RARA-AVIS: Noir Reprints: Goodis and Highsmith

From: Jeff Vorzimmer ( jvorzimmer@austin.rr.com)
Date: 18 Jul 2004

I just finished Goodis's Of Tender Sin and it struck me that it was almost a perfect Patricia Highsmith novel. Then, interestingly enough, I read a Highsmith novel that reminded me a lot of Goodis. The Highsmith novel, The Glass Cell (1964), was just reprinted by Norton in June. Of Tender Sin was reprinted by Serpent's Tail three years ago and it's been sitting on my shelf that long.

The Glass Cell is about a guy sent to prison (falsely accused) and accidently kills another prisoner in the midst of a riot and is undetected. When he's released he finds he then has murderous impulses.

This book, and the book that she followed it with, A Suspension of Mercy is excellent. It was not long after these, though, that her books became dull. I haven't yet figured out exactly when. If I read them all I guess I'll find out.


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