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Eleven [Paperback]

Patricia Highsmith
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 7.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

21 May 2007
Unsuspecting victims are devoured by their own obsessions in this perfectly chilling collection. A man becomes devoted to his pet snails, with fatal results. A young nanny turns arsonist in a bid to become heroine of the hour. A boy finally stands up to his mother, with knife in hand. Highsmith weaves a world claustrophobic in its intensity, disturbing in its mundanity, as she probes the dark corners of the human psyche. "Eleven" is a collection of masterpieces of Highsmith's particular art, full of compulsion, foreboding and cruel pleasures.

Frequently Bought Together

Eleven + The Tremor of Forgery + Deep Water
Price For All Three: 30.74

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  • The Tremor of Forgery 12.99
  • Deep Water 9.76


Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; UK open market ed edition (21 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747575002
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747575009
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 17.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 227,159 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

Review

`Fabulous, in all senses of that word' -- Paul Theroux

`Highsmith is a novelist whose books one can re-read many times.
There are very few of whom one can say that' -- Graham Greene

`The mood of nagging apprehension is consistent, skilfully
underplayed so that just the right amount of chill is induced'
-- New York Times

`What is striking about these stories is their integrity: they are
all of a piece ... a brilliant collection' -- Sunday Times

About the Author

Patricia Highsmith was born in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1921. Her first novel, Strangers On A Train, was made into a film by Alfred Hitchcock in 1951. The Talented Mr Ripley, published in 1955, was awarded the Edgar Allan Poe Scroll by the Mystery Writers of America and introduced the fascinating anti-hero Tom Ripley, who was to appear in many of her later crime novels. Patricia Highsmith died in Locarno, Switzerland, in February 1995. Her last novel, Small g: A Summer Idyll, was published posthumously just over a month later.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SIMPLY BRILLIANT... 1 Nov 2003
By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
I first became aware of Ms. Highsmith through her wonderful book, "The Talented Mr. Ripley". Although I am not a big fan of short stories, I decided to take a chance on this book, as I so admired the author's talent. I am delighted that I did so, as this book contains a veritable treasure trove of literary gems.
Her stories range from the macabre to the suspenseful. What makes them particularly chilling is that many of them take place in otherwise mundane everyday settings with people who may be either quite ordinary or slightly bizarre, but to whom something extraordinary happens. These are stories that will capture the imagination of the reader. Some even reminded me a little bit of the stories of H. P. Lovecraft, as some of them contain a strong element of horror, crafted, however, in a most delicate, sublime fashion.
These eleven compelling short stories will keep the reader turning the pages of this marvelous little book. It is a book well worth having in one's personal collection. Bravo!
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A BRILLIANT COLLECTION OF SHORT STORIES... 14 Sep 2003
By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
I first became aware of Ms. Highsmith through her wonderful book, "The Talented Mr. Ripley". Although I am not a big fan of short stories, I decided to take a chance on this book, as I so admired the author's talent. I am delighted that I did so, as this book contains a veritable treasure trove of literary gems.
Her stories range from the macabre to the suspenseful. What makes them particularly chilling is that many of them take place in otherwise mundane everyday settings with people who may be either quite ordinary or slightly bizarre, but to whom something extraordinary happens. These are stories that will capture the imagination of the reader. Some even reminded me a little bit of the stories of H. P. Lovecraft, as some of them contain a strong element of horror, crafted, however, in a most delicate, sublime fashion.
These eleven compelling short stories will keep the reader turning the pages of this marvelous little book. It is a book well worth having in one's personal collection. Bravo!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eleven 30 Jun 2013
By PJB
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
First-rate collection of Patricia Highsmith short stories, quirky, unexpected, always plenty of surprises not to say stings in the tail.
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1 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor short stories. 4 Oct 2010
By Snowman
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
These eleven short stories are more like eleven failed ideas for stories. Dull, unfinished and ridiculous (ten-foot snails chasing a professor around a desert island! Please.)

Do yourself a favour and buy Deep Water.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars most of the stories deserved a five star rating 17 Nov 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
A couple of so-so stories in this collection, but most are extraordinary. "The Snail Watcher" is her most well-known story, and it is truly bizarre, but the best stories are more quietly unsettling, such as "Another Bridge to Cross" (which has an almost Hemingway feel to the writing), "When the Fleet Was In at Mobile," "The Herione," "Mrs Afton, among Thy Green Braes."
My two favorite stories are "Cries of Love," and "The Empty Birdhouse."
I've read a couple of critics and several readers who have suggested she was not as good a writer of stories as novels, but from this collection, at least, I would have to disagree. Now I prefer her novels, but these stories were as good as any writer's. A few times the reader is given the character's past in a lump dose that hurts the strength of the story, such as "The Heroine," and "The Empty Birdhouse," but that is an inherent obstacle of the short story format. I still had a good feel for those characters, and I still felt the overall impact of the story. Some truly great stories.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars all of Highsmith's talents in bite-sized pieces 27 Jan 2001
By lazza - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Highsmith is noted for her novels of odd (read: neurotic) individuals who often exhibit some sort of criminial behaviour. I am certainly a Highsmith devotee. 'Eleven', a collection of 11 short stories, is my first taste of Patricia Highsmith in smaller doses.
As with most collections of short stories, 'Eleven' is a hit-and-miss affair. The stories are at minimum competent, with a couple being quite interesting (, creepy, weird, et al). Unfortunately unlike with her novels, these compact stories do not play to Highsmith's strengths - that is, dissecting her characters and their phobias.
However I do recommend 'Eleven' for those who simply don't have the time or patience to read Highsmith's novels. It certainly makes for excellent commuting reading material.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A world of obsessions. 6 July 2000
By Adriana Villanueva - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Patricia Highsmith is a wonderful story teller, and with Eleven she masters the short story genre. Her tales are not easy; its a world of strange and obssesive people who always push their obsessions to the limit, and you as a reader will feel involved in this claustrophobic world. So beware when you're reading it, you may feel someone strangely breathing on your neck.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eerie and compelling 16 July 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Patricia Highsmith has enjoyed a higher profile recently almost entirely due to the film adaptation of her novel "The Talented Mr Ripley".
This collection of 11 short stories show why she is considered by many to be a mistress of chilling suspense. All of the stories begin innocently enough, but an air of expectation is always just around the corner. Often the payoff comes in the last few lines, but what a payoff indeed! The outstanding story has to be "When The Fleet Was In At Mobile" with it's horrific revelations. Do not read these late at night, as your dreams will become nightmares.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Even my mom likes it! 25 Aug 2000
By "pure-swallow" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I must confess at the start that this is not a totally objective review as this book will always be special to me in that it was the first book I have even managed to get my mother to enjoy! I cannot express how happy that makes me because my mother never reads, and as reading has always been my largest pleasure in life, there has always been that gap between us. But imagine my delight (and her delight) when she actually read a story that fascinated her, the first story in Eleven, about the man who kept snails as pets. In my mother's words, she enjoyed the story because the author was very good at writing about emotions and how people react in situations. That is exactly what I love about Highsmith's books. She makes the intricate emotional linkages that are usualy unanalysed and obscured very clear. In a way she is also pointing out to us how WE act, and feel, and making that clear - reading her books always makes me feel as though I was reminded of an emotion. Anyway, mum's just finished the fourth story about the terrapin (which is an award winning story) and joyfully telling me about each story as she goes along. Hope you enjoy it as much as she does.
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