Honestly not such a great collection of stories. The title seemed alluring — what’s more exciting than a story of a catastrophe and suffering on a large scale … I write, with chagrin — as well as the fact that the book was on sale and by an author that I’d never read.
Had never read Patricia Highsmith because no one had ever recommended her to me, among which I include all of the sources that I’ve read (not merely persons). And so many other things made claims on my time. A lark.
The characters never transcended the level of vague, unnuanced figures that shared familiar traits with other characters one might have read about here and there (or seen on television).
That may not be wholly true: the first story I read, “Pope Sixtus …,” was more compelling because of the mundanity of a toe injury that went awry.