|My copy of Ruth Rendell's Collected Stories. Scary cover--speaks volumes.|
Ruth Rendell is actually Baroness Rendell of Barbergh, though she got that title in 1996. I admire her as a talented writer of psychological thrillers and murder mysteries. One of her short stories, “The Fallen Curtain”, is a psychological thriller, a fine eerie one. It tells of a severely socially isolated main character who, as a young boy, is kidnapped but is able to escape. However, he could not remember what happened to him with “that man”. Growing up, still as socially isolated as ever (which is largely attributed to his mother’s unreasonable overprotectiveness), he finally understands “that man” who kidnapped him because he becomes “that man” himself.
Another disturbing short story is “The New Girl Friend”, which tells the story of a wife who is uncomfortable with men but is attracted to a man dressed as a woman; the man happens to be her close friend’s husband. What do you think happened when the man decided not to dress as a woman during their secret love affair? Whatever it is, the ending is certainly disquieting.
These two of the 38 stories in Rendell’s short story collection that I have won the Edgar Award. It is not surprising that these two stories won, for they were certainly written by a talented writer capable of leaving her readers a lot to think about with regards to their own behaviors. These stories somehow reminded me of the saying that one will never forget how other people made him feel. So when I say I find these two stories eerie and disturbing, I’m also saying I won’t forget how Rendell made me feel reading her short fiction for a long time.
How you read short stories by Ruth Rendell?
- Nancy -
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