Book Review: Eleven


By Patricia Highsmith
Foreword by Graham Greene
Atlantic Monthly Press, January 1994

  1. The Snail Watcher
  2. The Birds Poised to Fly
  3. The Terrapin
  4. When the Fleet was in at Mobile
  5. The Quest for Blank Claveringi
  6. The Cries of Love
  7. Mrs Afton, among thy Green Braes
  8. The Heroine
  9. Another Bridge to Cross
  10. The Barbarians
  11. The Empty Birdhouse

Eleven is a collection of eleven short stories, ostensibly shelved in the “Mystery and Suspense” genre, but really tends to be more in the vein of “Psychological Thriller” or even “Horror.” Mysteries generally develop along the lines of “whodunits”: plots with clues and denouement; whereas Highsmith’s shorts are studies into the dark taint of the human mind. Greed, vanity, paranoia and cynicism are treated in the stories with morbid fascination and leave the reader with a sense of unease and maybe even a shiver of recognition. The stories are disturbing for what they suggest: that each man, woman and even child lives with a fragile tension between their dark natures and societal constraints and; that it doesn’t take much for any individual to tip over and indulge their more horrific aspects.

OTHER: A new retail paperback copy of Eleven (by Patricia Highsmith; Foreword by Graham Greene) was purchased and shelved in our home. Apologies as I do not recall the source/vendor. I receive no monies, goods or services in exchange for reviewing the product and/or mentioning any of the persons or companies that are or may be implied in this post.


One thought on “Book Review: Eleven

  1. Pingback: Audiobook Review: It Happened in Boston? | dogearedcopy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s