Books by Patricia Highsmith

SMALL G by Patricia Highsmith
Released: June 1, 2004

"Aimless and uninteresting tale that would have been best left to the archives."
A meandering story of gay and straight life in modern Zurich, the last fiction by Highsmith (Nothing That Meets the Eye, 2002, etc.) before her death in 1995. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 2002

"Valuable for the light it sheds on its creator, then, but not a collection that will enlarge Highsmith's formidable reputation."
Following on the heels of The Collected Stories of Patricia Highsmith (2001), this gathering will be a revelation to readers who've bracketed Highsmith (1921-95) purely as a psychological suspense novelist, or indeed as a novelist. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 1, 2001

This massive tome reprints five of the seven complete collections of short stories by Highsmith (1921-95), together with a brief introduction by Graham Greene excerpted from a sixth. Read full book review >
RIPLEY UNDER WATER by Patricia Highsmith
Released: Oct. 8, 1992

"It's been 12 long years since The Boy Who Followed Ripley: welcome back, Tom."
Tom Ripley, the charming, resourceful swindler/killer who's survived four earlier tales of skullduggery, provides just the antidote for the recent glum misogyny of seminal psychological- suspenser Highsmith's recent work. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 20, 1988

"In any case: a moderately welcome volume for devoted Highsmith fans, but with little to interest those who've found her recent work disappointing."
Eleven short stories from the 70's and 80's, featuring—like much of Highsmith's recent fiction—morbid obsessions, suicidal urges, and considerable nastiness. Read full book review >
THE BLACK HOUSE by Patricia Highsmith
Released: March 16, 1988

Eleven stories, published some time ago in England, from the darkly gifted, highly uneven Highsmith (Strangers on a Train, Found in the Street), who is rarely at her best in the short-story form. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 1, 1988

"Together with the shaky novel Found in the Street and other recent story collections, these crude tales suggest that Highsmith—once such a powerful storyteller—is no longer in full artistic control of her morbidity and misanthropy."
Ten heavy-handed parables, mostly cartoonish and occasionally stomach-turning—aimed at such worthy but obvious contemporary targets as homelessness, pollution, militarism, nuclear power, right-wing religions, and Nancy Reagan. Read full book review >
FOUND IN THE STREET by Patricia Highsmith
Released: Oct. 28, 1987

"Sporadically engrossing, then, but largely unsatisfying."
Highsmith (Strangers on a Train), a pioneer of the psychopathology thriller, is to some extent responsible for the high level of craft at work in that genre today. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 5, 1986

"Disappointing work from a major, but wildly erratic, talent—with limited pleasure even for fanciers of black comedies about vengeful pets and livestock."
Originally published in Britain in 1975, this collection of 13 animal-vs.-human murder/horror tales has been slow to appear in the US. . .and for good reason: the knee-jerk misanthropy that sometimes man Highsmith's superior suspense is dominant and oppressive here—in simplistic, predictable stories that substitute smiling gruesomeness for genuine cleverness or wit. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 21, 1985

"And though Highsmith builds apprehension like a pro, there's no payoff, just a moral knot too easily untied or too unengaging to labor over."
From Highsmith—veteran investigator of violence and the criminal mind (with, most recently, The Boy Who Followed Ripley and Ripley's Game)—comes a new exploration of, this time, a domestic violence, one whose fuse is lit when Richard Alderman, a stolid, small-town insurance agent, husband to mild-mannered Lois and father to two sons, is "born again." Read full book review >
Released: April 25, 1985

Twelve stories by the gifted, uneven author of Strangers on a Train, the Ripley series, and Edith's Diary—reflecting Highsmith's ongoing interest in abnormal psychology, obsessive relationships, and violent environments. Read full book review >
Released: May 16, 1980

"No surprises, no tension, and, surprisingly, no depth or conviction in the ambiguous malemale relationship that is usually Highsmith's forte."
The Talented Mr. Ripley was grand. Read full book review >
EDITH'S DIARY by Patricia Highsmith
Released: June 1, 1977

"Even as Edith is struggling to cope—whether preparing a festive lunch for imaginary grandchildren or calmly admitting the knowledge that Cliffie had fatally overdosed Uncle George—moral speculations surface about the respective responsibilities of the uncaring and the unloved, tenterhooks cushioned with an enveloping intimacy of character and place."
As in a few of her earlier stylish illuminations of dank acts and clouded minds, Highsmith leaves questions of morality to linger on after it's curtains—as here, for Edith, a Pennsylvania housewife much abused. Read full book review >
RIPLEY'S GAME by Patricia Highsmith
Released: April 1, 1974

"Not quite as outrageously complicated as the first but still the ultimate in elegant, amused, sophisticated sangfroid."
When first and last met Ripley Underground (1970) could not be left there — with his French wife Heloise and all their gracious living (bettered by the man he last killed) and his truly inventive and agile mind without a scruple in it, Tom Ripley had to survive. Read full book review >
A DOG'S RANSOM by Patricia Highsmith
Released: Aug. 1, 1972

"Both, to be frank, are subnormal creeps rather than the psychopaths she has invested with such brilliance in the past."
It is too bad that with Miss Highsmith's appearance on a new list she seems to be taking a vacation from her usual excellence and that her two-part story serves to some extent as an outlet for her criticism of the police force — their sheer slipshoddiness or outright brutality. Read full book review >
RIPLEY UNDER GROUND by Patricia Highsmith
Released: Sept. 18, 1970

"Sometimes you suspect that Miss Highsmith as well as Ripley is getting away with murder—but they both do it so elegantly."
Ripley is one of Patricia Highsmith's casually unconscionable miscreants; he lives in luxury in the south of France off a charming young wife and off the proceeds (via England) of a fraudulent art enterprise consisting of the canvases of a dead painter (forged). Read full book review >
THE TREMOR OF FORGERY by Patricia Highsmith
Released: March 21, 1969

"Proceeds as slowly as a tired caravan, but something different in the mystery line."
Through John Ingham, an American novelist, and his fellow tourists in Tunisia, the author investigates the strange disappearance of moral values on the part of this ordinary Western man when he finds himself isolated in the Near East. Read full book review >
THOSE WHO WALK AWAY by Patricia Highsmith
Released: April 7, 1967

"What happened?"
Ray Garrett's wife Peggy has Just committed suicide but he really doesn't know why even though his father-in-law, Ed Coleman, blames him, bullies him, and suggests that he exploited her sexually. Read full book review >
THE STORY-TELLER by Patricia Highsmith
Released: June 15, 1965

"As before, Patricia Highsmith keeps her story teeter-tottering between the intent to kill and the actuality and it is handled with the niggling nastiness she manages so well."
The story-teller is Sydney Bartleby who lives in an old house in rural England with his wife, Alicia; he writes tv scripts; she paints; they quarrel. Read full book review >
THE CRY OF THE OWL by Patricia Highsmith
Released: Aug. 15, 1962

"With Greg's disappearance he is suspect; his ex-wife's scurrulous remarks and Jenny's suicide contribute; and he is still more alone when his recurrent dream of death is fulfilled...Again a distinct originality and intentional obscurity- to tantalize and terrify (although the negligent police action is harder to reconcile.)"
Robert, a prowler-peeper with a record of instability, is perhaps more harmless than he seems, certainly to Jenny, the object of his observation, who gets rid of her fiance- Greg- and falls in love with him. Read full book review >
THIS SWEET SICKNESS by Patricia Highsmith
Released: Feb. 3, 1959

"A high level of conviction- from the everyday circumstances to the special symptomology of the case at hand."
Another Rorschach of a psychotic personality is a detailed, not a smudged, record of a schizoid's double vision: as David Kelsey, he leads a spotless life in a furnished room; weekends he spends as William Neumeister with Annabelle whom he loved and who married another man. Read full book review >
A GAME FOR THE LIVING by Patricia Highsmith
Released: Nov. 26, 1958

"Atmospheric to eccentric touches produce a heavy chiaroscuro of crime and recrimination but do not substitute for the genuine originality of the earlier books."
.... at which nobody can win, begins with the mutilation and murder of Lelia, an artist, and her lovers- Theodore Schiebelhut and Ramon- also friends- share the suspicion of the Mexican policia. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 21, 1958

"Aimed at both children and adults, Miranda The Panda could start a fad of the 'Knock-Knock' variety, while on the juvenile level it could help the child expand his vocabulary if not his view of natural history."
There are also "golf sox on a musk ox," "some myrtle on a turtle," "a veil on a snail," etc. in this whimsical bit of rhymed nonsense. Read full book review >
DEEP WATER by Patricia Highsmith
Released: Oct. 2, 1957

"Again the fine detail of dialogue and action pinpoints a portrayal of an imperturbable killer- but without the flair of some of the earlier performances."
Victor Van Allen, a quiet- seemingly complacent husband to the pretty, pleasure-loving Melinda, frightens off her lovers successfully- until Charley De Lisle forces him to fulfill his threat- of murder. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 30, 1955

"The virtuosity here- more than anything else-will pin you to the page." a young man of no means, and expensive tastes, and his nerveless, conscienceless progression is traced from the time when Tom Ripley is sent to Italy to retrieve an expatriate son, Dickie Greenleaf. Read full book review >
THE BLUNDERER by Patricia Highsmith
Released: Sept. 20, 1954

A second suspense story has much of the malevolent intensity of Strangers On A Train and the whim of circumstance does much to victimize Walter Stackhouse, a lawyer. Read full book review >
STRANGERS ON A TRAIN by Patricia Highsmith
Released: March 15, 1950

"All of this seems quite unreasonable."
The sphere of suspense for the story of a strange, parasitic attachment and the unbelievable events which follow. Read full book review >