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Friday, November 30, 2012

Slowly, Slowly in the Wind: Review

Slowly, Slowly in the Wind by Patricia Highsmith is a collection of short stories that is full of oddly disturbing tales.  From the pond that comes to life and takes the life of a woman and her son to the psychopath who becomes a little too involved with a wax museum full of murderers, the world in Highsmith's stories is just a little claustrophobic and irrational.  Highsmith tackles the themes of believability and guilt; justice and injustice.  There is the man who writes a life's worth of novels in his head and the man who exacts revenge on his neighbor for slights real and imagined.  The oddest story of all is the last one--a strange, cautionary tale about ecological damage and the revenge that nature might take on humanity if we go too far.  More science fiction thriller than mystery, it reminds me of Harlan Ellison at his weakest.  I think perhaps Highsmith should have stuck to things mysterious rather than venture into things science fictional.  The theme of revenge is a good one--just a little too fantastic in this last story.

Overall, a very good collection.  Thrilling, memorable and just a bit on the creepy side.  Four stars.

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