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The Animal-Lover's Book of Beastly Murder
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Nowhere is Patricia Highsmith's affinity for animals more apparent than in The Animal-Lover's Book of Beastly Murder, for here she transfers the murderous thoughts and rages most associated with humans onto the animals themselves. You will meet, for example, in "In the Dead of Truffle Season," a truffle-hunting pig who tries to whet his own appetite for a while; or Jumbo in "Chorus Girl's Absolutely Final Performance," a lonely, old circus elephant who decides she's had enough of show business and cruel trainers for one lifetime. In this satirical reprise of Kafka, cats, dogs, and breeding rodents are no longer ordinary beings in the happy home, but actually have the power to destroy the world in which we live.
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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.

Reviews

Grisly and atmospheric, these are perfectly nasty little tales told by an acknowledged mistress of the form ( Little Tales of Mysogyny. Whether it's Eddie, the Capuchin monkey, annoyed at the petty thief who employs him, or Djemal, the camel, getting back at a cruel driver, Highsmith's creatures are intelligent, vengeful and bloodthirsty. Even the aged Baron, a pampered and sophisticated city dog with worn-down teeth, finds a way of settling the score with the human he dislikes. Tales are told of a truffle-hunting pig, a ferret, a goat who gives rides in an amusement park, a sleek Siamese cat, chickens raised on an automated farm and an extended family of hamstersall sympathetically, but never sentimentally, portrayed. The stories feature small worlds of animal amorality in which the sweet taste of revenge leaves no aftertaste of guilt. It's a rich offering, best sampled in small bites. (November 5)

"Mesmerizing...not to be recommended for the weak-minded and impressionable." -- Washington Post Book World "A border zone of the macabre, the disturbing, the not quite accidental...Highsmith achieves the effect of the occult without any recourse to supernatural machinery." -- New York Times Book Review

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