Noir Classics: Those Who Walk Away – Patricia Highsmith by K. A. Laity

Don’t let the pull quote form Slavoj Zizek put you off. This too-little read classic by Highsmith is a cracking read. It’s suffused with an existential dread so thick you could cut it with a Derwatt paint knife. It starts in Rome and quickly moves to Venice, currently repopulated with swans and dolphins, which is…

F is for Fake, V is for Vermeer by K. A. Laity

I am probably always thinking about fakes and grifters, but just lately thinking about art forgery (see also this). Of course this is part of my ongoing thoughts about Patricia Highsmith’s Ripliad (so many thoughts), but just in general my obsessions with con artists and fakes. In Ripley Under Ground, Highsmith has her alter ego…

Existentialism in Noir by K. A. Laity

A few years back I was on an existentialism panel at NoirCon that went a bit off the rails (those who were there may recall why) so we never really got deeply into the topic. It’s hung around in the back of my brain pan for a while and two recent reads pinged a few…

The Mike Hodges School of Writing School by K A Laity

“I create things out of boredom with reality and with the sameness of routine and objects around me.” ― Patricia Highsmith, Plotting and Writing Suspense Fiction If films about writers are to be believed, all you have to do is live an interesting life, write it down, and change the names. Making things up always…

Tom Ripley’s Film Career by K A Laity

The film version of The Talented Mr Ripley from 1999 did a lot to bring some attention back to the works of Patricia Highsmith. By the time of her death in 1995, she had done a lot to drive people away from herself (read Joan Schenkar’s biography to get a vivid picture of the author’s…