Jamie's Reviews > Deep Water

Deep Water by Patricia Highsmith
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's review
Dec 14, 08

Read in December, 2003

As always, Highsmith excels in these little tales of suburban sociopathies.

Victor Van Allen, husband and father finds himself in the unenviable position of being the neighborhood cuckold. But despite social pressures from friends maintains a calm and dispassionate face in the midst of what most would think would be a humiliating situation and calmly structures his life around maintaining his existence for his child and his own self-interests. After being humiliated by his wife repeatedly he reacts with such a calm and stealthy manner that not many actually suspect that he could be capable of such cold-blooded responses to his wife's misbehaviour.

This made for an intriguing look into the mind of a man approaching middle age who watches his world slipping away from him. My problem is, and I say this only half jokingly, I completely identified with him as he perpetrated despicable acts upon even more despicable people. Hmmm....what does that say about me, I wonder?
I found myself more completely identifying with him than with his so-called "victims".

Like with her previous work I'd read, The Talented Mr. Ripley, I found myself identifying very emapthetically towards the "bad guy" , so to speak. Which is a bit disturbing on one level but on the other hand it also goes to show Highsmiths talent that people might actually be pulling for the one not ususally considered the hero by society.

Excellent reading and HIGHLY recommended. Thanks again Kiddie for a wonderful reading experience! I plan to release this to Plinius within the next day or so as soon as the snow and ice have cleared enough to allow me to get to the Post Office.


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