When Clara Stackhouse’s body turns up at the bottom of a cliff, her husband Walter finds himself under intense scrutiny after he commits a series of blunders.
ABOUT THE BLUNDERER (1954)
For two years, Walter Stackhouse has been a faithful and supportive husband to his wife, Clara. She is distant and neurotic, and Walter finds himself harboring gruesome fantasies about her demise. When Clara’s dead body turns up at the bottom of a cliff in a manner uncannily resembling the recent death of a woman named Helen Kimmel who was murdered by her husband, Walter finds himself under intense scrutiny. He commits several blunders that claim his career and his reputation, cost him his friends, and eventually threaten his life. The Blunderer examines the dark obsessions that lie beneath the surface of seemingly ordinary people. With unerring psychological insight, Patricia Highsmith portrays characters who cross the precarious line separating fantasy from reality.
THE FIRST SENTENCE
“The man in dark-blue slacks and a forest green sportshirt waited impatiently in the line.” Keep reading The Blunderer.
• Working titles for The Blunderer included The Man in the Queue and A Deadly Innocence. (Joan Schenkar, The Talented Miss Highsmith)
• Andy Goddard, the director of ‘Downton Abbey’s’ third season to direct a film adaptation of The Blunderer starring Patrick Wilson, Jessica Biel, Imogen Poots, and Toby Jones. (Variety, May 2014)
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