Brittany's Reviews > This Sweet Sickness

This Sweet Sickness by Patricia Highsmith
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's review
Oct 20, 2010

really liked it
Read from October 20 to 26, 2010

Patricia Highsmith could write more astute profiles of the mentally disturbed than anyone else I've read. "This Sweet Sickness" also proves she was extremely capable in writing an unreliable narrator. What makes this book so unsettling is how easily the reader is taken in, first believing the narrator's behavior to be just embarrassingly delusional; the ill-advised moves of a spurned, obtuse lover. Only later - even down to the last sentence - does the reader comprehend the scope of Kelsey's mental illness. After that, one needs to revisit all of the subtle, clever things Highsmith lets on throughout the book to suggest the true nature of what Kelsey calls "the Situation." Coming up against a body of work that has seen so many adaptations and accolades, it is easy to dismiss this obscurity as minor. This could not be further from the truth. A superb example of Highsmith's talent, and a book that will stay under the skin for days.

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