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The Animal-Lover's Book of Beastly Murder

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  467 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
Stories from The Animal-Lover's Book of Beastly Murder portray, with incisive humor, the murderously competitive desires of our most trusted companions. In this satirical reprise of Kafka, cats, dogs, and the occasional cockroach are no longer benign elements of a happy home but actually have the power to destroy it.
ebook, 256 pages
Published October 17th 2002 by W. W. Norton Company (first published 1975)
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Jan 03, 2016 BrokenTune rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Highsmith was an astute observer of relationships and tortured minds. In this book stories are easily transferable to interactions between humans, but the tales of murder in this collection are told from the perspective of animals who seek revenge on their assailants.

It's a very grim read.

I really should give this book a lot more stars, but I hated the way the book made me squirm.
Patricia Highsmith brings together in one collection thirteen tales of revenge, animal style.

This is a mixed bag of quality and entertainment that ranges from the brilliant to the mediocre, the witty to the dull and the obvious to the horrific. Stories about how humans mistreat animals and the understandable mixture of reactions from the animals; fear, instinct, self-defence, murder and straight forward standing up for their rights to be treated with dignity. We're not just talking about cats an
Jul 07, 2016 dianne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another very satisfying book. Several delightful romps through well-deserved revenge taken, some purposely, some maybe not, by abused animals. Thinking about factory farming? Or depriving your camel so you can win a race? Secretly disposing of your new lover's cat? Not so fast, big guy. They're smarter than you think, and perhaps smarter than you are - as anyone who has loved an animal knows.

And human design? Geez, who knew we had so many vulnerable parts, so many easily accessible fail points?
Michelle Sawyer
Feb 06, 2013 Michelle Sawyer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't give a review of fair or decent length about Patricia Highsmith's Animal-Lover's Book of Beastly Murder as I couldn't get past the first story. "Chorus Girl's Absolutely Final Performance," the story of a circus elephant's lifetime and subsequent career, really did a number on me. Highsmith was known to be an animal lover, and this is obvious in "Chorus Girl." Her general cold, swift hand actually builds this elephant's vengeful soul to a boiling crescendo of justifiable rage. The end is ...more
These stories of animals getting violent vengeance on cruel people were addictive, and gave me bad dreams. But they also gave me good stories to tell - I told everyone about the rat that ate the baby's nose. I absolutely felt sympathetic to that rat. And Ming, the kitty whose owner started dating a dude who was jealous of Ming? LOVED. But the cruelties that spurred the action were really upsetting, and make me happy to move on to something else.

Read because I love Highsmith - Strangers on a Tra
Jun 01, 2010 Andy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: PETA enthusiasts
Recommended to Andy by: a parakeet
Recommended for that card-carrying PETA member in your family, this macabre collection of stories tells tales of pets and service animals that are unjustly abused by humans who eventually get their comeuppance from the malevolent critters.
The first story was touching, the second sounded familiar, and by the third tale I felt like I had read the same story over and over again, different animal but the same situation. It’s a fairly redundant book and unless you love reading about goats and ferret
Octavio Villalpando
Abordados desde la perspectiva típica del trabajo de Highsmith, "Crímenes bestiales" contiene relatos donde los protagonistas son, como su nombre puede dar a inferir, animales. Cabe la pena aclarar que en si, el volumen puede parecer un poco repetitivo, ya que casi siempre las situaciones presentadas arrojan el mismo final, aunque varíen los personajes y la forma de presentar el desarrollo de cada historia, sin embargo,debo aclarar que en lo particular, al ser un gran amante de los animales, no ...more
Edith Wasco
Como me apasiona el tema de los animales de entrada creo que no había mucha oportunidad de que no me gustara el libro. Me entretuvieron casi todos los relatos y algunos de ellos me parecieron realmente interesantes. El caballo máquina, El día del ajuste de cuentas, La rata más valiente de Venecia y Los hámsters contra los Webster fueron mis favoritos. Tristemente sí son algo repetitivos desde un comienzo ya que la mayoría de los cuentos siguen la misma fórmula y son predecibles, pero para el mis ...more
Javier Jiménez
Esta obra es una colección de trece cuentos acerca de la venganza de animales en contra de humanos que no los han tratado de manera justa. La idea me parecía interesante al principio pero debo de admitir que después de haber leído tres o cuatro el interés va desapareciendo, ya que todas las historias son prácticamente iguales o por lo menos tienen la misma idea general: Un animal es tratado de manera cruel por un hombre, de repente el animal (o animales) se vuelve agresivo y mata a un humano, de ...more
Jan 14, 2014 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book of short tales of animals' murderous revenge on human beings. Hamsters, chickens, ferrets, cats, cockroaches, goats, pigs... you name it... exact revenge on humans that have mistreated, neglected, abused or merely misunderstood them. Many of these are excellently crafted with insight into the animal perspective. Ming the cat is the quintessential cat. The story of the cockroach is spot-on cockroach perspective. These are gruesome little stories. I have to say, though, as much as I wanted ...more
Jan 26, 2016 Liz rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Σε γενικές γραμμές μια δυνατή συλλογή διηγημάτων, με κάποια να διαμαντάκια να ξεχωρίζουν. Ξεχωριστή βαθμολογία για κάθε διήγημα:

1. Η τελική παράσταση της Μπαλαρίνας ****
2. Η εκδίκηση του Τζεμάλ ***
3. Ήμουν εκεί, παγιδευμένος με τον Μπάμπσυ ****
4. Η μεγαλύτερη λεία του Μινγκ **
5. Στο τέλος της εποχής της τρούφας ****
6. Το πιο γενναίο ποντίκι της Βενετίας ****
7. Άλογο ατμομηχανή ***
8. Η ημέρα των λογαριασμών *****
9. Σημειώσεις από μια αξιοσέβαστη κατσαρίδα *****
10. Έντυ, η μαϊμού ληστής ****
11. Χά
Dec 16, 2012 Erika rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I've had this book for many, many years and I think it's the third time I've read it. I remember finding it quite boring in the past and, well, my opinion changed a bit but not too much. After a couple of stories it seems like you're reading the same thing over and over: animal likes gentle human acquaintance, gentle human is gone, bad human comes around and hurts animal, animal kills bad human. It's the same formula, only with some slight variations. It's an interesting idea, I give the author ...more
Το περίμενα εντελώς διαφορετικό. Πολύ καλή αρχική ιδέα μα "παιδιάστικο" γράψιμο εκ μέρους της συγγραφέως χωρίς κανένα ενδιαφέρον. Θα απογειωνόταν αν έβαζε περισσότερο μυστήριο και μια στάλα υπερφυσικό. Άνοστο και άγευστο.
Guilherme Solari
Jul 06, 2016 Guilherme Solari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Estava certo dia em uma farmácia quando achei uma estante rotatória de livros em meio às prateleiras. Foi como encontrar um oásis para a minha atenção em meio à aridez do deserto. E lá eu vi O Livro das Feras (The Animal-Lover’s Book of Beastly Murder), de Patrícia Highsmith, e fiquei bem intrigado com a proposta que li na contra capa. Thriller psicológico com animais? Vamos ver no que dá.

Patrícia Highsmith é famosa por suas histórias de suspense e assassinato. Seu trabalho teve diversas adaptaç
Ananya Rubayat
Mar 01, 2017 Ananya Rubayat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Disturbing. Very very disturbing.
Jun 21, 2013 Aline rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
tema do Desafio Literário esse mês foi "romance psicológico". Primeira coisa a fazer: descobrir o que raios é isso. Sim, disseram-me que é o romance em que a história é narrada em fluxos mentais, em que predomina o tempo interior e eu continuei com interrogações na cabeça. Comecei a ler Miss Dalloway e entendi. A história se passa no interior da personagem. Deve ser, porque no meu interior não passou nada. Leitora crua ainda, ou mal-passada, troquei o.livro por O Livro das feras. Aí sim, eu vir ...more
This was well written but not at all what I expected in a book... I expected cutesy stories of clever murdering cats and maybe an older lady or two detective piecing things together. Yeah, this was not that kind of book. It was a brutal one. ("beastly murder" really should have clued me in, so I acknowledge it's all my faulty judgement...) I was surprised at how depressed I felt after each story. When I finished the book, I felt an odd heavy weight from the injustices heaped on all of the animal ...more
Maria João Fernandes
"Nunca recebera senão maus tratos, ou na melhor das hipóteses indiferença, das criaturas que caminhava sobre duas pernas."

Um elefante sem liberdade e muito nostálgico; um camelo trabalhador, sem grandes exigências; um cão velhote, mas resistente; um gato da classe alta invejado por todos menos pela dona; um porco de olfacto apurado e de grande postura; uma ratazana solitária sobrevivente; uma égua enorme e assustadora, mas tranquila nos seus movimentos; um grupo de galinhas escravas da tecnologi
Apr 05, 2016 Danae rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a beloved friend would say, "The more I get to know humans, the more I love animals."

It took me an unusually long time to finish the book, but it was only because of my academic stuff.

I can't describe how much I enjoyed it.

Imagine a world where mistreated animals take their violent revenge on cruel humans.
Whether it is Djemal, the smart camel, Chorus Girl, the circus elephant or the enraged chickens of the concentration camp-like poultry farm, it's all about justice and a deep, nasty satisfa
Arax Miltiadous
Sep 28, 2015 Arax Miltiadous rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Είναι αλήθεια πως το υποτιμάς λίγο στην αρχή. Κάτι από την απλότητα της γραφής της συγγραφεως, κάτι από την ευθύτητα και την ειλικρίνειά συνωμοτουν στο να μην την παίρνεις και πολύ στα σοβαρά ή και ( ακόμη χειρότερα ) να ολίσθησεις στο ατόπημα να την θεωρήσεις προβλέψιμη. Χα! Μέγα λάθος!!! Έφαγα χαστούκι μεγατόνων με την εξέλιξη και την κατάληξη της πρώτης ιστορίας και από αυτήν και έπειτα όταν τα χαστούκια είχαν μεγαλύτερη ένταση και ενώ περιμένεις κάτι εξωφρενικό ότι έρχεται είναι εξωφρε
Cecilia Muñoz
He leído algunos reviews que destacan la monotonía de los cuentos, en tanto su argumento: "Animal es maltratado-animal se venga del humano maltratador". Sin embargo, omiten lo más importante: la manera en que Highsmith navega en la "psique" de los diversos animales, lo cual dota a cada cuento de su porción de originalidad. Aunque es cierto que hay que admitir que la fórmula puede resultar cansada, por lo que para leer este libro se debe tomar en cuenta que siempre existe la opción de dejarlo des ...more
Sara Habein
Angry hamsters! A carnivorous ferret! Vengeful chickens! Come one, come all, come find yourself strangely amused by all the different reasons why an animal might be driven to kill. Or perhaps they did not intend to kill the person involved, but now that it’s done, what’s the harm? Yes, this book just may be the anti-Marley & Me.

Patricia Highsmith’s not known for her great love of the human race, so it makes sense that she’d spend an entire short story collection thinking of ways animals coul
Alessandro Balestra
Cosa può trasformare i nostri amati e tranquilli animali domestici in feroci assassini? Un maiale, un gatto, un cane, un cammello e addirittura un criceto sono davvero in grado di uccidere i loro padroni? Tutto questo accade in "Delitti bestiali" di Patricia Highsmith che, con uno stile essenziale e immediato, ci illustra 13 storie di animali che, per varie ragioni, si trasformano in killer senza pietà.
Contrariamente a quello che potrebbe far pensare il titolo di questa antologia, o la copertina
Sep 13, 2016 Monique rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
What a brilliant concept - a book of short stories that champions abused animals for killing and maiming the humans who wronged them! Now that's something I would like to see happen in real life. Because animals are so often let down by our "human" justice system, it's a delicious treat to read stories where animals come out on top. There is the cunning cat who looks on quietly from the shadows as his owner's rotten boyfriend falls to his death. There is an army of hamsters prepared to defend th ...more
Bill Syken
I am working my way–slowly, intermittently, over what I expect to be decades, God willing—through the complete works of Ms. Highsmith, and so I picked up this story collection when I saw it in a bookstore. Thirteen stories, all about animals. Most are told from the point of view of an animal. Only maybe four of the fourteen stories rise to the level of the Highsmith I love—the ones about a cockroach, a rat, a goat, and a hamster collection. The rest, especially taken together, can feel predictab ...more
Dec 19, 2013 dely rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: animalisti sfegatati
Shelves: 0-usa, ebook
È una raccolta di racconti in cui i protagonisti sono animali assassini. Pensavo si trattasse di delitti efferati, studiati fin nei minimi dettagli da animali malefici con una mente eccelsa e diabolica, invece gli animali uccidono quasi istintivamente per vendicarsi dei maltrattamenti subiti. I primi racconti sembrano originali e si leggono volentieri, ma alla fine i racconti si assomigliano un po' tutti e annoiano perché sono prevedibili.
Sicuramente è il libro perfetto da regalare ad amici o p
Aug 09, 2008 Fabio rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers, horror
A remarkable collection of short stories where the most innocent animals - cats, dogs, horses, monkeys, etc - turn themselves into unforgiving killers of human beings. For what reason? Revenge, but also fear, self-defense, instinct. All of the 13 stories ar crafted to perfection, rightly sized and very fun to read, even though most of them end up in pure horror! You cannot fail to sympatyze with those beasts as they face human cruelty, arrogance and stupidity, in a sort of Animal Farm comeback. ...more
Steve Evans
This book has been well-reviewed but though I found it ok it wasn't really any more than a conceit, too confined by its premise to really fly in the way that the Ripley books I have read fly. I don't want to spoil anything for anyone so won't go any deeper, but if it was the only book I had ever read by this otherwise wonderful writer, I wouldn't be reading another one.
Sep 03, 2012 Jenn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a bit disturbing at times and once I had tears brought to my eyes, but this collection is worth reading; animals protect/defend/revenge themselves against those who want to bring harm is the nutshell but each story is so much more. I recommend - but not for the reader who wants a happy or light-hearted book.
Apr 08, 2008 Colin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Why had I never heard of this book before? Short stories about killer animals: goats, elephants, cats, camels, monkeys, HAMSTERS.....Highsmith's legendary distaste for humankind oozes from every page, and she's not afraid of gore - if there's a more.....disturbing story than The Bravest Rat In Venice, I haven't read it. It's almost too horrible.

Pure entertainment. Highly reccomended.
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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
More about Patricia Highsmith...

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