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Those Who Walk away (Highsmith, Patricia) Paperback – 18 Jan 1994

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Product details

  • Paperback: 249 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press / Atlantic Monthly Press; Atlantic Monthly Press ed edition (18 Jan. 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0871132591
  • ISBN-13: 978-0871132598
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 14 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,019,040 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


`Highsmith is a damn fine writer' -- Guardian

`Highsmith understood the psychology of people's darker urges' -- Los Angeles Times

`Lean, translucent, compact, direct and neutral to the horror it
depicts and indifferent to our attempts at rationalisation' -- The Times

`[Highsmith is] the doyenne of upmarket suspense writing' -- Daily Telegraph --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Those Who Walk Away is a brilliant psychological thriller - a deadly game of cat-and-mouse in the labyrinthine streets of Venice. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

2.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By B. Jeremy on 27 Mar. 2010
Format: Paperback
This is one of Highsmith's central novels; other reviewers may hate it because the logic is irrational, the plot non-existent.
However: if you're interested in an ambiguous mental climate, this is for you. Not for nothing is she compared with Dostoyevsky.
If you want a whodunnit, please choose something else.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jan O on 22 Feb. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
As a big fan of Patricia Highsmith, I have to admit to being very disappointed with this book. There were very few likeable characters and the plot became very repetitive and totally improbable. I couldn't believe that the ending was actually the end.
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2 of 38 people found the following review helpful By J. Morris on 30 July 2008
Format: Paperback
Nobody else has bothered to review this ridiculous book let alone buying it and then wondering why they did so. Some as it happens American twerp's wife commits suicide and his father-in-law keeps trying to kill him and he doesn't lift a finger to defend himself even after he has been shot at and deliberately drowned and it is even worse than the squalid Ripley tale; that poor Highsmith woman must have had a sad life. I couldn't bother to finish reading it and neither should you if you have any sense or notions of decency.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 15 reviews
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Another Highsmith masterpiece 26 Nov. 2000
By Joseph W. Smith III - Published on
Format: Paperback
Highsmith is my favorite author, and this is one of her best books -- second only to "Strangers on a Train," among the 11 Highsmiths I've read. Yes, it's a fairly suspenseful tale -- in places a real page-turner (though for sheer, unvarnished terror you can't beat "Strangers on a Train" or "The Cry of the Owl"); but it's really a book about relationships: about identity, isolation, and forgiveness, one so profound that it could be read and discussed almost endlessly.
Highsmith's ability to make readers care for flawed and even sinful characters is astonishing; there simply is NO ONE who compares to her. The ending of this book is so deeply compassionate it made me weep -- something I do very rarely with novels of any kind.
Help me, please -- is there anyone out there who feels the way I do about Highsmith, or have I lost my mind? If I have, I hope I do not find it again until I have read all of her books.
Thanks, Atlantic Monthly Press, for making these books available in the United States; how about putting "Strangers on a Train" and "This Sweet Sickness" back in print as well? For anybody who's curious about Highsmith, "Those Who Walk Away" is an excellent place to start.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Done Just Right 17 Aug. 2001
By Mcgivern Owen L - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Those Who Walk Away" is a concise, fast reading novel of low-keyed suspense. The background is an appropriately gloomy wintertime Venice. Ray, the key character, has lost his wife to suicide. Ed is the unforgiving, not to mention self-centered, father in law who blames Ray for his daughter's death and tries to kill him. Ray pursues Ed through the canals, back streets, cafes, gondola rides and fancy hotels of Venice to clear his conscience and calm Ed down. The embittered Ed has none of this and chases Ray in the same fashion. Both find atmospheric Venetian "hiding places". To use a movie term, Highsmith makes use of an excellent supporting cast: Signor Ciardi, Inez, Luigi the gondolier and Elisabetta almost steal the show from the main characters. Highsmith also pulls the reader into the plot quickly, a talent of hers. We are involved from page one! The ending, which no reviewer should reveal, is smooth and satisfying. To fully enjoy the tale, the reader must surrender credibility on 2 points: 1) Those "meetings" between Ed and Ray are truly coincidental and 2) The Venetian police, as personified by Detective Dell'Isola, ask few questions and press few charges. I would give the author her license on those points and enjoy "TWWA" on its own merits. A closing question: Did Ray really let a nice Italian girl like Elisabetta get away? Did he ever go back to Venice to see her just once more?
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
An intense psychological thriller!!!!! 15 Sept. 2000
By Christopher Taylor - Published on
Format: Paperback
First Off.. I must state: I LOOOVED THIS BOOK!!! Why? Well because I've read loads of novels and only a few in my life time ( So far, of course) have held me in such suspense near the end, that I find myself reading every two words at a time. LOL!! If you're looking for action and mayhem, don't read this book. However, if you're looking to be subtly entrance in a wonderfully orchestrated character driven thriller of two men playing a deadly game of cat-and-mouse across Rome and Italy, then this is the novel for you! Patricia Highsmith is an author I hadn't heard much of before, but after recently reading The Talented Mr. Ripley and viewing the film, I was more than tempted to read other novels by her. She was such a gifted writer who must've traveled a lot because you get the feeling ( while reading ) that you're actually there, with the characters, in Rome and Venice constantly sipping on sweet bourbon and cognac. Though, for all it's great narrative techniques, it's also a suspensful tale that raises questions about revenge!! Should we let our loathsome feelings get in the way of our friendships? How far should we go to prove our innocence? If these are questions you'll willing to ask and willing to find the answers too, then this exceptional-character-study-of-a-novel will be the ticket to an orginal concept. ORDER IT NOW! ASAP!!
Also recommended: The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith and Expendable by James Alan Gardner!
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
so-so psychological thriller saved by Venice backdrop 12 Jun. 2001
By lazza - Published on
Format: Paperback
OK, I am a true Patricia Highsmith fan. I've read most of her books and short stories. When she is good she is great. When she is bad she is so-so. 'Those Who Walk Away' is not amongst her best works.
On the surface, the story is simple. A woman commits suicide, leaving a grieving (and confused) husband and a completely distraught father. The woman's father blames his son-in-law for the suicide and wants to take revenge (in the form of violence). Despite this the husband has nothing but empathy for his father-in-law and continues to try to console him. And so a chase of sort is played out (in mysterious Venice).
What I found unplausible about this story is the husband's continued insistence on "working things out" with his father-in-law despite the obvious physical danger this placed him in. Compassion is one thing, stupidity is another.
Bottom line: a marginal thriller in a lovely setting. A perfect book for those on vacation in Venice, and perhaps for dedicated Highsmith fans as well. Otherwise I can't really recommend it.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Why aren't there more books and authors this good? 8 May 2004
By Suspense Fan - Published on
Format: Paperback
I recently "discovered" this author after seeing the movie "The Talented Mr. Ripley." Since then, I've been raiding the library searching for more of her titles. All I can say is that she has created a number of masterpieces of suspense. I found this book particularly touching. It had it all--setting, characterization, good plot. Some of her books are not as well-balanced as this one, but they all offer a fine writing style and excellent characterization. I am amazed by her talent. She was recommended to me by someone who knew I enjoy Ruth Rendell, aka Barbara Vine. I think others who read Rendell/Vine will also like Highsmith's works if they aren't familiar with them already.
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