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The Snail-Watcher

Published: 25.08.2010, Updated: 03.03.2017
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Have you seen Matt Damon as Mr. Ripley in The Talented Mr. Ripley? The movie is based on Patricia Highsmith's psychological thriller by the same name. Here is a short story by the same author. Be prepared to be scared!

Matt Damon as the Talented Mr. RipleyMatt Damon as the Talented Mr. Ripley

Snail.photo.Snail Does this picture give you the creeps? It definitely will after reading about Mr. Knoppert and his love of snails. 

Patricia Highsmith (1921 – 1995) was an American author acknowledged for her psychological thrillers, many of which have been adapted to film, and her macabre and satirical short stories. Her preoccupation with the human mind and mental disorders was ignited when she was a little girl. She was not very sociable. When asked about her lacking social skills, she is reported to have commented: “My imagination functions much better when I don’t have to speak to people.” She preferred the company of animals to humans.

Her most famous character, the amoral murderer Mr. Ripley, appeared in five novels and he was immortalized in the 1999 film The Talented Mr. Ripley, with Matt Damon playing Mr. Ripley. Readers and viewers often find Patricia Highsmith’s plots highly disturbing due to her ability to transform the abnormal into something plain and normal.

The short story The Snail-Watcher is a brilliant example. With the Iberian snail invading gardens and sidewalks, a lot of people are exposed to the slimy creatures and some are so intent on eliminating them that they may seem obsessed. In this short story the protagonist is fascinated by snails, he just loves them.

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