The Blunderer

The Blunderer

3.73 (1,125 ratings by Goodreads)
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With the Savage Humor of Evelyn Waugh and the macabre sensibility of Edgar Allan Poe, Patricia Highsmith brought a distinct twentieth-century acuteness to her prolific body of fiction. In her more than twenty novels, psychopaths lie in wait amid the milieu of the mundane, in the neighbor clipping the hedges or the spouse asleep next to you at night. Now, Norton continues the revival of this noir genius with two more of her lost masterpieces: The Blunderer, first published in 1953 and hailed as her finest novel, about the rise and fall of a faithful suburban husband who plots his wife's demise in fantasies gruesome and eerily serene; and a later work from 1983, People Who Knock on the Door, a tale about blind faith and the slippery notion of justice that lies beneath the peculiarly American veneer of righteousness. Both novels, out of print for years, again attest to Highsmith's reputation as "the poet of apprehension" (Graham Greene).show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 110 x 180 x 17mm | 170g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • New edition
  • 0140101160
  • 9780140101164

Review Text

A second suspense story has much of the malevolent intensity of Strangers On A Train and the whim of circumstance does much to victimize Walter Stackhouse, a lawyer. A newspaper clipping of an unsolved murder of a Mrs. Kimmel obsesses him with the possibility of her husband's guilt, and is at the back of his mind when he follows his own wife (whom he dislikes) who is to meet her death in a parallel situation. The police make a natural affiliation of the two crimes; Kimmel, his equanimity shaken, is now a vengeful man; and Walter, deserted by his friends and disbelieved by the police, is both the blunderer and the killer's butt. Clever. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Rating details

1,125 ratings
3.73 out of 5 stars
5 20% (228)
4 43% (484)
3 29% (325)
2 6% (68)
1 2% (20)
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