A Dog's Ransom

A Dog's Ransom

by Patricia Highsmith

The great revival of interest in Patricia Highsmith continues with the publication of this novel that will give dog owners nightmares for years to come.

This work attests to Highsmith's reputation as "the poet of apprehension" (Graham Greene).

  • Language: English
  • Category: Fiction
  • Rating: 3.52
  • Pages: 272
  • Publish Date: August 17th 2002 by W. W. Norton Company
  • Isbn10: 0393323366
  • Isbn13: 9780393323368

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Despite the title, this story is not focused on the kidnapping of a dog, since that incident is merely a catalyst for what happens afterward, while at the same time offering an opportunity to get into the personalities of the people touched by this affair. We have the dog's owners, a pleasant, even-tempered good natured couple.

What's interesting is Highsmith's well-known love for the animal kingdom and how she plays with that angle with respect to the policeman's eventually (even though accidently) killing of the dognapper.

Patricia Highsmith faz uma sátira social brilhante onde expõe os desejos mais íntimos do ser humano e do que este é capaz para fazer prevalecer a sua vontade. Uma história psicologicamente perturbadora que me prendeu até à última frase. Resta-me apenas confessar que os maus me atraem e mais do que as suas ações e pensamentos, o que mais me fascina é a genialidade de todo o enredo surpreendente: uma história real e assustadora, que mudou um bocadinho de mim.

Patricia Highsmith is the master of stories where ordinary people starts piling up small mistakes one on top of another, until they are completely drowned by the events.

This book was a drone...and I thought about giving up but because it appeared to be "short" -- and it was but "short" doesn't mean a quick read when it's a slow, WTF story -- but at some point, there's a book where you have to finish it to just 1) torture yourself because you're mad enough at the book and 2) find out what the fuck happens anyway. After a search for his beloved poodle, he eventually receives a ransom note that the dog will be returned if he gives $1000. But Clarence Duhamell overhears the conversation and takes it upon himself to visit Ed Reynolds on his own to take the details and keep an eye out on suspicious people. I just want my dog back.' This goes on and on and on. Then we go to Clarence and he goes on and on about why he's a cop and his disdain for his peers. Clarence eventually kills Rowajinski. He tells his girlfriend and Ed and Greta Reynolds, but denies it to the cops. I know who stole the dog. I know who killed Rowajinski. I know who shot Clarence. I don't know what the fuck was the point of the book. I don't know what is creepy about Patricia Highsmith...and yet, I'm still intrigued about what the original point was to get me to buy this book.

Patricia Highsmith was an American novelist who is known mainly for her psychological crime thrillers which have led to more than two dozen film adaptations over the years. She lived with her grandmother, mother and later step-father (her mother divorced her natural father six months before 'Patsy' was born and married Stanley Highsmith) in Fort Worth before moving with her parents to New York in 1927 but returned to live with her grandmother for a year in 1933. She also wrote one novel, non-mystery, under the name Claire Morgan, plus a work of non-fiction 'Plotting and Writing Suspense Fiction' and a co-written book of children's verse, 'Miranda the Panda Is on the Veranda'.