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Found in the Street (Highsmith, Patricia) [Paperback]

Patricia Highsmith
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

31 Mar 1994 Highsmith, Patricia
When Elsie Taylor drifts to Greenwich Village from upstate New York, her vitality soon wins her a sophisticated circle of friends. But she also becomes the obsession of a failed inventor and nightwatchman, who would protect her from the corruption he sees everywhere around him.


Product details

  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Avalon Travel Publishing; 1st American Ed edition (31 Mar 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0871133261
  • ISBN-13: 978-0871133267
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 14 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 828,955 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not great Highsmith 4 July 2003
Format:Paperback
Patricia Highsmith excelled in the psychological crime novel in a way that few, if any, others matched. Her strength was always to depict those marginalised by society in some way, often a moral distancing from the conventional. Famous for her Ripley novels, she also wrote some exceptional non-series crime novels such as the excellent Deep Water.
‘Found in the Streets’ is not, sadly, a crime novel. There is a crime in it, certainly, but it occurs very late in the text and even then is almost incidental to the main narrative. That’s a pity because Highsmith was in her element describing either the suffering of a character drawn into violence or the amoral attitude of a criminal and we get neither of these things in this book. The novel suffers further by being split between two points of view; that of the upstanding Jack Sutherland and that of the morally evangelical Ralph Linderman. As such, the whole becomes a little diluted.
There is a reason for this splitting of perspectives, but it’s not apparent for at least half of the novel. What she does, and does incredibly well, is to draw the characters closer and closer together so that, in many ways, they become mirror images of each other; separated by a shorter and shorter distance while, simultaneously, becoming more polarised in their attitudes. The problem with this split perspective is that for a lot of the novel we have to plough through descriptions of the uninteresting domesticity of Jack Sutherland’s life. Far more successful is the depiction of Linderman’s increasingly vehement moral rectitude. He’s a great character; never quite slipping into the cliché of the morally zealous preacher-type.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite up to snuff 11 Sep 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Any Patricia Highsmith is better than none, but Found In The Street makes less than a meal. The only character who might compel our interest is the unfortunate objet trouvee, but Highsmith's choice of narrative prevents us from inhabiting her. The action is seen through the eyes of Jack, a dreary cuckold whose cathartic confrontation is with a semi-psychotic security guard. If you're used to a steady diet of Highsmith at her finest (e.g., The Talented Mr. Ripley, A Dog's Ransom), this book will disappoint. If you've been reading John Grisham, on the other hand, you might feel as if you've discovered the last honest bistro in Paris.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.4 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't expect a crime thriller here, folks 19 Oct 2000
By Joseph W. Smith III - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Normally, I don't pay much attention to books that already have several reviews (I'm tryin' for that gift certificate!); but when I saw that this fine book had two 2-star reviews, I just had to pitch in my dissenting vote. It shouldn't take any sane reader long to figure out that Highsmith's final novel has no intention of being the typical suspense thriller that she is known for. There's plenty of the old-fashioned "apprehension" here that Graham Greene first identified as the hallmark of her work; but this is a NOVEL in the finest modern sense, replete with convincing characters, complex relationships, and richly textured themes. As long as I live I'll never forget the character of Ralph Lindermann, and how he turned out to be RIGHT, damn him, in his annoyingly pessimistic reading of events. Among other things, this is a brilliant exploration of urban life in the eighties, and one of Highsmith's most assured and sophisticated works; like so many of her other works, it's painful and deeply moving.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not your average mundane psycho thriller... 16 Feb 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Like the reviewer below, I was surprised to find the ranking of this novel so low. If anything, Highsmith has captured the sexual ambiguities of a stalker in such a way that she puts more "literary" writers such as Joyce Carol Oates to shame. Furthermore, classic Highsmith peculiarties are present in full force- amoral anti-heroes, lesbianism, sexual repression and lack of vindication for all involved. In short, great read!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vividly drawn characters; a strong sense of place. 4 Mar 2007
By Michael G. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Patricia Highsmith had been writing fiction for 30+ years before she authored this outstanding gem of a novel. The years of experience are abundantly evident in the understated, precise way this highly interesting and totally believable tale is told.

Jack and Natalia Sutherland lead charmed lives and they know it. Both are young and both come from wealthy families. Jack is a talented illustrator and Natalia works in an art gallery. They live in a very desirable apartment in Greenwich Village along with their precocious 5 year old daughter Amelia. Their marriage is perfect. Their lives are perfect.

Enter Elsie Tyler, a fresh faced 20 year old from a small town in upstate New York. Elsie has a rare type of natural beauty, the kind that causes heads to turn. She is an object of desire to many. Men and women.

Much of the book concerns the unusual dynamic that is set up when Jack and Natalia both find themselves falling in love with Elsie.

Adding to the tension inherent in the narrative is the presence of Ralph Linderman, a socially isolated middle aged security guard, who takes a very unhealthy interest in Elsie's well being.

Highsmith developes the characters using detailed descriptions that ring absolutely true. These are characters you can practically reach out and touch. Moreover, every action taken is completely in character. Time after time I found myself thinking: "Yes, that is exactly what a woman like Natalia would have done." Or, "Isn't that just like Jack to do that very thing." Also presented with great skill is the ambiance of New York. The crowds, the shops, the restaurants. All the sights, sounds and smells of the city.

I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that Found in the Street is an unrecognized masterpiece of fiction. Very highly recommended.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Highsmith's best; skip it 11 Jan 2011
By Edward T. Brading - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Highsmith's writing is usually far more entertaining and clever than this novel would let you believe. She doesn't do herself justice with this one. Pick up a collection of her short stories instead.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A modern classic 2 Mar 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is one of my favorite of her books. It must be read twice to fully appreciate it, though. Very underrated.
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