Sunday, February 19, 2012

Strangers on a Train

I've never read the book or seen the movie, so I didn't know quite what to expect. I enjoyed this book -fascinating characters, interesting plot. I'm not sure how it happened that it took me so long to get around to this. It's worth reading more than once. Strangers on a Train is Patricia Highsmith's first novel.

from the back of the book:
The Psychologists would call it folie a deux...

'Bruno slammed his palms together. "Hey! Cheeses, what an idea! I kill your wife and you kill my father! We meet on a train, see, and nobody knows we know each other! Perfect alibis! Catch?"

From this moment, almost against his conscious will, Guy Haines is trapped in a nightmare of shared guilt and an insidious merging of personalities.

The Literature, Arts and Medicine Database calls it a "chilling psychodrama" and says, "The most disturbing aspect of this tale is its horrifying plausibility." The Post Gazette says,
one is struck by how Highsmith uses crime as a lens to peer into the sinister machinations of human behavior. At the core of her philosophical tales lurks a deep belief in our malleability -- we will do anything as long as it suits our needs.
The Wall Street Journal closes its review with this:
"Strangers on a Train" began Highsmith's career-long tour of the minds of characters who aren't comfortable in the world, and her edgy, original thrillers have always defied easy categorization. Even more popular now than when she was alive and writing, Highsmith stands as an utterly unique genre writer. She is, in the words of Graham Greene, a "poet of apprehension" whose work offers "cruel pleasures."

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