle not to go under. She is betrayed by such ordinary dreams' New York TimesEdith Howland's diary is her most precious possession, and as she is moving house she is making sure it's safe. A suburban housewife in fifties America, she is moving to Brunswick with her husband Brett and her beloved son, Cliffie, to start a new life for them all. She is optimistic, but most of all she has high hopes for her new venture with Brett, a local newspaper, the Brunswick Corner Bugle. Life seems full of promise, and indeed, to read her diary, filled with her most intimate feelings and revelations, you would never think otherwise. Strange, then, that reality is so dangerously different . . .

Virago

Little Tales of Misogyny

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith

'These little tales are tremendous fun, glorious hand grenades lobbed at the reader by a gleeful, cackling Patricia Highsmith' Dan Rhodes Little Tales of Misogyny is Highsmith's legendary, cultish short-story collection. With an eerie simplicity of style, Highsmith turns our next-door neighbours into sadistic psychopaths, lying in wait among white picket fences and manicured lawns. In these darkly satirical, often hilarious, sketches you'll meet seemingly familiar women with the power to destroy both themselves and the men around them. 'The No.1 Greatest Crime Writer' The Times

Virago

A Suspension of Mercy

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith
Virago

Those Who Walk Away

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith

'The setting is Venice, the characterisation brilliant, the syle spare and superb' Daily MailThe honeymoon is over; the bride dead by her own hand. Ray Garrett, the grieving husband, convinces the police in Rome of his innocence, but not his father-in-law, Ed Coleman, who shoots him at point-blank range and leaves him for dead. Ray survives and follows Coleman to Venice, where the two fall into an eerie game of cat-and-mouse - Coleman obsessed with vengeance and Ray determined to save his reputation, and himself. Each is at once the hunter and the hunted in a tense duel that, as each manages to walk away, draws them nearer to death.

Virago

The Glass Cell

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith
Virago

The Animal Lover's Book of Beastly Murder

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith
Virago

Tales of Natural and Unnatural Catastrophes

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith

'Master storyteller Highsmith offers an eerily up-to-date collection of modern horror tales' Publishers WeeklyPatricia Highsmith, an American who lived most of her life in Europe, was the author of such bestselling crime novels as Strangers on a Train, and The Talented Mr. Ripley. The stories collected here are classic Highsmith - eerie, prescient and chilling, catastrophes caused by human error and dark motives. Whether evoking the White House under siege by the homeless or a 190-year-old woman perpetually near death and dimly glowing, each tale refuses to release you from its tense grip.