"Like Ripley, [Highsmith's characters] burn in a reader's memory."Susan Salters Reynolds, Los Angeles Times Book Review
In unmistakable Highsmithian fashion, Small g, Patricia Highsmith's final novel, opens near a seedy Zurich bar with the brutal murder of Petey Ritter. Unraveling the vagaries of love, sexuality, jealousy, and death, Highsmith weaves a mystery both hilarious and astonishing, a classic fairy tale executed with a characteristic penchant for darkness. Published in paperback for the first time in America, Small g is at once an exorcism of Highsmith's literary demons and a revelatory capstone to a wholly remarkable career. It is a delightfully incantatory work that, in the tradition of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, shows us how bizarre and unpredictable love can be.
|Publisher:||Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)|
About the Author
Patricia Highsmith (1921–1995) was the author of more than twenty novels, including Strangers on a Train, The Price of Salt,The Blunderer and The Talented Mr. Ripley, as well as numerous short stories.
Date of Birth:January 19, 1921
Date of Death:February 4, 1995
Place of Birth:Fort Worth, Texas
Place of Death:Locarno, Switzerland
Education:B.A., Barnard College, 1942
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
As Patricia Highsmith's last work, I thought this was an interesting end to her career.The plot follows a somewhat mistreated young woman named Luisa who is essentially in debt and under the thumb of Renate, a bitter old woman for whom she works and who despises outside company, particularly homosexuals. After a man Luisa has a crush on is murdered, Luisa finds comfort in and begins to get close to the young man's former lover and his circle of friends, who hang out in a bar down the street from Luisa and Renate's building.Renate is an evil, bitter woman, and is the clear antagonist of the novel. Most of what I've read by Highsmith is somewhat two-sided, showing a sympathetic personality to even the most sordid killer, but there was only bitterness in Renate. All the same, I thought she was good at oppressing Luisa, and I loved the depiction of the crowd that hung out at the bar, all of whom had distinct personalities and roles to play. Luisa goes from a shut-in to a socializing young lady with friends, and I loved watching the transition as she opens up and even begins to experiment sexually.Unfortunately, the ending casts a very bitter note over the whole thing. Getting free of Renate becomes increasingly impossible, so a convenience happens rather than anything clever. It felt terribly false, especially in a Highsmith novel.It was still a wonderful book, especially for its depiction of Zurich and the small circle of friends that inhabit the particular corner in the story. It was also more positive than most of the novels I've read by her, though I tend to enjoy the darker storylines.
This was my first Highsmith. She is a wonderful writer and this is one of the few books I wish had gone on longer. Her depictions of youth vs. adults, envy, jealousy and control were fantastic. My complaint is that so much was left unresolved. There really was no ending, the story just stopped.